1/16/13 – Two Volunteer Dentists Named “GKAS Heroes”

ST. LOUIS, MO, Jan. 16, 2013 … Heroes are often thought of as colorful, spandex-covered characters with superpowers who save the world from imminent destruction. But, the truth is there are heroes who look and act just like mere mortals. They can be seen lending their time and talents to provide much needed dental care to hundreds of local children at Give Kids A Smile’s (GKAS) free, bi-annual dental clinics. Two such individuals are Rob Shapiro, DDS, of Creve Coeur, Mo., and Charles Mattingly, DDS, of Columbia, Mo., who were recently presented with “GKAS Heroes” awards for their unwavering commitment to the mission of the GKAS organization.

GKAS clinics have been held over a two-day period each spring and fall for over a decade. Approximately 600 infants, toddlers and school-aged children are seen by dental professionals each clinic, often filling available time slots to capacity. It is difficult for GKAS organizers to find specialists to serve at the clinics, as well as doctors willing to commit to a full day of restorative care.  However, that has never been the case for honorees Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Mattingly.

Dr. Shapiro of Orthodontic Specialists of St. Louis has been volunteering at every GKAS clinic for 11 years. He works in the triage area of each clinic, helping to identify needs and streamline treatment plans. He often selects a child needing orthodontic care and generously provides it to them at his own office.  Dr. Shapiro is a board certified orthodontist with 25 years of industry experience. He is a member of a number of different professional organizations and serves as a board member for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society.

Likewise, Dr. Mattingly, who currently provides dentistry at the Missouri Department of Mental Health at the Fulton State Hospital, has committed to lending his services all day, both days of every clinic since the very beginning. He works in the restorative area of the clinic and also performs oral surgeries. He travels to St. Louis from Columbia at his own expense. GKAS doesn’t even have to contact him, he is an automatic volunteer. Prior

to working at the Fulton State Hospital, he owned his own private practice in Columbia for 17 years. In addition to GKAS, Dr. Mattingly helps to feed the poor through the Loaves & Fishes program and is part of The ManKind Project, an international initiative to encourage the fulfillment of men in their families and society.

“As dentists we understand how difficult it can be to work outside of our own well controlled environment and using equipment we are not used to,” commented Thomas C. Flavin, DDS, president of the board of directors for Give Kids A Smile. “As such, having people like Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Mattingly, whom we can count on is a Godsend. These men are generous individuals and we are proud to call them colleagues and friends. Without them, and so many other volunteers, this organization would not exist.”

Give Kids A Smile has provided 11,168 local children with over $5.4 million in free dental care services through 22 consecutive dental clinics held since 2002. The “GKAS Heroes” award is presented annually. Last year’s honoree was John P. Vogl, DDS, of Manchester. All recipients must be licensed dentists who have made a significant contribution to the Give Kids A Smile clinics and/or its other community outreach events.

To learn more about the work of Give Kids A Smile call, 636-397-6453, visit www.gkas.org, find them on Facebook under Give Kids A Smile St. Louis or follow them on Twitter at @GKAS_StLouis.

Give Kids a Smile was developed by Jeffrey Dalin, DDS; B. Ray Storm, DDS; Tom Flavin, DDS; Mark Ortinau, DDS and Jan Storm, RDHB, in February 2002 to provide children of families who cannot currently afford dental care with access to the benefits of modern dentistry. GKAS has been made possible thanks to major local contributors including Delta Dental of Missouri, Keller Dental Laboratory, Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education, the Missouri Dental Association, Patterson Dental, Goetze Dental, Guardian Life Insurance and First Pacific Corporation and others; as well as through the support of the Greater St. Louis Dental Society and Young Dental and national sponsors Colgate, Henry Shein Dental and Dexis.

For more information, contact:

Kelly Harris, The Hauser Group. (314) 436-9090; Kelly@HauserGroupPR.com

Joan Allen, Give Kids A Smile. (636) 397-6453