When SEAL Team Three visited an orphanage and five schools in and around Kumasi, Ghana to provide free dental care to patients in need, First Lady Julia Osei Tutu, wife of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (King of Ghana), went to the Asem school to observe the team in action.
After her visit, she told the King about the care she witnessed and the students’ many smiles at day’s end. By the time the team flew home, a strong new partnership with the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation – the King’s organization to benefit his people – was in place. The Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation will ensure that the work of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation (SFE Foundation) continues for the people most in need of dentistry in Ghana.
International outposts similar to the one that will open in Ghana in May 2013 were set up following SEAL Team trips One and Two to Paraguay and Thailand. In Ghana, however, the outpost carries a special distinction – the enthusiastic support of the country’s leader.
The King began the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation in 2005 to improve the health, education, culture and sanitary conditions of his approximately 7 million subjects. The partnership with SFE Foundation is significant, since it’s the first time the King’s foundation has committed to providing dentistry for the population.
“The Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation is very well positioned to partner with the Smiles for Everyone Foundation and to help ensure that ongoing outreach efforts can provide a high level of care,” said Edward Ntim Addae, the co-director of the King’s organization. “We will be monitoring the project to ensure Smiles for Everyone Foundation achieves its goals in Ghana.”
In addition to reporting on the project’s results and developing a corps of volunteers, the King’s foundation will select schools and villages to which two complete mobile units will travel to provide treatment – especially to children – just as the SEAL Team did. Dr. Esther Mark, a local oral surgeon who worked closely with the SEAL Team during their visit, will lead volunteer doctors and the volunteer corps in delivering care.
Two SEAL Team Three members, Dr. Robert Crim, who practices at several Bright Now! Dental offices in the Tampa-St. Petersburg Market and is the Market Dental Director for Florida, and Dr. Karol Brown, who practices at the Dallas-Redbird Monarch Dental and is Market Dental Director for DFW-South, have volunteered to be ambassadors to the Ghana outpost, coaching and mentoring the local providers.