Shrewsbury dentist travels to Guatemala to aid locals
Shrewsbury – Dr. Todd Pizzi of Modern Dentistry of Shrewsbury recently returned from a volunteer trip in which he offered his time, expertise, skills, and a generous donation to the people of Peronia, Guatemala. Pizzi was traveling as part of the organization Open Wide Foundation.
Pizzi said he was made aware of the foundation through his involvement with Spear Education, an innovative dental education company.
The foundation’s mission, according to Pizzi, is “to make a significant, measurable and lasting change in the state of oral health in impoverished communities worldwide.” The organization has an established clinic in Peronia.
Although this was his first international volunteer experience, Pizzi has experience working with other impoverished communities. After receiving a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from The State University of New York at Buffalo in 1999, he was appointed as a lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service where he served as a reserve dental officer. In that capacity he worked with the Native American populations of the Southwestern United States.
Pizzi noted there is a great need for dentistry in Peronia; over half of the country is living below the national poverty line. Access to quality health care is scarce, leading to rising numbers of deaths from preventable diseases and malnutrition. Children and infants are the most affected.
Pizzi said he was “elated” that he had the opportunity to help the people of Peronia.
“Ultimately, when you have a skill and have found success, you really should take the opportunity to share it with those who could benefit most,” he said. “I can honestly say I got more out of it than I gave.”
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