Fr. John Hatcher, S.J., President of the St. Francis Mission, announces the opening of the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. St. Francis Mission is responding to an acute shortage of oral health care on the Reservation. Maintaining good oral health is very difficult. More than eighty percent of adults have missing teeth and most children have severe tooth decay. Much of the dental care currently practiced on the Reservation is merely palliative, which means that tooth extraction most often constitutes the usual method of dental care.
The Dental Clinic is the result of several years’ work on the part of Mission staff, donors and volunteers. It will initially be open for a one-week period, from October 8-12, 2012, and will be staffed by volunteer dentists as well as dental students from Creighton University. Future weeklong clinics are planned pending availability of volunteer dentists.
“The St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic is looking to address the terrible state of oral health on the Rosebud. While we cannot solve what is truly a humanitarian disaster, we are looking to raise awareness of the problem and make a dent in the suffering of people by offering regular clinics,” says Father John Hatcher, “Over time, through regular weekly clinics; we can help people with their dental problems and provide oral health education for children."
For more information or to interview a member of our staff, please contact Corrie Oberdin at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Mission, visit www.sfmission.org, or visit us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/
About the St. Francis Mission
St. Francis Mission is a ministry of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) among the 20,000 Lakota (Sioux) people on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in south-central South Dakota. It is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1886. The purpose of the Mission is to re-evangelize Catholic Lakota people and bring the Gospel of Jesus the Christ to those who have not heard it. We respect the traditions of the Lakota people as we collaborate with them to meet the spiritual, educational, social, and physical needs of the community.
St. Francis Mission is the largest not-for-profit organization on the Rosebud Reservation that is not a governmental controlled or funded program. Currently it supports work in six parishes, Icimani Ya Waste Recovery Center, the White River Recovery Center, religious education, the Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum, the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic and KINI Radio 96.1 FM. All work is done in cooperation with the Diocese of Rapid City.