In a Nutshell
The Henning Emergency Clinic of Kindness, or H.E.C.K., is the only not-for-profit dental clinic in the South Okanagan. We are pleased to announce that we have been examining, diagnosing and treating youth, adults and seniors at our new, permanent location since March 26, 2014. The H.E.C.K. Society has been working on this initiative since August of 2011. We held our first Not-for-Profit Dental Clinic in the basement of the United Church in Penticton. Since then, we have held 18 Dental Clinics in various participating Dental offices in the South Okanagan. We have treated approximately 345 individuals who suffered with tooth pain, infection or loss of function. H.E.C.K. has also hosted four free Chiropractic Clinics and three free Hearing Screening Clinics for the same low /fixed income demographic that our dental clinics serve .
In our permanent location, the H.E.C.K. Clinic serves the people of the South Okanagan. We are proud to have increased access to dental care by offering emergency dental treatment to low/fixed income adults and seniors.
We currently run clinics for one to three days per month. Our aim is to be open at least one day per week, but this is not always possible, for various reasons.
The Origin of the Henning Emergency Kindness Clinic
The Henning Emergency Kindness Clinic was the brainchild of Greta Henning. While working as a certified dental assistant at the Penticton Health Centre, Greta recognized the need for accessible dental care. “For reasons of poverty, mental illness, and instability in its many forms,” she said, “there are many who have trouble accessing dental care.” Greta believes that everybody should be able to access this care, so, in 2011 she decided to be proactive.
In August of 2011, with the help of Dr. Amaal Ayoub and a group of volunteers, Greta put on Penticton’s first free dental clinic, in an effort to provide relief for people who couldn’t otherwise afford that treatment.
Another free dental clinic at the end of September helped an additional 26 people. The day long clinic saw Dr. Ian Dickinson and Dr. Amaal Ayoub perform 64 extractions and six fillings, as well as some extensive scaling, and pain relief for their patients.
Greta continued to hold free dental clinics and she soon had major donors in the wings who were willing to help with the establishment of a permanent clinic. More and more people rallied to the cause and Greta’s dream became a reality. The H.E.C.K. (Henning Emergency Clinic of Kindness opened its doors on March 26, 2014. Thanks to BC Housing offering their caretaker’s suite in the former Penticton Retirement Centre on Winnipeg Street, the Henning Emergency Clinic of Kindness found a permanent home. The official ribbon cutting ceremony was held July 6, 2014 with many H.E.C.K supporters and clients present.
Left to Right: Dr. Amaal Ayoub, Greta Henning, and Stu Henning
Call to Action