Smile DREAM – Bringing the Practice to the Patients
Vatech has been actively participating in its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) since 2016. One of Vatech’s subsidiary, Vatech Korea, has partnered with the Smile foundation to provide treatment for the disabled by touring facilities for the disabled all around Korea with its mobile dental care program.
“Smile DREAM” is a volunteer program designed to provide dental care to the disabled by bringing the practice to the patients. Participating in this program has helped increase Vatech’s Identity with the public. On June of this year, 54 volunteers (consisting of Vatech employees and their family members) participated in the Smile Dream program by providing oral education, assisting in medical guidance and treatment, and maintaining sanitation in the facility.
“The meaning of us all coexist together became much more apparent through my time volunteering for Smile Dream. Although it was physically tiring, seeing both the youth and elders never losing their smiles throughout the day helped me to realize that they are not just “others” but instead my neighbors.
I would like to thank the employees in the Smile foundation for understanding the needs and for supporting the disabled. Also, I would like to thank my wife and daughter (Min Jung) for volunteering through the entire program with a smile on their faces.”
“I was reminded again of what it means to share through my participation in Smile Dream.
My assigned duty was to help move and assist disabled patients in wheel chairs by helping to place their bodies correctly in order to be diagnosed and to receive proper treatment. While holding the patients head so that they do not move during the treatment, rather than thinking that this is tiring, I was more focused on the patients receiving proper treatment without getting hurt. Participating in this volunteer program was very rewarding for me. To be able to assist even in the slightest, in helping people to live a bit more comfortably and to bring joy in their lives.”
“It was very meaningful for my family to volunteer and serve together. I believe it was a great experience for my daughter as well. Although it was a short-term volunteer service, it was rewarding to have helped others, I felt proud of my family to have participated. It was also an opportunity for us to interact with people with disabilities and to understand them better.”
“I usually think to myself ‘I want to volunteer’ but when the day actually came, especially on a Sunday morning, I struggled to actually participate. The disabled patients were patients with polio disorder, they had required for us to carry them in order for them to receive treatment. Even though they knew that we were volunteers and that we were there to help them, they were as equally nervous as we were. Some patients would scream and some would try to move their body relentlessly. One of the volunteers actually even had their hand bitten by one of the patients. I was assigned the role of supporting the patients head. Holding their head too tightly felt too straining and holding their head too loosely would endanger them while being scanned. It was extremely difficult.
At times, I would make eye contact with the patients and try to transmit my sincerity in order for them to trust me and for them to stop struggling so much. There was even a patient who required 6 to 7 people to help hold down in order for them to receive treatment. Although all the patients had a tough time while receiving treatment, they ultimately had a smile on their faces after completing the procedures and was able to feel a sense of dignity.
Even though I was physically exhausted, seeing the smile on the patients faces made it all worthwhile. I came to the realization that volunteering is an act of self-healing and I believe all of my peers would agree with me as well.”
“I was a bit hesitant to volunteer initially. However, once I started participating, I started feeling a sense of pride knowing that I am able to help those who have a slightly more difficulty in bodily movement. The more I interacted with the patients, the more I felt like I was healing myself. It was a great experience for me.”
If there is no mobile dental care program, there is almost no opportunity for disabled patients who reside in those facilities to receive treatment. Also, without assistances to help hold down patients with disabilities who are easily scared by the sound and movement of the medical devices, it is difficult to properly treat them. All the volunteers remained vigilant and were constantly worried for the safety of the patients. Thank you to all the volunteers from Vatech Korea for providing your time and effort for this wonderful cause.
Smile Dream is a program that brings the practice to the patients. I would like to extend an invitation to all to sign up for this volunteer program, which is very meaningful and fulfilling.