After a successful Scubafest 2004 with an estimated 1,000 in attendance, Denny Kaye, Treasurer of ScubaFest 2004 and 2005, presented Dr. Daniel E. Jolly, D. D. S. and President of the Honduras Dental Project, with a check in the amount of $3,000. "On behalf of the Ohio Council of Skin and Scuba Divers, Inc. and its members, ScubaFest 2004 is pleased to support this worthy charity," said Kaye, on presenting the check. The money was raised from registration fees, raffles, and a silent auction.
"We appreciate this financial support from the Ohio Council," said Jolly, on receiving the check. "The fund will assist with the purchase of medications and supplies, replacement of equipment, and support for the new clinic facility on Roatan." The construction of this permanent medical and dental clinic will be completed in the Sandy Bay/West End area of the island in 2005.
The Honduras Dental Clinic, operational since 1989, is a project of individuals from and affiliated with The Ohio State University and has been incorporated as a Not for Profit Corporation, Health Professionals Serving Humanity (HPSH). The clinic project is currently a mobile clinic and has provided basic dental services on the mainland of northern Honduras, as well as the Bay Islands of
Roatan and Guanaja. Following Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which devastated Guanaja, HPSH also provided additional emergency relief of medical supplies and personal items.
Currently HPSH operates the dental clinic on the island of Roatan just one week per year, generally in late January or early February. One of the HPSH Honduras Dental Clinic Project core team leaders (Peggy Stranges, RN) now lives on Roatan and operates a free medical and dental clinic. Each year the group consists of about 15 individuals, which include dental residents in graduate specialty training at OSU College of Dentistry. About a third are certified divers, including Jolly. Because electrical service is intermittent in Roatan, scuba tanks have been modified to run the dental drills.
The core team leaders (in addition to Ms. Stranges and Jolly) are Dr. Peter Larsen, D.D.S. and professor at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry; Scott Howard, R. Ph. (a pharmacist alumnus of OSU and staff at Mt. Carmel East); Dr. Shelley Shults, D.D.S. (an alumnus of OSU) and husband Kip Shults; Linda Beth Smith, R.N. from Columbus Children’s Hospital; Dr. Marcel Daneault, D.D.S. (an OSU alumnus;) and Beth Howard, a medical technician from the OSU Medical Center.
To date the project has provided approximately $2,000,000 in services to the poor and needy people of Honduras. Each participant provides costs for the project, which averages between $1,200 and $1,500 per person each year. Proceeds from ScubaFest 2005, to be held March 11-13, will also benefit the Honduras Dental Project. For further information, see http://www.scubafest.org