The Saipan Seventh-day Adventist Clinic welcomed members of the community in its Open House event Friday, kicking off its three-day 40th anniversary festivities.
Dr. Kenneth Pierson, clinic director, said the event was aimed at celebrating a significant milestone in their history, which was made more special by the arrival of clinic founders, Dr. Steve and Karyl Fisher, who joined them in commemorating the event.
“We wanted to give the opportunity for people in the community to come and see them because there are still many people who remember them,” he said in an interview.
Additionally, Pierson said the open house highlighted the various outreach programs and community activities of the longest-established dental clinic in the Northern Marianas.
Through the years, the Saipan SDA Clinic has been well-known for initiatives like the Give Kids A Smile, its scholarship program for the SDA School, oral health presentations in schools, off-island mission trips, and cancer prevention and betel nut studies.
The clinic staff set up booths detailing each of these projects for Friday's event, allowing guests to learn more about how Saipan SDA Clinic provides dental services in accordance with their Christian beliefs and principles.
Being around for 40 years to serve the community has been their biggest achievement, according to Pierson.
“You never know what the future holds but we're just so grateful to God that He has sustained us, that we're still able to be here to provide the service that we do and hopefully continue to grow, expand and keep people's trust,” he said.
Being a church-owned organization also helps, said Pierson, allowing them to remain and provide high quality service using the highest standards of ethics-the very foundation of the Saipan SDA Clinic.
“The main purpose is to serve the people and meet their needs so at this point, we are meeting the needs of the community as far as dental and general health,” he added.
With four full-time and two part-time doctors at the clinic, Pierson said they have enough staff that would afford them to go to Tinian and Rota where they can extend treatment and services.
“In the future, it would be best to kind of have a satellite clinic there. It's possible but at this point, we don't have immediate plans on that,” said Pierson, adding that they continue to maintain their satellite clinic in Kagman.
Friday's event opened with a brief ceremony for the clinic staff from the management and students of the SDA School.
Newly hired principal Sharon Nguyen led 29 students from the school's Child Development Center and elementary campus and several faculty and staff in expressing their appreciation for the SDA Clinic which has supported them through the annual scholarship program.
For two years now, the clinic has donated about $50,000 every year, allowing qualified students to receive private Christian education at SDA School. Pierson said they plan to continue and possibly expand the scholarship program. “By God's grace, as long as we're able to, we will.”
Nguyen, in her remarks, compared the students to “treasures being stored in heaven” through the generosity of the clinic despite the struggling economy that is felt “very deeply” in the CNMI.
“I can only assume those struggles make their way to the clinic as well,” she said. “However, the clinic reaches deep down into their hearts and finances in order to store treasures not on this earth, but in heaven.”
Nguyen also presented the clinic a plaque of appreciation for its good deeds for the school, which was accepted by Pierson.
The students, meanwhile, also presented a whiteboard bearing the words “Thank You” and the signatures of the students who benefit in the scholarship program, as well as leis and mwar-mwars to clinic officials and board members.
Guests at the open house enjoyed healthy refreshments. The anniversary celebration carried on with a church service and program Saturday and a luncheon at Pacific Islands Club Saipan yesterday.