Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures

March 01, 2024

Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures

Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures

Much like our oral health is connected to our whole body, the impact of the Ben Massell Dental Clinic(BMDC) is felt throughout Atlanta. Staffed by a dedicated team of volunteer dentists, it is the only free dental clinic of its kind in the city: BMDC provides comprehensive oral healthcare and wrap-around care at no cost to uninsured, low-income residents of the Metro area. In the last year, 13,000 procedures were performed for over 1,200 clients at the Clinic.

On Thursday, March 14 at 7 PM, JF&CS will host the inaugural Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures fundraising event at 42 West. The industrial-chic setting will house a lively evening of drinks, light dinner and mingling, and will recognize our volunteers for their dedicated service. Funds raised will go directly into the BMDC, ensuring its longevity and ability to continue transforming lives.

“The entire dental community of metro Atlanta benefits from the good works of the Ben Massell Dental Clinic, and supporting this wonderful place makes us all a part of it,” said Dr. David Kurtzman. Dr. Kurtzman has been volunteering his services at the BMDC for 44 years.

“Many of us want to help but don't have time,” he continued. “Younger kids, busy practices, other obligations... these all take time and energy. By coming to the fundraiser, those of us too busy to give time can give support instead — and the clinic needs it. Several funding sources have dried up and the cost of running a large dental clinic keeps going up,” he said.

While the dentists graciously donate their time and skills, there is more that goes into maintaining a functional facility with all the tools, supplies, and support needed to provide first-class care in a dignified setting. “The last number of years have taken a financial toll on the clinic, with more people in need and less funds to provide those services,” said Dr. Richard Weinman, who began volunteering at the BMDC in 1997. “The work we do relieves pain, restores self-esteem, and allows people to re-enter society; attending the fundraiser and supporting the clinic will help us continue to provide the best treatment available.”

Michael McDaniel serves on the Board of BMDC and worked in the dental field for 50 years. “I would encourage anyone who has a heart to help others to come to an evening of sharing and caring,” he said.

“I like a quote from John Bunyon,” he continued, “‘you have not lived a day until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.’ This clinic is a living and active example of that. At the event, you’ll hear from our patients who have had their lives changed by the BMDC. The chance to be involved with a dental clinic that helps so many is a real joy.”

While helping clients is the biggest priority of the BMDC, it is also an important place for education and collaboration in the dental community. Grady Health Systems will be honored at Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures as our Outstanding Community Partner. The longtime collaboration began when the BMDC was connected with the free Oral Health Center of Grady’s Ponce Program, a dental clinic for HIV positive patients started by Dr. David Reznik.

“We are training the next generation on how to manage medically complex patients, which is important as our population gets older,” said Dr. Reznik. Through their shared program, dental residents work in both clinics to expand access to care in low-income and HIV positive populations while gaining valuable clinical experience.

Distinguished Honorees:

“It’s my personal honor to say, ‘thank you’ to the world’s most dedicated volunteers,” said BMDC Director Barbara Jones, “who continue to give back of their time and talents without reservations.”

We look forward to honoring the following individuals at Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures:

Dr. Jonathan Dubin and Dr. Richard Weinman

Liaisons to Dental College of Georgia

Dr. David Kurtzman

Liaison to the Dental Residency Program

Dr. Joel Adler

Longest Serving Volunteer

Dr. Stephen Bankston

Chief of Staff

Dr. David Zelby

Immediate Past Chief of Staff

Dr. Michael Chalef and Mike McDaniel

Philanthropic Champions

Grady Health Systems

Outstanding Community Partner

We hope you’ll join us March 14 to invest in the future of the Ben Massell Dental Clinic at our Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures event. Purchase tickets or donate here.