Smiles Brand Paraguay

Dec. 8, 2011
President and CEO Steve Bilt and a team of executives and dentists travel to Asuncion, Paraguay, through the company's nonprofit foundation.

IRVINE, California--Smile Brands took the philosophy of "Smiles for Everyone!" to the people of Paraguay in December 2011.

President and CEO Steve Bilt led a team of executives and dentists on a journey to Asuncion, Paraguay, through the "Smiles for Everyone!" Foundation. The eight-day project focuses on providing dentistry to residents who would otherwise have no access to dental services through a series of local nutrition centers for the community.

One of the main goals for the Smile Brands team is to explore and develop a model for the provision of dental and hygiene care to isolated and low-income communities.

"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to take our skills and knowledge to a group of people less fortunate than ourselves," said Bilt. "We feel as part of our individual and corporate responsibilities, it is important to extend our mission beyond the walls of our 350 dental offices. By traveling to Paraguay and visiting local communities with little or no access to proper dental care, we can greatly extend our vision of bringing smiles to everyone."

The "Smiles for Everyone!" Foundation, affiliated with Smile Brands, is a not-for-profit foundation with a vision to improve the lives of people through the provision of essential services. This includes dentistry and nutrition, as well as provide additional forms of aid in extraordinary circumstances. The American Red Cross has twice recognized the "Smiles for Everyone!" Foundation for its far-reaching humanitarian efforts, bestowing upon the foundation the Circle of Humanitarians award.

The Paraguay team ran temporary dental clinics and nutrition centers for the community, as well as participated in trainings and group coaching sessions lead by Hendre Coetzee and Norm Schultz of the Center for Advanced Coaching in an effort to provide the best possible service while gaining insight into best practices in order to create a model that can be replicated in other areas.

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Bilt also served as a dental assistant on the trip, joining dentists Dr. Roy Smith, Dr. Thomas Emeterio, Dr. Gordy Gonzalez, Dr. Eniko Alicea, and Dr. David Jones. Additionally, Smile Brands executives including Brad Schmidt, Jim Bourdages, Claudia Perez, and Steve Ashlock participated.

A film crew traveled with the team to capture video and still footage documenting the experience that can be used as educational material for future foundation trips.

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