July 20, 2005

Dental School gives care to migrant workers’ children
Twelve volunteers are helping migrant farm workers’ children in Olivia, Minn.
By Jerret Raffety

Andrea Ramirez, 9, found out last week that she is dangerously close to having her first cavity.

She received her checkup from the Dental School residents, students, faculty members and staff members. The group of 12 went to Olivia, Minn., for four days last week to offer free treatment to children of migrant workers between the ages of 3 and 12.

Andrea’s family came to Minnesota from Crystal City, Texas. Her father works in the sugar beet fields south of Blaine, Minn.

Jen Carpenter, Daily
Francisco Mesa and Judy Kale fill a child’s cavity Thursday in Olivia, Minn. A partnership between the Dental School and Head Start provides free dental care for children of migrant farm workers.

Andrea’s mother, Michelle Ramirez, said the children benefit in many ways from the Dental School volunteers.

“The most important thing is that most migrant families don’t qualify for medical assistance all the time, and this service is free so it really helps out,â€? Michelle Ramirez said. “When they come here, the dentists here teach them a lot â€