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Mercy Heart Clinic honors memory of dental volunteer

Mercy Heart Clinic recently received nearly $40,000 in dental equipment donated in memory of Conyers dentist Dr. William Roberts.

The equipment was unveiled Friday during a dedication ceremony attended by Mercy Heart board members, local dentists who volunteer at the dental clinic and by Dr. Roberts’ widow Cheryl. The equipment was donated by Mercy Heart volunteer dentist Dr. Brian Gowasack out of respect for Dr. Roberts.

“This was an amazing donation,” Mercy Heart Board President Darlene Hotchkiss said Friday. “The equipment is far better than we had and allows our patients to feel they are in a nice clinic instead of one that has been piecemealed together.” The clinic received two dental chairs, an X-ray machine and several other pieces of equipment from Dr. Gowasack.

Dr. Roberts and his wife Cheryl were both long-term volunteers at Mercy Heart, which opened to serve Rockdale County’s uninsured in 2010. 

The clinic treated more than 900 patients last year for chronic health issues including COPD, Chronic Heart Disease, diabetes and high blood pressure in addition to providing dental services.

 “We are small enough in Rockdale to feel like a family, but we have some big needs,” Hotchkiss said during the emotional dedication ceremony. 

“Dr. Roberts saw that, and we have been lucky to have the support of our dentists.”

Before his death at the age of 68 in January 2012, Dr. Roberts had practiced family dentistry for 44 years.

Present for the dedication ceremony were Mercy Heart volunteer dentists Dr. Fred Hedrick, Dr. James Proctor and Dr. Gowasack in addition to Director Ed Conway, Cheryl Roberts, and Mercy Heart board members Greg Smith, Janet  Brown, Tom Harrison, Darlene Hotchkiss and Deborah Armstrong.