Our dentist, Dr Sixto Contreras died on October 11.
Dr. Contreras graduated from OHSU in 1994. He opened a private dental practice in Coos Bay Oregon. He was a native Spanish speaker who believed in supporting public health.
At one time in the clinic history we were struggling to hire a dentist. Dr. Contreras arranged his schedule so that he could work several days in a row at White Bird every other week. This allowed us to keep our grants and provide excellent care for patients.
Since 2012, Dr. Contreras made the drive from Coos Bay on Fridays for our 7 a.m. walk- in clinic.
He never missed a day, including the morning an accident disabled his car. He called a tow truck and made it to the office in time to see the first patient.
On Saturdays he worked at Lane Community College’s Clock Tower Clinic. Spanish speaking patients at both clinics were relieved to have a native speaker.
Dr Contreras was an energetic man who enjoyed motorcycles, kayaking and cooking. He taught Cuban cooking classes at Fifth Street Public Market.
He was a foodie who often brought Cuban beans to share and enjoyed taking staff out for Indian food lunches.
Many, many Lane County residents have been relieved from dental pain by treatment provided by Dr. Contreras.
He leaves a big hole in public dentistry and in our hearts. We hope he rests in peace.