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Why Lane Co. Has Cavities and Micronesia Has a Dentist

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ed. Note: This is the first of a three part series

Dr. Cedric Ross Hayden, D.D.S had a dream. He wanted to outfit a mobile dental clinic, staff it with volunteer dentists and hygienists, move it around rural areas in Lane Co. and offer regular, free dental care to low income Oregonians.

Here’s how it would work: Dr. Hayden would drive the clinic to a small town. He’d park it there long enough to meet local dental needs. Then he’d take it to nearby rural towns, parking it for a week or so. His goal was to visit these towns three times a year, providing regular dental treatment.

Was Dr. Hayden asking anyone to pay for his clinic? No. He and brother Matthew had already funded it with $200,000 out of their own pockets. Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it?

As ESPN sportscaster Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friend.” Because his dream would turn to dust.

What went wrong? Why would small burgs in Lane Co. not welcome him and his mobile dental care facility with open arms? And why does Micronesia have the dental care that Lane County didn’t want? Find out in the next issue of Lane Solutions as we focus on one town’s “Thanks but no thanks.”

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