A half dozen dental offices are located near the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon Avenue in North Hollywood, but only one announced it was giving services away for free.
“I can’t change the world, but I can give dental treatment,” said Dr. Kathy Shafagh, owner of .
The Iranian-born mother of two, who has a dazzling smile herself, is already a generous donor to the community. She gives free sealants and cleanings to every child in the local schools and special deals to military families.
She and her team reached out to local agencies to let them know she was hosting two days of free dental care for needy patients, Saturday for x-rays and exams and Monday for treatment. 1st Choice has previously partnered with , MEND, and . Some of their constituents showed up for dental exams on Saturday.
“It’s [only] a little bit of effort on our part to change somebody’s quality of life,” Dr Shafagh said. “Why not do it?”
The clinic was fully staffed on Saturday by office personnel, dental assistants, a hygienist and an associate dentist, all of whom would be working for free on Monday.
City of Los Angeles Controller , whose path frequently crosses mine, also stopped by to lend her support. I talked to her on video as well as to patients, staff and, of course, Dr. Shafagh.
A widow and a cancer survivor, the doctor says facing down death put “a new light” in her heart and in her soul.
“My new year’s resolution for this year was to love more, laugh more and give more,” she smiled. She’s proud that it’s only January and “I’ve been loving, laughing and today I’m giving, too.”
Shafagh will underwrite the entire cost of services, supplies and equipment for this first free clinic herself. She hopes to hear from enough volunteer dentists to make this a monthly event. She would also welcome financial support from the community at large to help defray expenses.
Patients will not have to be referred by any agency.
“It’s the honor system,” said Shafagh. “I’m just going to hope that they’re here because they really need it. It’s all based on karma,” she said, breaking into another wide grin.