Fishermen, Dentists, and Community
Fish For Teeth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (20-8601854) started by commercial fisherman Matt Marinkovich in 2007. The organization uses sales from the local fishing industry to provide dental care for those who cannot afford services in Washington state's San Juan Islands. Accessing affordable dental care on the remote islands can be difficult, so Fish For Teeth brings services to patients.
The islands' fishermen supply locally sourced fish to make tacos. The revenue covers the cost of a mobile dental clinic to visit the islands up to four times a year. The clinic is housed in a van provided by the regional nonprofit Medical Teams International. Dentists and dental hygienists volunteer to see patients in the van. Additional volunteers schedule and check in patients, as well as prepare and sell the fish tacos. To volunteer to help provide dental care for those in need, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marinkovich could see the islands' urgent need for affordable dental care after a young, local girl showed him her mouth full of cavities.
“The combination of commercial fishermen working with dentists blows right through the red tape and gets us working on teeth right away,” said Marinkovich. “If there’s somebody who needs dental care, and doesn’t have the money to fix it, that is who we want to help.”
Fish For Teeth's mission is to work cooperatively with the commercial fishing industry, local dental professionals, public and private health agencies, and caring community members to provide dental care, treatment, and prevention for those who otherwise cannot afford such services.
Fish for Teeth's Board Members:
Michael Horn, DDS