Honoring veterans with dental care

Dove Fife was an Army Air Corps nurse during World War II

While I am not a veteran, I do have a soft spot for veterans and Harrison Dental’s main charity work consists of assisting veterans, mostly from the VA Nursing Home, also in Boise’s North End. The VA is limited in its dental services and appreciates the assistance of a full-service dental office like Harrison Dentalto  supplement their care.

My appreciation for veterans is a legacy of my parents, both of whom served in WWII. My father, Leland, was an officer on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean and my mother Dove was a nurse in the Army Air Corps. She card for injured pilots in the middle of the corn fields of Nebraska.

Leland Fife was an officer on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean during World War II

They were married on a short leave in the middle of the war and, after a honeymoon of just a couple of days, went back to their respective posts. I think they spent less than 30 days together during the first two years of their married lives – truly a sacrifice.

They made up for lost time, though, and were married 66 years! My dad passed away last year at 91 and my mom is still going strong and will be 91 in February 2012.

My parents leave a legacy of a strong marriage, great family and service to their nation. I was never drafted or asked to serve, so I cannot say I am a veteran. However, the good example my parents set has made a lifelong impression on me and I think that is one reason why I dedicate my skills and time to assist needy veterans.

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Medicaid changes force dropping out of program

Due to recent changes in the MEDICAID dental program, after 35 years of being a major provider for them, we have had to resign.  The new restrictions and regulations have made it impossible for us to provide the type of care that we are committed to provide to all of our patients, regardless of how the bill is paid.

Taking care of all patients is our top priority at Harrison Dental.

While I agree with the State Government’s efforts to balance the budget, and see the MEDICAID changes as logically stemming form that effort, I don’t agree with some of the decisions that have been made concerning the dental program.

I feel confident that the needed savings could have been achieved and still leave a program that would have worked for children and the offices that chose to continue to treat them.  We would have been glad to be one of those, but despite our best efforts, we were ignored.  There likely are things that we are not aware off that entered into the decisions made, but once again would have liked a chance to assist in the process.

Because of our willingness to do so, and because it is near by, we have been providing dental care to many of the residents of the Idaho State Veterans Home, most of whom are dependent on MEDICAID for their dental care.  With the new changes to the program, adult services are limited to emergency treatment of pain only, and with numerous hoops to jump through before that emergency treatment can be provided.

By resigning as a provider it will allow us to provide the treatment that is needed without government regulations getting in the way.  Of course there often will be no money to pay for treatment unless family members are able to help.  In an honest effort to do our part we are providing dental treatment to our Veterans in the VA Nursing Home at no cost or low cost when there are no other options for them.  We feel like they deserve no less.  We all owe them a debt that we can never repay.  Hopefully we will be able to do this financially for the duration.  With support from the community, in the form of their continued patronage of our office, we think we will.