Dr. Gradwell and his family are home safe from the medical/dental mission trip to Malawi, Africa. He started the portable dental clinic 4 years ago and it has grown to 3 chairs and 2 working dental units. The units run by a generator purchased by Dr. Gradwell in 2018. A far cry from the plastic patio chair and a headlamp when he first went.
Dr. Gradwell saw 283 patients in the Kalina Clinic in Zomba providence in Malawi. He has a passion for outreach and is blessed to be on this team. Villages in Partnership is the non-profit organization that sponsors the medical team. This year we saw 5,502 patients in total. God has worked through each person on the team to achieve such a wonderful goal.
One of the patients was a 97-year-old woman that they treated in the back of a land cruiser because she was too weak to enter the clinic area. She required an extraction of a severely infected tooth and given antibiotics. (Picture below)
They did village home visits where locals were given blankets and clothing. Dr. Gradwell’s son, Sean was especially moved by this as seen in one of the photos below.
Another photo below is of Dr. Gradwell cleaning one of the dental therapist’s teeth. Titus is a dental therapist who works for the Malawian government. On these mission trips, Titus, works VIP and volunteers his time to help treat the needs of the dental patients in the village.
Fortunately, right now it is winter in Africa so the temps hovered in the 70’s. It was a perfect temperature to work and helped keep us all busy during our daily clinics.
Dr. Gradwell left this past Sunday for another medical mission trip to Malawi, Africa. Please keep him and his team in your prayers. We have been in limited contact with him, below is our latest update from him that he wanted us to share with all of you! We, meaning myself and two talented Malawian dentists, saw 96 patients in the dental clinic today. 96! And I am confident the next few days the numbers will be even higher and that’s because access to care and dental supplies is so limited here. The government dental clinics have not had any lidocaine for the past three months so they have not been able to perform any extractions. Can you imagine having to wait for months to have a painful, decaying tooth extracted? With poor access to care, extractions are the most frequent and required treatment option for the villagers and care in these remote villages is done without electricity or running water. With the commitment of our Malawian partners and with support from my colleagues in the US we are trying to shift that paradigm. Each year that I have returned to this community we have brought additional materials and equipment to support more treatment options. In 2014, we were only able to provide extractions and we did so with patients sitting in two plastic lawn chairs. Today we have three Asceptico dental chairs a generator and portable dental handpieces. This year we added a portable cavitron machine which will allow us the ability to clean teeth and treat periodontal disease. We also brought restorative materials for doing dental fillings, meaning we can repair teeth instead of extracting them. All of this equipment is used during monthly dental clinics run by VIP (Villages in Partnership). It’s exciting and invigorating to impact such critical needs and to do so in a great partnership with my Malawian dental colleagues. It’s time for bed now because hundreds will be waiting tomorrow. 2nd update: 90 patients were seen today!
This past weekend, Dr. Gradwell and Dr. Freedman volunteered their time working at MOM-n-PA dental mission at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Scranton, PA where they ran Radiology! Over 1,600 people treated in two days by over 200 dentists and 1,000 lay volunteers. Next year it will be in Philadelphia!
Dr. Gradwell and Dr. Wallinger-Lee were moderators at the 2019 Greater Philadelphia Dental meeting. They hosted Ms. Pam Smith who lectured on Inflammatory Disease and “We are what we eat”. It was an honor for Dr. Gradwell to spend the day in conference with Pam.
Our surgical dental assistant, Rachel, is having a baby girl in March. Today, at lunch, we showered her with gifts for her new bundle of joy. Rachel also has a 7 year old daughter who is excited to be a great big sister! Congratulations and we will miss you while you are out.
We also would like to welcome Jose, who is a new addition to our office and will be filling in for Rachel while she is on maternity leave. We met Jose when he came to our office to observe Dr. Gradwell and his Periodontal background. Jose became a dentist in the Dominican Republic and wants to pursue his career here in the states.
This past weekend, Dr. Gradwell had the honor of being in the volunteer brigade at Arlington National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America. Dr. Gradwell and Eileen placed 110 wreaths at the cemetery in honor of fallen veterans. It may have been a rainy day, but felt like sunshine doing this honor.
Dr. Gradwell practices twice a month as the surgeon in a Harleysville, PA office with Dr. Gronki and Dr. Daschbach. Dr. Gradwell and Marlene, a dental assistant at the office, enjoy having cooking contests with each other. Yesterday, they had a chili cook off at the office which ended in a complete tie! This was their 4th cooking contest together. What will be the next thing they make for their next cook off?!
Dr. Gradwell’s medical mission trip to Malawi, Africa recently brought much joy to his life! He has been to Malawi on a medical mission trip for 4 years now and the dental clinic that Dr. Gradwell started there is progressing. However, what made this trip even more special was that his youngest daughter, Lauren, was asked to join him as a practicing Physcians Assistant. She ran her own clinic at Kalupe, one of four clinic sites that they set up for the mission trip. In all, there were 26 people who attended this years mission trip and together they saw 4500 patients to include 249 dental surgeries performed in 1 week. They took 11 bags of donated medical and dental supplies with them.
Dr. Gradwell is very proud of the dental clinic. He has worked hard to raise funds for portable dental equipment. They now have 2 dental chairs, 2 compressors and 2 dental drill sets so they can put fillings in teeth opposed to extracting them. The clinic is progressing and Dr. Gradwell will continue his efforts with his passion of mission to the people in Malawi.
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