In April 2013, Jeff Martin, D.D.S. received the prestigious “Certificate of Recognition” from the Governor of Arizona. You would think an award like this must have a back story and you would be right.
A number of years ago Dr. Martin, a Tucson dentist, became aware that the Gospel Rescue Mission needed someone to help with dentistry. Although it was already part of his nature to do what he can to help others, Dr. Jeff Martin knew he couldn’t ignore this particular request. This one came straight from the top. That’s right – it came from his wife.
Dentist Needed: Wife of Tucson Dentist Sent Her Man
The director of the Gospel Rescue Mission, a faith-based organization that provides hope and healing to the homeless, had spoken to her women’s group at church. When Mrs. Martin learned they had the need for a dentist, she knew exactly the right man for the job: her husband, a man who has always eagerly stepped up to help others. She knew also that he would do it, not for the recognition, awards or accolades, but because he deeply believes “you’ve got to do some things without expecting anything in return.”
At that time, Dr. Martin not only had a private dental practice, but also ran a 14-chair dental clinic with 27 employees. He volunteered his time, his skill as a dentist, and the needed resources to help the homeless from the Gospel Rescue Mission every Tuesday afternoon and all day on Fridays. The clinic made treating the vast numbers of patients possible, where a smaller dental office would find it difficult to accommodate that many people.
Along with helping the homeless through the Gospel Rescue Mission, Dr. Martin found other agencies where he could donate his time and skill, such as Youth on Their Own, Teen Challenge, and Hope Fest. Over the years, hundreds of folks have received dental care from Dr. Martin. Each patient received exceptional service and left Dr. Martin’s clinic with a smile, ready for their next important life event, a job interview for example, with renewed confidence.
Dr. Martin has served the less fortunate for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do, never expecting to be noticed or recognized for his work. Yet someone did notice!
- Dr. Martin was nominated for and received the Wally Sevits Award in 2004. The award, named after a prominent Tucson businessman and philanthropist, is a high honor given to a person for outstanding commitment to the Tucson community. Dr. Martin’s work with the homeless at the Gospel Rescue Mission definitely met the criteria and that organization recognized his service with great appreciation.
- Dr. Martin was also named the Volunteer of the Year by the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness at their 12th annual statewide conference, for all he had given over the years to help the less fortunate.
- Most recently, Dr. Martin was awarded the prestigious “Certificate of Recognition” from the Governor of Arizona in April 2013. The award states, “In appreciation for providing vital dental care and treatment to Arizona’s underserved and most vulnerable citizens. Your services are immeasurable, and I thank you for your professional dedication and commitment to the people of Arizona.”
When the Governor honors a Tucson dentist, it’s a high honor; however, Dr. Martin was unable to attend the ceremony and asked his wife attend in his place. You see, the ceremony was held on a Friday–the day Dr. Martin saw his patients from the Gospel Rescue Mission at the clinic, and he was booked solid!
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