The Open Arms Free Clinic’s dental care facility has some new artwork hanging on its walls thanks to a group of Woods Elementary School students.
Elizabeth Wagner, art teacher at Woods Elementary School, donated four of her students’ paintings to the clinic.
Woods Elementary School, N2575 Snake Road in the Town of Geneva, has an enrollment of about 200 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Wagner selected two first-grade students’ and two seventh-grade students’ artwork to be featured at the clinic’s dental care facility. She said the elementary school-age students worked on their paintings for about two weeks, and the middle school-age students worked on their paintings for about a month.
She said she wanted to give the students an opportunity to have their worked displayed out in the community. There were no set themes for the paintings.
“It was just inspirational and beautiful work I picked to share to give life to their brand new building,” Wagner said. “I really wanted to give the opportunity to my students to know something they worked so hard on was going to a free clinic in their county.”
Sara Nichols, executive director of the Open Arms Free Clinic, said she appreciates the students donating their artwork to the clinic.
“It’s very joyful for our community-based organization,” Nichols said. “The community is very much part of the services we provide.”
Wagner said she hopes the patients of the clinic enjoy the artwork.
“I knew Sara was working on the dentist clinic and how excited and passionate she was about the project,” Wagner said. “Our kids do such a great job with creativity, I just wanted to share that with her patients that come in.”
The Open Arms Free Clinic, which was established in December 2012, offers free medical and dental care to low-income residents, residents without insurance, children with Medicaid insurance and adults with special needs in Walworth County.
The clinic first opened in a 1,800 square-foot facility in Elkhorn, then moved to its current location at 205 E. Commerce Court in Elkhorn in 2015.
Representatives from Open Arms Free Clinic was able to purchase a neighboring building at 209 E. Commerce Courts in late 2019 with donations from the community, which then opened as a new dental clinic in February 2020.
“Then COVID hit, and we had to slow down services, but we were still able to do emergency dental services,” Nichols said. “The need was just so great, so the community really responded.”
The dental clinic offers X-ray exams, teeth cleanings, fillings, teeth extractions and dental care education.
Nichols said with the newer dental care facility they are able to treat more patients.
“In 2021, we’ve already done more dental services and more patient visits in these first five months than we did in the first five years,” Nichols said. “It’s just been a huge impact since we’ve had this space.”
Area doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, lab technicians and receptions have provided more than 4,000 volunteer hours to the clinic, so far, this year.
“We’re always in need of volunteers,” Nichols said. “What we’ve found out with COVID is that people are re-evaluating their time, so it’s a great time to explore getting involved with Opens Arms.”
Open Arms Free Clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
For more information, call 262-379-1401 or visit www.OpenArtsFreeClinic.org.
The clinic is set to host its eight annual fundraiser golf outing 10 a.m., June 1 at Hawk’s View Golf Club, 7377 Krueger Road in Lake Geneva.