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Nov 22 2016

Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Frankie Bearly

By Jennifer Meshanko for The Island Connection

Dr. Frankie Bearly

Dr. Frankie Bearly

Throughout Dr. Frankie Bearly’s career, she has made time to volunteer and give back to her community. Dr. Bearly was born in Norfolk, Virginia. Her father was in the United States Navy, which moved her family to the Midwest. She remained in the Midwest to attend Kansas University, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology. Dr. Bearly worked in a blood bank lab at a city hospital for eight years. While working, she attended dental school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Dr. Bearly wanted a profession that would allow her to interact with patients more. She enjoys the “scientific and creative sides to dentistry.” There is an art to cosmetic dentistry, which involves designing shapes and matching colors to create an end result that transforms a person’s smile. After gaining experience working in other dentists’ offices, Dr. Bearly established her own family practice from 1988 to 2009 in the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City, Missouri.

During Dr. Bearly’s career, she volunteered at free health and dental clinics, including a mobile dental clinic called Christina’s Smile. Dr. Bearly enjoys volunteering, because it is purely about helping the clients without having to collect insurance or payment. Since 1996, Dr. Bearly has been vacationing in Charleston until she moved here in 2013. After doing some research in the dental community, a Patterson Dental representative suggested she get in contact with the dental clinic at Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach. Dental Director, Dr. John Howard, and Dental Assistant, Olga Hahn, were instrumental in assisting Dr. Bearly to complete the dentistry boards to obtain her South Carolina license. “The Wellness Center staff are such nice people, and their hearts are in the right place,” says Dr. Bearly. “I enjoy working with clients to provide a good service and education so they learn to be proactive with their dental health.”

Dr. Bearly believes she can make an impact in people’s lives by helping them overcome their fear of visiting the dentist.

Dr. Bearly says, “It is rewarding when a client smiles and says thank you” at the end of the visit. She encourages others to volunteer. “There are a lot more rewards than you can imagine.”

Volunteer Spotlight is a column in The Island Connection highlighting members of the community who give their time to help others. If you know of a volunteer who deserves the spotlight email If you’ d like to get involved with Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and make a positive change in someone’s life, contact Jennifer Meshanko via phone (843) 559-4109 or email

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