Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 31
Below: Patients with teeth in an advanced
state of decay are a common sight in the
dental clinic, where extractions are often
the last option for treatment. "Before I came
here, I had never seen anything like this,"
says Dental Assistant Maxine Horgan. "It was
a shock, really." Right: Dr. Stan Hall, right,
Dental Assistant Sachiko Cantrell and Maxine
prepare to extract another patient's tooth.
"Some of what we see in younger patients is
from smoking, poor eating habits and some
drug use - most of the time meth, which
is why the teeth deteriorate so quickly,"
Sachiko says. "If we can get it cleaned up, it is
much healthier for them."
With grants also helping to keep the doors open, the caregiving falls to a receives insulin through prescription assistance programs that would typirotating staff of 130 volunteers, including cleaning and ofﬁce workers. Most cally cost around $2,500 a month. Like Charlie, she now feels she is in control
arrive after already working a full day's shift. Dentists are the most needed of her own health.
"There's no way I could buy that medicine, no way on earth. I would just
in order to whittle down a waiting list of more than 1,000 patients. Sheri
estimates some have waited more than two years for an appointment. Dr. have to do without it," Lesle says. "This all basically revolves around keeping
Stan Hall, recently retired from his practice in Springﬁeld, says with limited me alive, so pretty much they've saved me."
As for his role in bringing those life-saving pieces together, Dr. Roberts is
resources, all he can do is a checkup and, as is often necessary, extractions.
"It's pain control and getting people ready to have dentures," Stan explains. quick to give the credit to others.
"There's more to it than any one person," Jon says. "The community has
"The patients are kind of at the end of the line as far as their dental health is
come together, that's what it is. I know that we've been given a gift and I conconcerned."
One patient, who asked only to be identiﬁed as Derek, is in such straits. sider this God's clinic."
So poor is Derek's dental health that Dr. Hall has prescribed him antibiotics
Honing the edge
before his remaining teeth can be extracted. Working at a sawmill in southern
Missouri, Derek says he stretches his paycheck to pay for rent, car insurance
South of town there's a different sort of healing taking place on 285 acres
and to take care of his newborn son. The remainder won't allow for the antibiat Whetstone Boys Ranch. But the work is being done toward the same higher
otic prescription or spending up to $120 per tooth to have them removed.
"A lot of people in the area, I don't want to say that we're poor, but we're purpose of helping those in need - speciﬁcally, boys 11 to 15 years old from
riding the line," Derek says. Then, gesturing to his teeth, he adds, "Don't get around the country who are managing emotional conﬂict, childhood trauma
me wrong - this is my fault. I used to be a really bad drug addict, so I did this, and learning disabilities.
"The goal is to reunify them with the family unit and have a better combut there are people who didn't make those kinds of choices
munication platform," says Whetstone's Director of Development Brandon
and have this or are worse off."
Maxwell. "We're not here to ﬁx boys and then send them home. We're
Mountain View resident Charlie Hahn feels he has it betteaching them how to learn better and cope better."
ter than most thanks to the clinic. He came to Good SamariThe therapeutic boarding school, served by Howell-Oregon Electric
tan on a whim one day when he felt under the weather and
Cooperative, was founded by Brandon and friends Nathan Dahlstrom
found out he had high cholesterol, high blood pressure and was
and Jeremy Thompson in 2006. The trio found the ranch's name
diabetic. After meeting with Dr. Roberts and being connected
in Proverbs 27:17: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens
with a dietitian, Charlie is managing his disease and running his
another," and its mission to sharpen the character of young men
own seasonal food truck.
and shape the future of families. Or as Brandon puts it, "Good
"I came to the Ozarks with a dog and a bag of clothing, and
men don't happen by accident."
now I'm married and building up my business," Charlie says. He
Yet accidents have their roles to play in shaping destinies. On
pauses, thinking back seven years to the time when he was living
April 3, 2015 - Good Friday - an F-2 tornado struck Whetstone.
in a tent in Eminence. "I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't
After cutting a swath through a pine and walnut grove nearby, the twister
found this clinic."
Lesle Dothage recognizes that feeling. She drives an hour and 15 minutes ripped a three-car garage and barn off their foundations and blew out 20 winto the clinic from Ellsinore because she simply has no other options. Since dows in the ranch house. Whetstone had to ﬁnd relocation programs for the
coming here, however, she's been able to join Weight Watchers, get a pair six boys staying there.
(continued on next page)
of glasses and the loan of a CPAP machine. Perhaps most importantly, she
Bottom left: Charlie Hahn regularly visits the clinic to help manage long-term health concerns. Bottom right: Cordell Houtchens, right, assists a boy during morning school hours.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - August 2018
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Intro
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Contents
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 4
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 5
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 6
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - 7
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Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - August 2018 - Cover4