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Anishinabek Dental Hygiene Clinic Receives ‘New Business’ of the Year Award

Desiree Morriseau-Shields, RDH, founder of the Anishinabek Dental Hygiene Clinic, was presented with the “New Business of the Year” Award during the 27th Annual Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Business Awards in Thunder Bay, Canada.

Desiree Morriseau-Shields, RDH

Desiree Morriseau-Shields, RDH, founder of the Anishinabek Dental Hygiene Clinic, was presented with the “New Business of the Year” Award during the 27th Annual Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Business Awards in Thunder Bay, Canada.

Founded in September 2016, the Anishinabek Dental Hygiene Clinic operates at Fort William First Nation’s Health & Wellness Centre, offering patient-centered care to indigenous people. The clinic, which consists solely of Morriseau-Shields, also provides mobile outreach.

The recognition served as a reminder of just how far Morriseau Shields has come. “I was in college in the dental hygiene program and it was just a thought that maybe I could work in my community; I didn’t really know the clinic would flourish the way it has today,” says Morriseau-Shields, a Registered First Nation’s member of Canada and a band member of Fort William First Nation.

It was her personal experiences in the dental chair that motivated Morriseau-Shields to create a less intimidating, more comfortable dental experience for patients. “I had caries myself and went through really traumatic dental care when I was a child. I had a moment where I thought, ‘I want to fix this for kids who were just like me—terrified in the dental chair,'” says Morriseau-Shields. Prior to the clinic’s establishment, residents would travel to the city for oral health services a 30-minute drive or up to an hour via public transportation. Now residents can receive various services at the local clinic, such as oral cancer screenings, scaling and polishing, placement of pit and fissure sealants, interim stabilization therapy, and fluoride treatments.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. January 2018;16(01):10.

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