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ADA 2019 Humanitarian Award Winner- Dr. Charles Craft

Four years old, my home was flattened by bomb and for many years just think about and how To have how to survive In 1992, I was able to travel in Vietnam. I was just shocked at the Devastation of the healthcare system and especially the children that didn’t have any hope for a better future So as an American I felt, you know partially responsible for the situation They were in I thought maybe I could see if there was something I could do to help He’s one of those people that when he says he’s going to do something oh my god he does it The East Meets West Dental program founded by Dr. Craft 25 years ago Has delivered over 30 million dollars of free treatment to more than a hundred and sixty five thousand Vietnamese children On a typical outreach will be their one to two weeks this program is built on volunteers We work with a lot of dental schools around the world So it’s not often that you get opportunities like this I think this is a really fast-paced environment and there’s about a thousand children that need to be seen I’ve really enjoyed just volunteering giving up my time to help other people, especially in this way. So I’m actually using the skills I’m learning at a dental school. So I think it’s a really good thing to do When we first set up the program and did the training, we were doing most the work now, it’s the Vietnamese treating Vietnamese people and running the program themselves Dr. Craft wants us to be well trained to be able to respond to any disaster To be able to help local people. It’s really inspiring What happens is you’ll meet someone for the first time and they’ll trust their children to your care and that’s very Very special emotionally and a very sacred trust and that’s where you’d say. I have to do the best for this person, I possibly can All the parents here really thank your team For helping them have good, beautiful teeth. Thanks to all the doctors who are dedicated to helping our children. The other thing that means a lot to me is that we work a lot with Vietnam American Veterans but Dr. Craft has done through the dental program and volunteers it helps in their heeling the the wounded soul There’s so many connections. It was just it was wonderful And if Dr. Craft did not been of the mind to put together the program that he had That would not be a complete circle U.S. Veterans they come back as friends as brothers and sisters. I Feel very happy and I’m so grateful for that. We’ve come full circle To where we were a former adversaries. So now we’re side-by-side working against dental disease

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