Integrity serves 250 patientsPublished 9:14pm Thursday, July 5, 2012
During their mission trip to Meto, Kenya last month, the 14 men and women representing the non-profit organization Integrity Worldwide saw more than 250 patients and pulled more than 500 teeth.
Working primarily in the Maasai Village, the 14 members, led by local pediatric dentist Dr. Donnie Russell and Selma orthodontist Dr. Brett Wood, treated locals for tooth infections, taught methods of preventative dental care, provided lunches for school children and more.
Averee Hicks, co-founder of Integrity Worldwide, was one of 13 Selma residents to travel to Meto from May 24-June 4. Hicks said the group was able to set up the dental clinic in a building that housed an area library for the 10-day trip.
“We’re a Christian ministry, so for us, we felt called and led to go,” Hicks said. “I think being able to go to Meto, for us, has to do with just loving God and then being able to express that love to other people as he has taught us to do.”
As for the dental equipment used on the trip, the group did not pack lightly.
A 45-pound dental unit purchased by Russell’s daughter and son-in-law, Drs. James and Rayne Osborn, of Children’s Dentistry of Central Alabama, accompanied the group on the trek, as well as instruments given to Integrity Worldwide in honor of the late Dr. Bracey Cross by his wife, Peggy, and daughter, Helen.
“We’re all so grateful for the supplies given to us in support of this mission,” Hicks said.
Hicks said members of Integrity Worldwide travel to Kenya every couple of months, although large teams of volunteers do not always accompany them. She said she expects another full-fledged team trip to occur sometime early next year.
“It’s an awesome privilege that we’ve been called to go and do and we can’t believe that we’re the ones who get to go do that,” Hicks said. “The fact that we get to take people with us to go and experience this group of people who are so loving and so valuable and have so much going for them, but just don’t really have the resources and ability to access things that we take for granted here in the United States like water and antibiotics, is just great.”
Hicks said the process is an ongoing one, as medical care is very much needed throughout Kenya, especially in Meto and the Maasai Village.
Team members who attended Integrity Worldwide’s most recent trip were: Alan Hicks, Jr., Dr. Donnie and Cherry Russell, Dr. Brett Wood, Janet Atchison, Catherine Gilmer, Todd, Dana, Reed, Kyle and Jack Stewart, Robert Armstrong IV and Dr. Alan and Averee Hicks.