“Orthodontists Give Back”
Golden, CO — At the beginning of 2011, Dr. Amy Shearer built a schedule of volunteer days into her private practice calendar in order to become an official clinical orthodontic provider for the Colorado Orthodontic Foundation (C.O.F.). She knew that this meant taking an occasional day away from Canyon Point Orthodontics, her private office in Golden, but she also knew that she would be able to make a big impact on the lives of deserving children in the Denver Metro Area.
To Dr. Shearer, volunteering her time is about reaching people: “I think it’s a really great opportunity for me and my staff to step out of what we do every day here (at Canyon Point Orthodontics) and help people who might not have otherwise had orthodontics made available to them. The fact that C.O.F. can provide care for a reduced amount of money—that’s incredible.” Having grown up in Pittsburgh before attending the University of Pennsylvania for dental school and St. Barnabas for her orthodontic residency, Dr. Shearer knows personally how a child can benefit from community health programs. “A lot of my life experiences have brought me to where I am today…I had such a positive experience with orthodontics growing up and I appreciate what it did for me and my own results. My family would’ve completely benefitted from an organization like the C.O.F. when I was growing up—my mom would’ve thought that was one of the greatest things in the world!”
While in dental school, Dr. Shearer was introduced to various volunteer opportunities, and she realized how much she enjoyed being able to go into other communities to help out. When she and her husband Dr. Paul Madlock (an Oral Surgeon and also a C.O.F. volunteer) moved to Colorado, she fell in love with the idea of using her orthodontic skills to volunteer through a local program. Getting involved with the Colorado Orthodontic Association (a statewide industry organization) and meeting other local orthodontists offered her an introduction to becoming a provider for the C.O.F. “With what I could give, and what (the C.O.F.) was already doing within the community…it just seemed like a great place for me to be,” she says.
The C.O.F. provides Dr. Shearer with the opportunity to work with and assist different populations throughout Colorado, some children coming in with severe cases that require 4-5 years of treatment. She does maintain that her “favorite part is watching the kids grow and develop these healthy, beautiful personalities AND smiles.” Dr. Shearer and her staff try to remind their patients that working hard with braces towards creating a new smile is really about achieving a goal. “It’s a very positive interaction because the patient has worked hard and put the time in to achieve results—and that’s a big part of life! It’s a great lesson for young people to learn,” Dr. Shearer adds.
So, what kind of transitions does a C.O.F. provider see during orthodontic treatment? “I think patients feel more positive about themselves—you can see it in their smiles—and for some of these kids, it’s the first time they’ve ever had to set goals, it’s a new process to them,” says Dr. Shearer. With a smile of her own, she says “My benefit is just helping these kids and seeing what they can get out of their new smiles.”
In addition to volunteering at least 6 full clinic days each year to the C.O.F., Dr. Shearer also treats some C.O.F. patients at her private office. Her generosity in serving the Denver Metro Area is remarkable, and the Colorado Orthodontic Foundation would like to thank her for all of the time she donates to make the smiles of Colorado children so much more beautiful. For more information about Dr. Shearer’s private practice, Canyon Point Orthodontics, please visit www.canyonpointortho.com.