Submitted by Unity Care NW, written by Dental Director Carrie Shane, DDS

I have had the honor of being the Dental Director for Unity Care NW for more than 20 years. The fact that dental health affects all health is often on my mind, and it’s why I appreciate the whole person care model that Unity Care NW provides.  Our team has helped thousands of Whatcom County friends and neighbors access dental care, and one story that will forever be in my heart is Garron’s journey to a life-saving procedure. 

Carrie Shane, DDS shares how dental health was a matter of life or death for one of Unity Care NW’s patients. Photo courtesy Unity Care NW

After spending 11 years on dialysis, Garron was finally eligible to get on the list for a kidney transplant. His excitement was dampened when he found out that to take the next steps, he needed to be in the best health possible – which meant no dental cavities. His Medicare plan helped cover costs of his kidney failure, but it didn’t cover dental care. Garron had multiple cavities, but he couldn’t afford to care for his teeth. Luckily, a friend suggested that he contact Unity Care NW. He connected with my team and worked out a treatment plan. His spirits were lifted when he found out that he could access our Sliding Fee Discount Program, making his care affordable.

Now, Garron is cavity free and has a new kidney. He shared with my team that he felt relieved and deeply thankful for Unity Care NW’s services made possible by generous donations.

Unity Care NW is a non-profit community health center that never refuses health care to anyone regardless of ability to pay. The Sliding Fee Discount Program at Unity Care NW, is made possible in part from local donors. To contribute to care for patients like Garron, go to https://unitycarenw.org/give.

Even during a pandemic, our team continues to make sure that Garron, and thousands of others, receive top-notch medical, dental, pharmacy, and behavioral health services. At Unity Care NW, we know that health can’t wait and everyone deserves the opportunity to live their healthiest life. That’s why every donation made to Unity Care NW is so vital to ensuring that the amount of money a person has does not determine how healthy they get to be.

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