Real Impact Through Pilot Projects: Meet Thomas
When Tomas of Harrisburg could no longer tolerate his dental pain, he reached out for help. Tomas contacted Sheylla Salinas, a community health worker with Contact to Care, a community pilot project to increase access to health care.
After an assessment of his condition, Tomas learned he needed a procedure to extract a wisdom tooth. Sheylla called several dentists, but the cost was prohibitive because Tomas lacks dental insurance.
“The pain was so intense,” Tomas says. “It was hard to get through my workday.”
Through Contact to Care’s new partnerships to provide dental services, Tomas was connected to the Health Ministries of Christ Lutheran Church’s Dental Clinic. Local dentists volunteer at the church to perform services on a first-come, first-served basis.
“I was worried I wouldn’t get an appointment,” Tomas says. “I took the day off from work and stood outside the church at 6:30 a.m.”
When the church opened its doors at 8 a.m., Tomas saw a dentist and his tooth was extracted, leaving him pain free.
Tomas is incredibly grateful for the support of Contact to Care. Thanks to the program, Tomas can focus on his job and family and not the burdens caused by health issues.
Contact to Care is a community pilot project in partnership with United Way of the Capital Region, Hamilton Health Center and several health care and community organizations. Learn more by visiting www.uwcr.org/how-we-help/our-work/health.
PHOTO CAPTION: Tomas (right) of Harrisburg with Sheylla, a community health worker.