Commentary: Changes boost reach of Hope Clinic services

One local nonprofit renders 2019 an important year as it finalizes a name change, adapts a new logo, and reaches a milestone year.

Now known as the Hope Medical Dental Clinic Inc, the organization eagerly celebrates the start of its 16th year of serving the local community.

In 2003, HMDCI was founded by the Association of Filipino American Physicians of Delaware. Co-founders Basilio N. Bautista, M.D., Jose C. Pamintuan, M.D., Venerando J. Maximo, M.D., and Vicenta G. Marquez, M.D. did so in an effort to provide uninsured Kent County residents with free, non-emergent medical and dental treatment. All employed professionals are licensed volunteers.

Drs. Venerando Maximo and Vicenta Marquez were prominent contributors to the success of the clinic.

Dr. Maximo sadly passed away in late 2017, but both the clinic and community still embrace his legacy.

Although she retired in 2017, Dr. Marquez continues to involve herself with the HMDCI board of directors, where she is able to contribute both her expertise and insight to further the organization’s mission.

Along with new administration came a new volunteer medical adviser, Dr. Harold Spangler.

Dr. Thomas Mercer

“Knowing that we impact people’s lives in such a positive way is a very rewarding experience,” he said.

In addition to working full time in the Emergency Department at Beebe Medical Center, he dedicates time to direct patient care and clinically-based guidance for the clinic’s staff.

Similarly, Dr. Thomas Mercer of Mercer of Sydell Dental has been instrumental in supporting the dental clinic.

“It is with great privilege that… we have been able to provide excellent dental care as a result of the amazing volunteers who have contributed to our clinic since 2007,” said Dr. Mercer.

Hundreds of uninsured, low-income patients benefit from the program. Work for the dental volunteers has been made particularly efficient since the acquisition of a panoramic machine, a purchase made possible by the Palmer Home Foundation grant.

Dr. Harold Spangler

The machine is instrumental in treating active oral diseases as well as the prevention of impending complications.

The Hope Medical Dental Clinic, Inc. welcomes new volunteers. If you or anyone you know is looking to give back to the community, contact Candice Fifer, executive director, at or 302-735-7551. More information can be found on the website and the Facebook page HopeMedicalClinicDE.

Candice Fifer is executive director of Hope Medical Dental Clinic.

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