Thrive-Health Guide Southern West Virginia August 2020 - Page 25

Donna Argabright, a receptionist for Dr. Kevin Bailey, takes Oceana resident James Hiltibidal’s temperature in the parking lot before his exam. and for the community, there is nothing better than that,” Bailey said. “A lot of my colleagues that practice in other states, they’ll tell me a lot of the dentists there would not create a chain like that, but the dentists around here — they’re all absolutely fantastic people. We all pulled together and we try to help each other no matter what and not just through the COVID but through any other challenges. “My daughter had cancer back a few years ago, and the dentists around this area were just so kind to offer their services or just anything they could do for me, and that very much is just a blessing then and now.” Wills said they have also turned to one another and the community for help in finding personal protective equipment, or PPE, including N-95 masks, gowns and face shields, which were either hard to find or expensive. “We worked together to make sure people would be able to get (PPE) and get back to work,” he said. “As the New River Dental Society, we bought masks for others who weren’t able to get masks.” For gowns, Wills said he ended up reaching out to National Drapery Workroom in Scarbro. “I contacted them directly and they were able to make us surgical gowns, which has allowed us to stay in practice,” Wills said, adding that the business has been able to assist other businesses as well with PPE needs. “All dental practices, especially in southern West Virginia, are working together to make sure that dentistry is still available to the patients of southern West Virginia,” he said. “We’ve had to get creative but it’s allowed us to look at things differently and make some changes to keep our patients healthy.” Wills said he believes some of those changes are here to stay. “In the ’80s, before I was a dentist, the HIV and AIDS virus put gloves and masks on dentists, and I think that aerosol diseases like COVID or SARS are going to be what change the model where we can’t go from room to room like we used to,” he said. Although there is still a great deal of unknown in regard to the coronavirus, dentists of southern West Virginia are confident they will be able to face whatever challenges come their way, together. AUGUST 2020 • THRIVE • 25