Dr. Matt Osepchook and staff from the West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic Society.

Local dental care organization wins Pacific Blue Cross funding

The West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic Society is the winner of Pacific Blue Cross’s 75th anniversary Share the Care campaign.

The West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic Society is the winner of Pacific Blue Cross’s 75th anniversary Share the Care campaign.

The society will receive a $50,000 donation from Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation after receiving the most votes in a video storytelling campaign.

Since 2014, the clinic has been operating in Nelson as a not-for-profit that offers high quality dental care for West Kootenay Boundary low income community members, including children, families and seniors.

Mara Sand, a board director for the society, found out they’d won on Thursday.

“I was bouncing off the walls with joy,” she said. “Just so happy, I can hardly contain my joy.”

In the video, Sand explained the society would open satellite clinics in the West Kootenay if they won the money. Now that the $50,000 donation is going to be a reality, Sand said there’s a lot of work to do to decide how many satellite clinics they’ll be able to open over the next few years, and where they’ll be located.

“We have a meeting on the fifth of February, and at that point we can have a clearer idea of what we can say we want to do and will be able to do,” she said. “We’ll make strategies on how to contact the areas and then how to go about making things happen.”

Sand wanted to thank the people who have worked with the society and at the clinic, and everyone who voted for their video during the campaign.

“Because without them, this wouldn’t have happened,” she said, “and it’s an amazing opportunity for us to be able to galvanize and help more people.”

The Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation wanted to do something special for its 75th anniversary so it started a campaign and chose five finalists from a list of 70 organizations it has funded to help improve health and well-being in BC.

“We were casting about for what we would do for our 75th anniversary and we thought, ‘Well, let’s stick with what’s meaningful for us, which is making contributions back to the community,’” said Jan K. Grude, Pacific Blue Cross president and CEO. “So we looked at all of the organizations that we have supported over the last several years, and through a selection process based on the quality of their work, our experience with them, the foundation board wrestled with who we would choose as our five finalists to compete for a $50,000 prize.”

Foundation members then asked BC residents to vote for their favourite finalist in a video storytelling campaign.

Over 16,000 BC residents voted during the three week campaign, and in total the campaign resulted in $75,000 in funding between the five organizations. Charlford House Society for Women in Burnaby is the runner up and will receive $10,000. The other three finalists will receive $5,000 each.

The West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic Society’s video can be seen at www.pac.bluecross.ca/75thAnniversary.