Messenger - Vol. 3, No. 1, Page 30
Fall 1993
Alumni Profile
Pro bono dentistry

     On Valentine's Day, dentist H. Dean McSpadden, Delaware '76, sees
patients who are happy to be sitting in a dental chair. "It's much
different from the kind of dentistry we do ordinarily. These are people who
have an overwhelming need to have dentistry done, and they're very
appreciative of our work. They thank us a thousand times."
     McSpadden and his six-member staff have set aside four days this year
at their Wilmington, Del., practice, including a Sunday, to see residents
of a local Child Inc. shelter for battered women and their children.
     A member of Doctors With A Heart, the world's largest,
doctor-sponsored charity, founded in 1986 with over 15,000 members from
dentists to podiatrists, McSpadden is the first Delaware doctor to
participate, although he says he has been approached by several colleagues
interested in joining the organization.
     He and his staff devoted seven hours last Valentine's Day, seeing over
20 people from the shelter. Since then, he has set aside days on three
other occasions for the same clientele.
     McSpadden says he is especially sympathetic to the plight of battered
women since his mother and sister were once victims.
     The doctor and his staff have addressed emergencies, such as  gum
disease, and they try to prevent other dental problems from occurring
through home-care instruction.
     "I think 90 percent of dentistry is home care; it's what the patients
do when they leave here. If we can teach them how to care for their mouths,
they will have taken a big step toward preventing bad things from
happening," he says.
                                        -Bill Clark, Delaware '82