Dr. Ralph Montgomery has shown commitment and accomplishment like few others in the state of Utah. He is the founder of Salt Lake Donated Dental Services (SLDDS), the largest volunteer dental clinic in the county. Borne of a Rotary mission to the Philippines, the Clinic has evolved and provided more than $6 million worth of care to 30,000 low-income individuals. In partnership with community members, Dr. Montgomery built a state of the art Free Indigent Dental Clinic paid for by private donations.
Dr. Montgomery no longer practices dentistry; however, he serves as Chairman of the Board for SLDDS and as a dental consultant. He rarely misses a meeting or any other opportunity to further the mission of the clinic. His approach to providing free full service dental care to the indigent returns $4 worth of valued care to the community for each $1 donated. Using this information at a capacity of 9,000 patients and approximately 27,000 procedures, SLDDS could fashion a 10 to 1 return on investment. The operation of this clinic is now being used as a pattern in other communities.
In addition to founding SLDDS and serving on the board for Salt Lake Donated Dental Services, Dr. Montgomery has also worked to mobilize others in the medical community. At the beginning of the free clinic in 1990 he called upon 60 successful dentist friends to serve and 56 of those colleagues responded favorably. Over the past 13 years, a total of 200 dental professionals have volunteered to serve at the clinic.
Dr. Montgomery has been successful in treating those in need in his community, and in the process has overcome many crises that have surfaced for the new agency. However, the greatest challenges may still lie ahead as there are 115,000 still uninsured or underserved in the community. He is committed to meet that challenge.
He has been acknowledged and honored because of his work in the community. Most recently the Murray Rotary Club honored him. He lives his life with the mottos, “Service Above Self” and “Things spoken by the heart can be heard by the heart.”