The Rotary Club of Saipan is taking the lead in efforts to revive the dental clinic on Rota.
Speaking in the presence of Rota Legislative Delegation members and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. acting CEO Esther Muña yesterday, club president Laila Y. Boyer told members that “Rotary Club will provide all necessary equipment for a fully functional dental clinic” on Rota.
The island currently has no dental clinic.
Dr. Kenneth Pierson, clinic director of the Saipan Seventh-day Adventist Clinic, explained that when he first went to Rota, he found out that dental care was greatly needed there and that people on Rota are forced to buy plane tickets to fly to Guam or Saipan just to obtain dental services.
He told Rotary members that the space at the old dental facility is “structurally sound and it’s part of the hospital’s structure” but still needs renovation on the floors, windows, and roofs.
On his recent visit to the Rota Health Center, he shared about taking care of patients with limited resources and using only the equipment the team had brought over. “The only procedure that we could perform was extraction,” he said.
Bank of Saipan president and CEO John Bargfrede explained the cost and commitments to the Rotary members. “I was able to talk to Bank of Saipan management and they’re able to give free checking account and free checks,” he said.
Rotary Club past president Pete Shilling also announced a Rotary Global Grant that will provide the remaining funds to fully fund the project.
Speaking to Rotary Club members, Rota Mayor Melchor Mendiola said, “I should be smiling right now but I have a dental problem,” drawing laughs from the audience.
Mendiola said this project will help the community of Rota and, with the economic and financial problems happening right now, it will be a great help to push for this project because “flying from one island to another and back is costly.”
Mendiola later told Saipan Tribune that he would be meeting with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. board, Gov. Eloy S. Inos, and Sen. Jovita Taimanao (Ind-Rota), to get more traction for this project.
Taimanao told Saipan Tribune that the delegation is pushing for a dental clinic to help the Rota community and they are thankful to the Rotary Club of Saipan for helping. (Jayson Camacho)