A Kentucky dentist with a passion for horses is offering free dental care to uninsured patients who agree to barter their skills to aid Thoroughbred retirement facility Our Mims Retirement Haven, according to horse haven founder Jeanne Mirabito.
Earlier this week, a client of Dr. Anna Newman, who practices in Paris, Ky., donated, delivered and stacked 115 bales of “good” quality hay at the nonprofit horse charity, bringing a tear of joy to Mirabito’s eye.
“Hay is getting so expensive. I’m paying about $5.50 a bale right now, and I never get it delivered because that would be even more expensive,” Mirabito says. “When the hay arrived last week, I offered to help them stack it, and was told, ‘No, ma’am, you just sit down, and we’ll do it.’ ”
The free hay will feed Mirabito’s herd of retired Thoroughbred broodmares for over a month. “I get teary eyed just thinking about how much this means to me,” she says.
Dr. Newman is a Thoroughbred owner, and mother of a dedicated teenage volunteer at Mirabito’s charity, Mirabito explains.
“Dr. Newman is a fantastic dentist who believes everyone deserves to have a nice smile,” she says. “But, a lot of self-employed people, farmers, for example, might not have dental insurance.”
But, they may have hay, grain, supplies, equipment and skills, that, if donated to the charity, will be as good as cash with the local dentist’s office, according to a press release.
The arrangement began last week, with the first shipment of hay. Prospective volunteers and donors must first be screened by Mirabito, and, almost everyone has something the farm can use.
“We have a young artist who needs dental work. She’s agreed to come sketch our ladies and we can turn those sketches into postcards or Christmas cards,” Mirabito says.
Our Mims is in need of landscaping, mowing and weeding. “It’s a never-ending job,” Mirabito says! And, 13 stalls need to be cleaned everyday—there is always a need for someone to muck stalls.
Although the bartering system has just begun, the potential benefits to the farm, and the facility’s mares, who everyone refers to as “the ladies,” has overwhelmed Mirabito with gratitude.
Mirabito adds: “When Dr. Newman suggested this, I said, ‘Anna, what do you get out of this?’ And, she said to me that she believes in my cause, and that the ladies deserve it.”