Sidney society works on health smiles for children

ORCCA hopes to open in September and offer free dental care to children in need.

  • Aug. 14, 2014 9:00 a.m.

The ORCCA logo.

By Andrea Peacock

News staff

Under-privileged children will soon have access to free dental care thanks to a society started by a local dentist.

Dr. Mitra Hashemi, a Sidney dentist at her own practice, Coast Dental Care, started ORCCA, or Oral Care for Children and Adolescents.

Construction of the ORCCA office began at the beginning of June and is now in the final stages of renovation. It is set to open in September at the annex building at Sidney Elementary School.

The program targets children whose families earn between $21,000 and $40,000 a year and who do not have dental coverage or insurance. These families are otherwise unable to apply for B.C.’s Healthy Kids program, which is only eligible for those making less than $21,000 a year.

“I’m pretty sure we’re going to touch a lot of lives,” said Hashemi.

Although ORCCA has yet to officially open, Hashemi has been visiting some of those patients at her own office until they can be transferred.

“Some kids, they’re in pain,” said Hashemi. “You have to do something; you can’t just stand around.”

While Hashemi is the only dentist fully committed to the society so far, she said she has had interest from other dentists, including orthodontist Dr. Vohn Rosang. Rosang has offered to accept five patients per year through ORCCA, said Hashemi.

“[It] is a very generous offer from him.”

Retired dentists and Hashemi herself have donated dental equipment to ORCCA. Individuals and foundations have also donated money to the society.

So far, ORCCA has raised between $100,000 and $200,000 said Heather Burkett, board chair of ORCCA.

“We’re extremely grateful to all of the community members who have come together to help us,” said Burkett. “It’s been really heartening to see the community coming together and obviously recognizing the need, because there is a huge need out there for kids.”

Burkett said they are now raising funds to hire an office manager.

An upcoming concert fundraiser for ORCCA will take place on Sept. 14 in Beacon Park, Sidney from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It was initially scheduled for this past June, but was rescheduled due to rain.

Sidney Town Councilor Kenny Podmore put together the concert.

“It features local artists and guests with the Craig Henderson Trio topping the bill,” said Podmore. “There is music for everyone.”

A total of 16 artists will be at the concert, all of who are donating their time. The concert will be by donation, and all of the funds will be given to ORCCA.

“I think this is an amazing program and [I] want to support it,” said Podmore.

Just Posted

Local cadets gain acceptance to RMC

Military careers one step closer

New Star Cinema project approved

Cameo development gets unanimous council thumbs up

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Second Narrows Bridge collapse survivor remembers tragic day

Kelowna’s Norm Atkinson remembers what it was like to survive B.C. ‘s worst industrial accident

Lions need to focus on football after disruptive fan incident: coach

Wally Buono says his players need to focus on football after defensive back Marcell Young hit a fan

Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects

Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women to be hired

Get your hot dog water, only $40 in Vancouver

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

Privacy questions linger in Canada-U.S. terror list deal struck

Two years after Canadian and U.S. security agencies signed an updated agreement officials consider privacy risk

Manitoba MP was allegedly abusive at Red Cross shelter

Canadian Red Cross has filed a complaint that Liberal backbencher MaryAnn Mihychuk ignored protocol

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

Most Read