Supporting Active Duty Military
As Montanans and professionals, we are committed to supporting our community. Below are just a few of the ways we give back:
One of our most rewarding volunteer programs is introducing active duty Special Forces soldiers and their families to our wonderful state. The Montana Special Forces Association brings active duty soldiers and their families to Montana for all expense paid family vacations. They also host Gold Star family members of Special Forces Soldiers killed in action.
These family vacations include world class fly fishing trips to Ruby Springs Lodge; horseback riding, sailing and fishing at the Flathead Lake Lodge; Chuck wagon dinners and junior cowpokes programs for the kids at the Bar W ranch; as well as the winter ski, dog sledding and snowmobiling vacations at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Two of our dentists, Dr. Annette Dusseau and Dr. Roger Newman are ski hosts and guides for the winter trips. Many of these families have not had a “real family vacation” in over 10 years due to the lengthy and frequent deployments required for the global war on terror. Enjoying Montana hospitality at its finest is the best way we can think of for a Special Forces family to decompress and reconnect.
Local Volunteer Programs
Dr. Hyvonen participates in numerous community events that raise money for local causes. One such event, the Harriet Anderson Memorial Golf Tournament, is held every August at the UM Golf Course, and raises money for local people who are battling cancer or other medical issues. To date, over $80,000 has gone to defray medical treatment costs for the recipients. Dr. Hyvonen’s golf league has a yearly event that raises money to support the YWCA here in Missoula. Over the past 3 years, more than $20,000 has gone to help this very worthy cause.
Our clinicians also volunteer at local health events. Missoula has a wonderful healthcare professional community which gives us lots of opportunities to partner with other healthcare organizations. Project Homeless Connect, sponsored by the United Way of Missoula, was an excellent example of our healthcare community coming together for our local community.
We also provide free dental exams for local Peace Corps volunteers before they leave on their assignments. These volunteers often serve in parts of the world where there is virtually no health care available. This is no place for a dental emergency so we do our best to make sure these volunteers are in good dental health before they leave. We often send a bunch of toothbrushes with them too.
Supporting Dental Health Globally
We also try to help out communities in developing countries that lack the world class dental care we enjoy in Missoula. When travelling to developing countries, we take basic dental supplies that might be very difficult for local dentists to obtain. Our dental supply vendors, like Patterson Dental, are always very generous in donating supplies. We’ve also partnered with our dental supply vendors to ship critical medical supplies to US communities after natural disasters such as hurricane Katrina and Harvey.
Family Dental Group is also a proud supporter of the Miss Montana to Normandy project. This is a project that honors both our WWII Airborne Soldiers who parachuted into Normandy and The Montana Smokejumpers. The aircraft is a DC-3 that was originally built to carry troops in WWII. After the war, it was purchased by Johnson Flying Service to fly Montana Smokejumpers to wildfires around the region. This is the same aircraft that few the Mann Gulch fire near Helena where 12 smoke jumpers were killed while fighting the blaze. Dr. Dusseau is one of the Army Airborne veterans who will parachute into Normandy from this aircraft on the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion. She will be joined on this aircraft by veteran Smokejumpers, Special Forces and an 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper.
These are just a few of the ways we give back. Every month at our clinic meeting we have a discussion about how we have made the world better during the past 30 days. Giving back is always a big part of that conversation.