The building where the Irvine Business Support, CBO and Contact Center for Smile Brands Inc. are located has security officers, called “lobby ambassadors,” to maintain a safe and secure workplace for tenants. Among the ambassadors’ responsibilities are welcoming employees and visitors upon arrival and bidding them farewell at the end of the workday.
Fabiola Alcantar, a Contact Center Patient Services Representative and her friend Marina (formerly in the CBO) became acquainted with one lobby ambassador, Darrel Brock, who typically is on duty when employees leave for home. Fabiola and Marina agreed that Darrel is a great example of an ambassador – friendly, courteous and helpful – but seemed reluctant to smile.
“We noticed that Darrel had some dental issues, and we wanted to help him,” says Fabiola. “When we heard about the Community Smile Project, and that Business Support employees could nominate candidates, we got excited!
“As soon as we could, we printed a nomination form, filled it out and showed it to Darrel,” Fabiola explains. “We were nervous because we didn’t know how he might react, but were relieved when he said he was flattered that we wanted to help him.”
CSP Connects Patients with Dentists
Darrel’s income and lack of dental coverage made him a candidate for the CSP program. Although he’s a veteran, having served in the Air Force for over 20 years, and has access to dentists through the Veterans Administration (VA), he readily admits they make him nervous.
“The VA is improving its quality of medical care, but I have a phobia of their dentists,” says Darrel. “A few years after being discharged from the Marine Corps, a friend of mine went to a VA dentist. His situation was like mine – he needed considerable work done – but instead they extracted all his teeth and gave him dentures,” explains Darrel. “The dentures never fit right so when we’d go out to eat, he would take them out. Of course that limited what he could eat, which added to my aversion of VA dentists.”
When he was selected to receive free treatment, SFE Foundation Manager Crystal Strait referred Darrel to Dr. Viet Dinh at the Newport Dental office in Westminster, Calif. During seven visits over two months, Dr. Dinh and his team provided Darrel with a cleaning, extractions, fillings, crowns and partials.
When asked if they would participate in the CSP again, the team agreed it was satisfying to help someone who is so gracious and has served his country so well.
“Darrel was very calm and understanding when we would get backed up,” explains Registered Dental Assistant Imelda “Mel” Pedro. “He would say, ‘Do what you need to do. I don’t mind waiting.’”
“These folks were so generous to donate their time to give me treatment,” says Darrel, “how could I not be flexible with them?”