Seidler noted for humanitarianism

June 24th, 2013

seidler-titleDr. Kevin Seidler ’78 fills an 80-hour workweek; more than half that time is spent on something other than patient care at his office in The Colony, Texas.

He devotes many hours to his labor of love as president and founder of ServingHIM-Healthcare International Ministries, a Christian medical and dental mission group that he started in 1998.

The organization initially served Romania and, through the efforts of many volunteers and donations, ServingHIM also has provided missions to Guatemala, India, Moldova, Ukraine and Cuba. It now has a volunteer base 500 strong.

“A lot of fine Baylor graduates lead these teams,” Seidler says. These include Drs. Byron McKnight ’81 and Gene Lamberth ’63, ’70 (Ortho), who serve as Guatemala trip leader and board member, respectively. Scores of current A&M Baylor College of Dentistry students and alumni are involved with the organization.

It was only a matter of time before the long-running mission caught the attention of the Academy of General Dentistry, which honored Seidler in summer 2012 with the Humanitarian Award, bringing him into the ranks of just 14 individuals in the 37,000-member constituency.

Seidler traveled to Romania in late June to continue the group’s ongoing efforts to provide medical and dental care, build homes for families and conduct street ministries to connect with kids. Volunteers reach out to youth through arts and crafts, vacation Bible study and even rock concerts that draw thousands of teens. More recently, ServingHIM added an animal ministry, providing goats and pigs to local families and teaching them how to raise the animals and build a business on staples like goat cheese and milk.

It all began 14 years ago when Seidler and 11 other dental professionals traveled to Holy Trinity Church in Braila, Romania, to provide much-needed dental equipment to the congregation’s medical clinic, which was housed in a converted residence. After getting a charter for ServingHIM in 2000 and partnering with the Romanian church, a new five-story medical and dental facility was built. More than 10,000 patients have received health care for little to no cost at the clinic since it opened in 2008. Restorative dentistry, prosthodontics, oral surgery and even implant dentistry are common.

ServingHIM teams comprise volunteers of all ages and disciplines, including dental professionals. Doctors and other health care providers work at the clinic for several days at a time, and when they’re not there, the facility has three dentists and six physicians on staff full time, so patients won’t have gaps in their care.

“We take the best of dentistry with us,” says Seidler. “If you walked into our clinic in Romania, for example, you wouldn’t know that you’re not walking in to North Dallas or north Plano. We don’t do anything less than what we do in our own offices.”

— Jennifer Fuentes