5:16 Clinic celebrates Grand Opening

·4 min read

Aug. 16—A new dental practice celebrated its official grand opening in style with a Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony. On Friday, a vast turnout of dignitaries and enthusiastic citizens filled the parking lot of the newly opened 5:16 Clinic.

The 5:16 Clinic serves uninsured and underinsured patients with non-emergency healthcare needs. The 5:16 Clinic, located at 810 East Mount Vernon Street, offers general dental care such as cleanings, gum disease treatments, fillings and extractions. It also offers basic health exams and management programs for diseases like high blood pressure, COPD, arthritis and diabetes.

One of the many people in attendance of the facility's grand opening was Cheri Ross, the widow of Dr. Danny D. Ross, who was honored at ribbon cutting event. The 5:16 Clinic's new location is the building of Dr. Ross's former practice. After Dr. Ross's passing in 2016, the building remaining unused until the start-up of the 5:16 Clinic almost six months ago.

"The re-purpose of the Danny D. Ross office building is a tribute to his legacy and to the future," stated Cheri Ross. "He would be pleased to bring together both the Christian idea of service and the focus of bringing healthy smiles to the under-served."

Local dentist Dr. Michael Pope and former community relations director for Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital Susan Wilson stated that the 5:16 Clinic's new location was a perfect fit.

"We really believe this is where we're supposed to be. It all worked out for the best," Pope said.

He added, "Dr. Ross was a caring, gentle soul. That's the best way I can describe him. He was a Godly man. and it's real neat for people who knew him to see this building come back to life."

In only six months of operation, the 5:16 Clinic is seeing great things happening with their work within the community.

Dental assistant Alisa Russell, who has worked in Dr. Pope's office for the past 12 years, has received plenty of positive feedback from the patients she has served while working at the 5:16 Clinic.

"Many of the patients I have talked to said they felt like everyone they came in contact with at the clinic seemed caring and they didn't feel like they were undeserving of the care that they were getting," Russell stated. "Dental care is very important. I think a lot of things people don't realize that healthy teeth is part of having a healthy body. Healthy teeth gives people high self-esteem and makes them feel good about themselves."

That was definitely the case with the 5:16 Clinic's first dental patient, Shannon Letson.

One of the first people to be treated was all smiles months later. Shannon Letson was so thankful with the dental care she received at the local 5:16 Clinic.

"I've had teeth pulled in the past, but I didn't have insurance to get all my teeth pulled or anything like that," Letson stated. "I actually got dentures, and they were very kind to me as being their first patient."

"This has completely changed my life," Letson stated. "I do have more confidence now, but the major thing is the infection is gone. All my teeth were rotten and they were infected. After they pulled them, a week later I had like a fog lifted from my head after the infection was gone."

"I feel so much better, so much healthier now," she added. "To me, I could be toothless and I would be happy with the situation, just because of the fact that I feel so much better now. and it's all thanks to Dr. Pope and everybody here for doing this for me. By the Grace of God, I was brought into this project and the care of the 5:16 Clinic."

The happiness of the many 5:16 Clinic patients is unmeasurable, and the staff has received many blessings of their own.

"I feel like we have blessed the people we have cared for at the clinic," stated 5:16 Clinic staff member Rebecca Barnett. "In return it's been a blessing to me to be able to help people that need help taking care of their mouth and getting healthier. It's been a real blessing to be able to give back."

"Every patient that walks through these doors is excited about the clinic," Barnett added. "We've never had anything like this in Pulaski County."

Dr. Gina Saindon had previously worked on several mission trips with some of her colleagues. Recently, some of her colleagues had reached out to her for her input on a similar volunteer-type clinic in the local area.

"I'm grateful to have the opportunity to give back to this community that's given so much to me and my family," Saindon stated. "I'm thankful that I have other professional people that are willing to volunteer. I feel like God has given me a talent, and I'm just happy to be able to use it here to help others."