As part of our yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the health center movement we are spending the month of July taking a closer look at some of the faces in the health center world. Today our focus is on a healthcare hero located in rural North Carolina. Dr. Francis Serio of Greene County Health Care, Inc., (GCHC) in Snow Hill will be honored with the Humanitarian Award by the American Dental Association (ADA) in November. Dr. Serio not only provides affordable dental care to patients at GCHC, but he has also spent 30 years traveling to the impoverished Dominican Republic to help people who otherwise have little hope of receiving affordable dental care. The Dominican Dental Mission Project (DDMP) started back in 1982 when Dr. Serio traveled on a one-man mission to the area to help. Today, the project has provided more than $15 million worth of dental care and medical supplies to some 60,000 people in the Dominican Republic.
“Dr. Serio’s efforts to expand access to oral health in rural North Carolina and abroad in the Dominican Republic embodies the spirit of the Community Health Center Movement to provide care wherever and whenever it is needed,” said Doug Smith, CEO of GCHC. “We could not be more proud that Dr. Serio is being honored with this national award.” Greene County Health Care, Inc. serves over 40,000 people in Eastern North Carolina every year.
Stay tuned to this blog for more updates about healthcare heroes in the Community Health Center Movement.