Amber Lombardi, 2021 Giraffe Award Winner

This is part of a series of profiles on the 2021 Giraffe Award winners. Each week leading up to the Champions for Children virtual celebration on November 4th, we will feature a profile of a 2021 Giraffe Award Winner and showcase how they “stick their neck out” for Maine children, youth, and families. This week, we are pleased to introduce you to Amber Lombardi.

I have a long-standing passion for public health and oral health. I dreamed of having a mobile dental clinic for the last 13 years where I could meet people where they are at and help break down barriers to quality oral health care. I wanted to give my neighbors a reliable dental home they count on/a place that will advocate for their oral health needs and overall basic needs. I believe that every child should have access to quality care from their first tooth that carries on throughout adulthood.

For Amber, the dream of a mobile dental clinic started taking shape in September 2020, with a decision to design a custom-built model in Maine, including state-of-the-art equipment and a mobile x-ray unit. A month later, Mainely Teeth was started to offer access to dental care to those in need. By November, Mainely Teeth was up and running and serving the community. The Miles for Smiles program was initiated as a non-profit at the same time.

Mainly Teeth’s mission is to break down barriers to oral health care and provide access to quality, compassionate dental care to individuals, families, and communities. Core to this mission is the belief that quality oral health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. Mainely Teeth works to offer compassionate dental care, breaking down barriers and creating better access to quality preventive care. Mainely Teeth operates with the understanding that a visit to the dentist can be a stressful situation for children. Amber takes her time with her youngest patients, explaining the tools and processes to alleviate any fear. She also works closely with an occupational therapist to help address any challenges or special needs children receiving care may experience.

Amber is a graduate of the University of New England, a Master of Public Health candidate at Southern New Hampshire University, and a member of the American Dental Hygiene Association.

Amber started Mainely Teeth to bring community access to quality dental care, recognizing the large gap between private and government-supported insurance. She works closely with her patients to create a plan to achieve overall oral health. Her greatest hope is that her mobile clinic will make it more accessible for those in need. She loves working with children and has also been providing care in Maine schools for the past year.

Amber Lombardi will be awarded the 2021 Individual Giraffe Award for her passion and commitment to providing accessible, quality oral health care to children in our state on November 4th at our Champions for Children celebration.

We hope you will join us for the 2021 Champions for Children and Giraffe Awards event! And keep an eye out for upcoming profiles featuring the rest of our 2021 Giraffe Award winners.

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