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On the Town: Changing of the guard at Glendale Healthy Kids

September 04, 2012|By Ruth Sowby
  • Posing for a photo after the sun went down are new Glendale Healthy Kids Board Members, from left, Patrick Campbell, Lola Abrahamian, Alina Der Sarkissian and Gary Montecuollo.
Posing for a photo after the sun went down are new Glendale…

From the porch of her Glendale home, new Glendale Healthy Kids Executive Director Sharon Roth greeted her outgoing and incoming boards. On a hot Wednesday night (Aug. 29), several dozen officers and supporters headed for the cold beverages and a healthy Mediterranean feast.

But first they gathered to congratulate those putting in countless hours in support of local children who are going without medical and dental care. For 19 years, Glendale Healthy Kids has been providing those services for free. Founding President Bruce Hinckley filled his audience in on the beginnings of the organization.

A third-grade boy badly in need of glasses from Horace Mann Elementary School was Hinckley's inspiration for reaching out to Glendale's three hospitals, Glendale Memorial, Glendale Adventist and Verdugo Hills Hospital, for a little help. The city of Glendale and the Glendale Unified School District also stepped up to provide services. This coalition is “fantastic,” Hinckley said.

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Past President Cathy Keen related her own story of reaching out to Joseph, an emancipated orphan. Joseph's teeth were badly in need of dental care. USC's Dental Clinic staff provided a full set of dental X-rays and began the lengthy process of giving Joseph back his smile. Keen took on the task of driving Joseph to his dental appointments for those three years.

“He's now a member of our family,” Keen said. “He calls me ‘Mama Keen.'” Keen's children tutored Joseph so he could obtain his GED degree and cheered him from the bleachers when he graduated from Glendale Community College.

Two dental providers for Glendale Healthy Kids made a welcome appearance. Dr. Gary Finer and Dr. Bill Wilkie regularly provide their young patients with the services they so badly need.

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