The Juniper Tree Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting orphans and widows in need. In October 2008, through a grant from the Juniper Tree Foundation, the Juniper Tree Clinic was established on Back2Back’s campus in Monterrey, Mexico in order to meet the physical needs of the children served by Back2Back.
The 4,000 square foot facility provides free medical and dental care to children and teens, meeting a range of needs including pediatrics, gynecological, dental and optometric care. The clinic has five exam tables, two dental chairs, two private consultation rooms and an eye exam station. Three efficiency apartments are situated above the clinic to host visiting medical professionals, both dentists and doctors. The clinic is also open to Mexican nationals with medical backgrounds, who volunteer their services and expertise. For many of the children, their only access to medical care is through the Juniper Tree Clinic.
In an effort to provide holistic orphan care, Back2Back believes dental care is a crucial component in meeting each child’s physical needs. Back2Back is pleased to have Sofia Segura on staff, a resident dentist who works in the clinic full-time. Through prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and oral conditions, Dr. Segura provides free dental care to five of the seven children’s homes Back2Back Monterrey serves and two squatters villages, five days a week. The most common treatments are extractions, composites, cleanings, root canals, surgeries, periodontal treatments, crowns and prosthesis.
This year, the clinic began providing orthodontic treatment with the help of a local volunteer who has invested her time by serving the Hope Program students. This year, the first child at Douglas Children’s Home received braces. Thanks to Afinia Dental, we recently received a donation of a panoramic x-ray machine that has been very helpful to the diagnosis and follow-up treatments.
“My childhood experiences led me to choose the career of dentistry because my greatest desire was to help those in need. I quickly learned that oral health is a private matter in my country, especially as I worked with people from low economic backgrounds. Many are ashamed to let a dentist examine their oral condition after not having good hygiene for years. My personal theory as a dentist developed. In order to bring real assistance and change, a health care professional needs to be willing to kneel down and wash their patients’ feet. I had to be willing to go to the poorest and dirtiest place of a person and still treat them with dignity and worth. I accomplish this by committing one hundred percent of myself to my patients, even when there is no materialistic reward,” says Dr. Segura.