Sarrell expands officePublished 1:54pm Saturday, December 24, 2011
By Robert Hudson
The Selma Times-Journal
In order to meet the huge support from the community, the Sarrell Dental Center of Selma has expanded its staff.
Sarrell Dental Center has expanded its staff by adding a new dentist in Dr. Afton Cowen.
The dental center has also hired a new office manager in Kortney Gosha. Dave Dagostino, community outreach director for Sarrell Dental Center, said the moves were made to meet the demand of the community.
“Our support from the community has been overwhelming and they’ve really taken us in,” Dagostino said.
“That’s what spearheaded the hiring of Dr. Cowen. We needed to meet the needs of the community. They’ve been great and they’ve accepted us 100 percent. We try to return the favor and be at as many things in the community as we possibly can be.”
Sarrell, the largest nonprofit dental practice in the state, has locations in Pinson, Attalla and Clanton, and has been in Selma for nearly six months after opening in mid-July.
Dagostino said Sarrell is aiming to meet the needs of the community as it continues to grow.
“As we’ve grown, we had to meet the demands and support of the community as more and more patients have come through the door,” Dagostino said.
“We want to make sure we can provide for each and every one of them as if they were our own children.” Gosha said he’s excited about the opportunity to help out the Selma community.
“Well, I’m excited number one, just to have an opportunity to help the community and to help children,” Gosha said.
“We pride ourselves in what we do here and across the state of Alabama.”
Cowen said the new job has been great and she’s excited about the opportunity.
“It’s been a great experience,” Cowen said.
“This is what I went into dentistry for, to be able to help kids that really need the help. I’m really excited about it. Being in Selma’s a plus because it’s a smaller town and I’m from a small town, so it really hits home the good work we’re able to do here.”
The majority of Sarrell’s patients are children who are Medicaid and CHIP-eligible, and its work with those children earned it the honor of being named the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation organization of the year in 2010.
That same work has earned Sarrell recognition from the congressional liaison for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
“It’s obvious that it’s working,” said Heber Simmons after a recent visit to the company’s headquarters.
“All you’ve got to do is look at what they’re doing. Dentists have got to find a way to support this segment of the population.”