Tag Archives: Staff

Dr. Albers at COMOM 2019

Each year, Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) puts on an annual two day dental clinic. These clinics rotate among different cities in the state and usually take place in high schools or event centers. This year, it was time to visit the western slope. So, on October 3, Dr. Albers packed up his camper, closed the office, and set off for Glenwood Springs for the COMOM 2019 Dental Clinic.

COMOM Mission Statement

COMOM’s Mission Statement:  COMOM’s mission is to provide quality dental services, at no cost, to individuals of all ages who cannot afford and access dental care; eliminating dental pain, promoting oral health, creating smiles, and providing oral health education.

As noted above, dental care is provided for free on a “no questions asked” basis. Patients are screened and then receive treatment for their most pressing dental problems. Treatments provided include cleanings, fillings, root canals, and extractions. Importantly, patients also receive instruction in how to properly care for their teeth.

Dr. Albers and Staff at COMOM 2019

Dr. Albers picture in newsletterGiven the distance from Colorado Springs to Glenwood Springs and other conflicting events, we had a reduced presence this year compare to past years. Dr. Albers was joined by front desk person Michele, who served as his assistant, and hygienist Lee Ann, who helped in the oral cancer screening room. Carla and Indy also participated, although we’ll provide more information on that a little later.  Unfortunately, we forgot to get a group picture, but this one shows Dr. Albers featured in the local dental society newsletter.

To more efficiently treat patients, certain providers focus on one area. Some dentists do screenings all day. Others administer shots so that dentists doing the actual treatment don’t have to wait for patients to get numb. Dr. Albers typically works in the restorative section doing dental fillings. Other sections include pediatrics, oral surgery, and dental appliances, aka Flipperville! This segmentation of care provides the efficiency needed to see hundreds of patients each day.

This year, almost 1,500 adults and children received free dental care at COMOM 2019. Dr. Albers and his staff really enjoy this opportunity to help Coloradans in need.

Go Team Therapy Dogs at COMOM 2019

Indy surrounded by dental volunteersFor the third year in a row, Go Team Therapy, Airport and Crisis Dogs brought smiles to patients and staff alike. This year, Carla and Indy were the only team on Friday, when around 800 patients were seen. On Saturday, though, they were joined by Brinkley (handlers Debbie and Rich), as well as Pepper and Maya (handlers Lori and Steve). There are waiting lines both outside to get in, then once inside, to get into specific areas. Go Team dogs visit people in all these lines, which means a lot of walking for their handlers! While a lot of focus is given to patients, volunteers who watch the dogs interact with patients during the day also enjoy their time with the dogs.

Extra fun this year was an interaction Debbie had with a young man waiting for “teeth.”  Turns out he was a student of hers (she’s a retired teacher).  She remembers his bad bicycle crash.  Over the years, teeth damaged then and other issues caused her student to lose all his teeth.  After 5 years of going without, COMOM specialists were there to give him a new lease on life.  These clinics impact people in so many ways.

Go Team dogs and handlers

2019 Fall Staff Outing

Michele, Lee Ann, Jane and Susan in bubble wrapWhy did the staff show up at Garden of the Gods Visitor’s Center wrapped in bubble wrap? Because this year, our fall staff outing was a Segway tour of Garden of the Gods and they (the staff) love a good joke!

Fall Staff Outing

Yes, it’s that time of year again. We’ve had many fun outings over the years – sometimes outdoors such as the Royal Gorge or a drive for a casino visit in Cripple Creek, sometimes for lunch and shopping at the mall. But, this year’s outing may rank up at the top of the “most fun outing” list. It was actually two years delayed, as the first attempt found us at the visitor’s center with drizzly, foggy weather. This year, however, it was a spectacular sunny Colorado day.

Segway Training

Dr. Albers and staff doing Segway trainingFirst stop, Segway training. Guide Kevin gave a group briefing on what to expect. Next, he asked who everyone thought the most nervous participant was (Susan). So, Susan had first shot at getting on a Segway and learning to go forward, stop, and turn. Kevin left her to practice while he came back and started the next person. Once we were all on board, we practiced going up and down a hill. Then, back to the parking lot for a final form to sign saying we’d received the appropriate training.

Garden of the Gods Tour

Stop at an overlook in the parkStaff on Segways in the park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our staff includes three native Coloradans, and we’ve all lived in Colorado Springs for years and visited Garden of the Gods many times. But, none of us had ever had a formal tour of the park. We learned a lot of interesting information about the sandstone rocks, how they were formed, why some of the sandstone is red, some is white, and some is regular gray “rock” color. We also learned about names of some of the rock formations and how those names came about. Some we were familiar with (Kissing Camels), some we weren’t (Weeping Indian). We learned about the generous gift of the park to the City of Colorado Springs by the children of Charles Elliot Perkins, with the caveat that it will always be free and open to the public.

After our tour, we enjoyed a great lunch at The Grill at Kissing Camels with Judy B, who unfortunately broke her wrist (before our outing!) and was unable to join us on the tour.  It was a great way to spend time with each other outside of the dental office.

 

 

Dr. Albers at COMOM 2018

Dr. Albers with Michele, Carla and Indy, Jane and Susan.

COMOM 2018

Dr. Albers and his staff are active volunteers locally and across the state.  For a number of years, he and his staff have volunteered for COMOM.   What is COMOM, you ask?  Its website explains it best:

The Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) is a large-scale dental clinic that is held annually in a Colorado community. With 125 portable dental chairs, dental services are provided to adults, elderly, and children, who cannot afford dental care.  An outpouring of nearly 200 volunteer dentists from across the state – along with hundreds of dental hygienists, assistants, lab technicians, and a myriad of lay volunteers and other health professionals – work in tandem with community groups and agencies to better the oral health of individuals who come to the clinic.

COMOM Mission Statement

The Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) provides quality dental services, at no cost, to individuals of all ages who cannot afford and access dental care; eliminating dental pain, promoting oral health, creating smiles, and providing oral health education.  

This video from several years ago shows COMOM in action, including the impact it has on people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA50G0Ns0HY

Dr. Albers and Staff at COMOM 2018

Work space at COMOM 2018

Lots of volunteers

This year, Dr. Albers, assistant Susan, hygienist Jane, and front desk guru, Michele volunteered at COMOM 2018.  Susan assisted Dr. Albers.  Hygiene section lead, Jane, helped ensure the smooth flow of patients and otherwise helped trouble shoot problem areas. Michele helped in triage – where patients are assessed for dental health needs.

COMOM 2018 took place in Greeley, Colorado, with over 1200 volunteers registering to help.  Positions included obvious ones such as dentists, hygienists, oral surgeons, dental assistants, lab technicians and RN’s. Other volunteers set up portable dental units and hundreds of chairs for waiting patients, served food, helped sterilize equipment, etc.  All volunteers played an important role.   And, a few four-legged volunteers came to visit…

Go Team Therapy Dogs at COMOM

Indy visits kids at COMOM

Indy in the Pediatric Area

Indy with four volunteers

Indy with the Ladies

Last year, Carla approached COMOM about using therapy dogs to help distract patients and provide some much-needed love and affection during long waits for care.  She and Indy acted as a test case at COMOM 2017 in Pueblo, CO.  Indy was such a hit that they asked for more Go Team dog/handler teams this year.  On Friday, four teams provided some much needed “therapy,” and on Saturday, 5 teams were there.  Although a primary focus is always on the patients, it turns out that the dogs provided a lift to volunteers putting in long hours helping others.

 

 

Michele Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary with Dr. Albers

20 Years!

Michele holds flowers for her 20th anniversary

20 Years!

An office milestone – Michele reached her 20 year anniversary of working at our office! We appreciate our staff!

Michele currently runs our front desk but that isn’t where she started. Back in 1998, Michele became Dr. Albers’ dental assistant when her aunt, then Dr. Albers’ assistant, temporarily stepped away from assisting to raise her daughter. Michele assisted Dr. Albers for over 16 years, making the move to the front desk in late 2014. The experience she gained as an assistant translated well to her new position.  It gave her the background to be able to answer questions from patients, to know how long to schedule appointments for different problems or emergencies, and to continue her interaction with the many patients with whom she developed relationships while working as an assistant.

We Are Grateful for our Staff

We’ve always said that one reason for our success is our staff. We value the long-standing relationships developed over many years between our staff and our patients. And, patients appreciate coming to an office where they are known and valued.  Our goal is always to make our patients feel at home when they visit our office.  When you’ve seen the same smiling face for 20 years, it’s easy to feel at home.

We hope you will tell Michele congratulations on her anniversary the next time you’re in our office.

COMOM 2017 – Free Annual Dental Clinic

Dental professionals seeing patients at COMOM

2017 COMOM Dental Clinic

This past weekend, Colorado Mission of Mercy held its annual free dental clinic, this year in Pueblo, Colorado. I volunteer at this clinic when I’m in town, but unfortunately, I was out of state this year. Luckily, we had several staff members – and a dog – who did a good job representing our office. Along with 200 dentists, 120+ hygienists, and countless other volunteers, they had a very rewarding weekend. We don’t know the final numbers yet, but it looks like over 1700 dental procedures were performed.

COMOM Mission

From the COMOM website, its mission is as follows:

The Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) provides quality dental services, at no cost, to individuals of all ages who cannot afford and access dental care; eliminating dental pain, promoting oral health, creating smiles, and providing oral health education.

COMOM 2017, Pueblo, Colorado

Susan holding a portable x-ray unit

Susan at COMOM 2017

Almost every staff member has volunteered at COMOM in one capacity or another. This year, Susan, Lee Ann and Jane attended. Susan is not holding a ray gun, that’s a portable x-ray unit! She spent all day Friday (and I mean all day) taking x-rays of patients once they were seen in the triage area.

Lee Ann explaining findings to a patient.

Lee Ann, 2017 COMOM

Lee Ann helped with oral cancer screenings.  The good news is that she only saw one patient with a suspicious lesion in their mouth.  Here, she is relaying her findings to a patient and explaining next steps.

Jane took on a different role this year and served as co-lead for all 120+ hygienists. She attended planning meetings, helped set up, organize, and tear down hygiene stations, and made sure hygienists had everything they needed. Some days, she arrived at 5:00 a.m. and didn’t leave until 7:00 p.m.  Near the end of the last day, with 70 patients still waiting to have their teeth cleaned, she even rounded up a few dentists to help work through the back log.

Therapy Dogs at COMOM

Lee Ann, Jane and Indy at the 2017 COMOM dental clinic

Lee Ann and Jane posing with Indy

Carla usually stays home with the dog when I volunteer, but had the idea last year that therapy dogs would be a good fit with COMOM. Often times, patients camp out over night to save a place in line. Once inside, they wait to be triaged, wait for x-rays, and then wait for whatever procedure they are going to have done. In other words, a lot of waiting. Carla and I have both gone through the Go Team therapy dog training with Indy, seeing first hand the positive reactions he receives.  Therefore, Carla started talking with COMOM coordinators early this year about having therapy dogs visit with waiting patients, and they agreed to have Indy come on a test basis.

Therapy dog Indy getting petted by kids

Indy getting petted by kids

What a hit he was! Hundreds of patients gave him hours of non-stop affection. Carla and Indy started outside, greeting patients as they were waiting in line to come in. Then they came inside and worked the waiting areas where people he’d met outside would call for him to come over for another round of petting. The volunteers also found Indy to be a good stress reliever.  As a result, Carla was asked if she could get more Go Team dogs/handlers there for the Saturday clinic. Because there’s a Go Team in Pueblo, she was able to get three more dogs and handlers to come and visit patients and volunteers on very late notice.

Indy Visits Waiting Patients

Indy Visits Waiting Patients

Indy Visiting With Patients

Indy and the Old Man

COMOM in Greely, 2018

Next year’s event will be held in Greeley, CO. This is such a rewarding opportunity for us, you can be sure our office will be represented again.

Contact Us

Mark T. Albers, D.D.S.
2155 Hollowbrook Drive
Suite 20
Colorado Springs, CO
80918

(719) 634-8458

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment, call:
(719) 634-8458

General Hours: Labor Day through Memorial Day

Monday – Thursday:
8:00a.m. – 1:00p.m., 2:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.

Summer Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day

Monday – Wednesday
7:30a.m. – 12:30p.m., 1:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.

Thursday
7:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.