Our office staff enjoys sharing the gift of our skills with our community by participating in volunteer service. We regularly participate in major health fairs providing free medical, dental and vision care for thousands of underserved people. The events have been sponsored by CDA Cares, CareHarbor, Los Médicos Voladores (Flying Doctors), and Remote Area Medical.
The days are long as we try to help as many people as possible with their dental needs. Their gratitude is immeasurable and we wished we could do more.
Guatemala Medical Missionary Trips: 2016 and 2017
Dr. Werts travels to the Central America country of Guatemala as part of the Flying Doctors, an international organization dedicated to providing free healthcare services to under-served Mayan populations.
In the course of five days the team was able to treat more than 1,400 patients in 2016 and 1,500 patients in 2017. Read more about it here, including photos.
Humanitarian Dental Trip—Suqian area, Jiangsu Province China-2012
On April 20, 2012 Dr Werts went to rural China on a humanitarian dental trip as part of a 20 person team organized Dr Karl Koerner and Dr Scott Stucki. The dental team was joined by a plastic surgeon performing cleft palate surgery and dental hygienists caring for and teaching oral hygiene.
This is a private group that has made the trip annually for the last 5 years. During the week of the 21st to 27th free dental care was provided for the poor children and elderly citizens of the Suqian area, Jiangsu Province, China. It was a fascinating trip, experiencing China as few tourists are able to do.
Los Angeles Missions-Monthly, on-going
Since 2008 Dr. Werts is one of several dentists volunteering monthly at the Los Angeles Christian Health Center, Joshua House Clinic and Pico Aliso Community Clinic in Boyle Heights. Free or low cost care is provided for the homeless and under-served in the downtown LA Skid Row community and for those getting back on their feet through rehabilitation programs. Again, the gratitude received for the comfort provided and aesthetics restored is so rewarding.
They (the dental staff) did a marvelous job. My new teeth look mighty good and I think will look and feel good once I get used to them. I would like to commend the staff for such a courteous and wonderful job. They were all wonderful. Thank you.
John had been without his upper and lower teeth for over 20 years. He is excited about learning how to talk, eat and smile again with his new teeth.
Another outreach by the office has been to the residents and staff of Alexandria House in Los Angeles. Founded in 1996, Alexandria House is a non-profit transitional residence and house of hospitality providing safe and supportive housing for women and children in the process of moving from emergency shelter to permanent housing.
Dental Lifeline Network
Dr Werts and staff also participate in Donated Dental Services, a program sponsored by Dental Lifeline Network, formerly the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, a national humanitarian organization. Because of the extraordinary compassion of over 15,000 dentists and 3,000 dental laboratories across the country, DDS tends to the essential and comprehensive dental care needs of our nation’s most vulnerable people; disabled, elderly or medically-compromised individuals who cannot afford necessary treatment nor get public aid. DDS patients have slipped through the cracks of Medicaid and Medicare programs with nowhere else to turn.
Rebuilding America’s Warriors (R.A.W.)
Our practice supports Rebuilding America’s Warriors (R.A.W.) , a non-profit foundation dedicated to providing reconstructive surgery to wounded and disfigured military personnel. R.A.W. picks up where standard military services leave off by providing the reconstructive, aesthetic, and surgical procedures that can hasten a veteran or military member’s return to a “normal” or pre-war life. Click here to learn more, or donate to R.A.W., or visit its parent organization, the Iraq Star Foundation.
Guest Speaking Engagements
As many of our patients know Dr. Werts was an avid mountaineer and continues to travel extensively. He has visited six continents and scaled numerous mountain peaks such as Denali, Mt. Blanc, and Ama Dablam to name just a few. He has shared his adventures with community groups and local schools. Most rewarding were his school presentations, as described below.
Goal Setting, Risk Taking and Learning to Be Prepared
It is a sport that requires physical and mental conditioning as well as thorough attention to detailed preparation. One learns a lot about themselves when planning and participating in a climb.
Recognizing that these experiences could be teaching moments for young people, a patient asked Dr. Werts to share his stories and pictures with her third grade class in La Crescenta in 1999. More than 20 class lectures later Dr. Werts still enjoys sharing his experiences with young students.
Most popular question? Where do you go to the bathroom!?
It’s thank you notes like this that make it all worthwhile:
I just got home and wanted to shoot you an email to thank you for today. You will receive a handwritten note as well for I was raised by a southern lady 🙂 Today was magical, really it was! I am truly grateful for all the blessings that come my way and you are surely counted among them. The children were able to spend some time with someone who followed through on an impossible dream! How many people can say they actually experienced their life’s dream come true? You are an inspiration each time you visit. I only wish you could hear the conversations that follow such a powerful experience! The children were mesmerized. Many recounted their favorite or scary part of your presentation. Many lingered in the auditorium, not wanting it all to end. Several shook their heads, and one even put his thoughts into words…”He looks so normal.” Yes, even a twelve year old realizes when they have encountered something extraordinary. So, please know as your head hits the pillow tonight, you are a very good man! Thank you!
P.S. One of my favorite moments was when you were answering questions and someone asked about your wife. You spoke of her acceptance of your dream, her decision to let you accomplish what you worked so hard to achieve, and even though it was dangerous, gave you her blessing. I loved it when you said….wait for it…”That’s love.” So true!
Click the cards below to read the note: