Center for Personal Restoration

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We have identified two major issues as the progenitors of the Center for Personal Restoration.  First is the simple and obvious fact that people living in developing countries often have little or no access to health and dental care.  While many medical and dental volunteers travel to these areas each year to provide services, the sheer number of people in need easily overwhelms even the most ambitious efforts.  Many have found this type of work to be tremendously rewarding in a personal sense but even the most dedicated of our volunteer colleagues are often left with a nagging sense that we should be doing more.  This goal of ‘doing more’, though, could easily grow out of control.  As in most things in life, moderation in even pleasurable activities is the best course.  One of the goals of CPR is to provide ongoing care for small populations by using a variety of health care professionals in short-term, easily managed roles.

 

The second issue is the result of a lack of opportunity for such moderation in our professional lives.  As care providers we are under ever-increasing pressure to do more, cost less, and maintain higher standards of some mysterious, ethereal quality measure that no one seems able to define.  These pressures that are involved in providing health and dental care are becoming tremendously onerous.  Articles abound in the literature about the effects these stresses have on our professional population.  Burnout among our ranks is rampant and there are significant concerns about our ability to meet the demands that will arise within the next decade from our aging baby boomers.  We understand the nature and warning signs of burnout and can often identify which of our peers is likely to succumb next and leave the workforce.  Unfortunately, we have previously had few tools which specifically target the issues that we know will ultimately lead to burnout.  CPR’s approach to this problem is to provide these at-risk individuals with an experience that rekindles the excitement and curiosity of their early professional years and allows them to exercise the altruistic elements of their nature that originally led them to this field.  Our success is often measured in the smiles of the children we serve.  A more fitting testimonial, however, is the fact that well over 50% of our first time participants are in the planning stages for their second trip within six months of their return home.

 

We are collaborating with George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon to study the beneficial effects of this work, specifically as it relates to the problem of burnout.  Many of our participants will be asked to complete personal evaluations and psychological profiles, and some will be asked for personal interviews.  We expect to have enough material to publish our results within the year. 

 

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