August 19, 2010
On the inside, Dr. Michael Sherwood's Nelson Dental Clinic looks and sounds like any other place you go to have your teeth cleaned. However, the small space houses only two chairs and one x-ray machine.
"We have no bathroom except the one outside. It shows that with very little, you can accomplish a lot," said Dr. Sherwood.
Dr. Sherwood straps on a mask and slides into a pair of gloves each week, volunteering his time for those people who can't afford dental care. People like Blanche Hogan and her husband.
"It takes a lot of pressure off you when you know there's something out there for you that you may eventually need down the line because you can't afford insurance and you're not old enough for Medicare," said Hogan.
Word of Dr. Sherwood's Nelson County clinic recently spread to the pages of Reader's Digest, and the feature article prompted people from places as far west as Hawaii to send in money to the clinic.
Dr. Sherwood, now 68 years old, had a retirement party at age 58, but he was back at work one week later.
"I've been practicing for 42 years, and I've never been happier. As far as sitting at home, I would never ever achieve the level of self-satisfaction that I do when I come here," he said.
Dr. Sherwood's assistant, Nelson County native Peggy Saunders, says the people who come through the doors are not only patients, but neighbors as well.