KIND Colorado Springs Partners With Mission Medical Center

Kelsey CreehanFeatured News

By Ellie Burbee, Kids in Need of Dentistry Executive Director
From the Winter 2019 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association

KIND volunteer Christy Stanton Westcomb, R.D.H., with a patient at Mental Health Center of Denver’s Dahlia Campus Harvest Fest, September 2018.

Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND) is growing. In late 2018, the Colorado Springs Oral Health Center location moved and entered into a service and space partnership with Mission Medical Center (MMC). MMC provides complimentary services to KIND, serving uninsured/underinsured adults (18 and older) with whole body healthcare—including dental, medical, behavioral, pharmaceutical, and outreach services like food pantries and medical equipment donation. This partnership creates a new opportunity for the families both organizations serve to receive much-needed whole-body care, including dental, in one location! This exciting new partnership and move into this collaborative space will allow KIND to utilize more of its funding to provide dental care to patients, rather than to brick and mortar overhead costs.

Thanks to the generous product donations of two Colorado dentists, Dr. John Warner and Dr. Andrew Hall, KIND will be able to advance its service to patients in 2019 by equipping each of its oral health centers with panoramic digital x-ray machines.

KIND’s services to families in Colorado continue to grow. In 2017, KIND served over 8,000 patients across the state with nearly $700,000 worth of needed dental care. As of September 2018, KIND had provided over $1M in dental treatment to underserved children and families, mainly targeting the Denver-metro area and Colorado Springs. 2019 brings plans to increase access to care both within these borders and through expansion into rural communities via a pilot program funded in part by the CDA Foundation. KIND needs dental volunteers, donors, and corporate support to help make our vision for sustained growth a reality. Currently KIND serves Colorado through three main programs:

  • Four oral health centers located within collaborative spaces with community partners, including two centers in Denver-metro, one in Commerce City, and one in Colorado Springs. All centers offer full-service general dentistry and orthodontic care to Medicaid, CHP+, and uninsured/underinsured patients and use both paid dental staff and volunteer dentists.
  • Chopper Topper, a school-based mobile sealant and dental hygiene program, offers sealants, fluoride treatments, screenings, dental products

    KIND volunteer Dr. Doug Kekkonen reading his dental health children’s books to school children awaiting hygiene treatment from KIND’s mobile sealant and education program, Chopper Topper.

    and education to children in over 100 low-income schools in the Denver-metro area, completely free of charge to those served.
  • KINDCares Outreach Programming serves non-profits, low-income schools, early childhood centers, community events, and—newly in 2019—rural communities, with a range of dental services from education counseling and free dental products to screenings and treatment.

Because KIND provides low-cost, mission-driven dentistry to those in our society who have no other options, and no child is turned away due to inability to pay, we rely heavily on community support in the forms of product donation, volunteerism, and financial giving. The leadership of KIND believes it is of the utmost importance to involve Colorado’s dental community in these efforts and that there is a role for almost anyone to play, whether they can give their time monthly, once a year, or sponsor a child’s dental care financially through our Adopt-a-Smile for KIND monthly recurring giving program.

Dr. Ines Quintanilla volunteering for KIND with KIND Clinic Experience Manager Anid Naranjo and KIND patients, November 2018.

Interested in getting involved? Learn more at

Ellie Burbee is the executive director of Kids in Need of Dentistry. While earning her degree in non-profit management and a master’s in business administration, she worked in the nonprofit sector for five years, and then in the corporate world of finance for another seven years, serving on multiple non-profit boards, prior to officially joining KIND full-time in 2017. Contact her at

Thank you, KIND 2018 dental volunteers!

Dr. Julie Be 
Dr. Mark Bentele
Dr. James Bieneman*      
Hannah Carson, R.D.H.*
Dr. Richard Carter
Dr. Nicholas Chiovitti
Dr. Hank Cole
Priscilla Colon                                         
Dr. Jeanette Courtad
Dr. Liz Crespi*
Dr. Mathew D’Addario                         
Dr. Joseph Dankey*
Dr. Michael Gilbert
Angela Grove, R.D.H.
Dr. Bryan Horespool  
Dr. Donald Hull
Michelle Idrissi, R.D.H.
Dr. Scott Johnson                   
Dr. Doug Kekkonen
Dr. Wade Kennedy                
Dr. Darrel Kneupper*
Dr. Rani Koganti
Dr. Jodi Kuhn
Dr. Jarod Leff
Dr. Michael Lovato
Dr. Krista Moore
Allison Murname, R.D.H.
Dr. Kate Murphy
Dr. Michael Onstad                            
Dr. Ron Palmer*
Dr. Kevin Patterson
Dr. Lisa Phillips
Dr. Ines Quintanilla
Dr. Bradley Ross                                     
Dr. Tyler Schuurmans                           
Dr. Mathew Thompson
Dr. Tamara Tobey and CU School of Dental Medicine students                      
Dr. Amanda Tompkins
Dr. Adam Vega
Dr. Sean Vostatek  
Christy Stanton Westcomb, R.D.H.
Dr. Kevin Wright                                         

*Denotes volunteers who have donated 30 hours or more.