NORFOLK, VA (11/14/2011)(readMedia)– Because oral health is essential to overall well-being, Physicians for Peace (PFP) will be in Nicaragua Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 to support in-country efforts aimed at improving dental care. Abbey Horwitz, DDS, of Abbey Horwitz DDS and Associates in Virginia Beach, Va., is leading the volunteer mission, which will help Nicaraguan professionals develop and refine their skills, so that their patients have the chance to lead healthier lives. Amanda McClain-Knight, a dental hygienist who recently joined Horwitz’s practice, also will volunteer on the mission.

“I am proud and excited that our office is partnering with Physicians for Peace to teach dental students and dentists in Nicaragua techniques that will dramatically improve their ability to solve dental problems,” said Dr. Horwitz. “Physicians for Peace’s philosophy to teach, so that the local healthcare providers can serve even after the volunteers are gone, is remarkable. I hope this is the first of many missions for me and the other professionals in my office.”

By volunteering together, Horwitz and McClain-Knight can model team approaches to patient care while presenting lectures and training on a range of topics – from biosecurity to specific treatment techniques – at an annual dental and dental assistant conference. In Nicaragua, many dentists currently work alone, without the support of dental assistants or hygienists; both professions are relatively new in Central America.

“Without proper attention, oral diseases prevent people from engaging in their lives, professionally and personally, and they can lead to debilitating, painful conditions,” said Brig. Gen. Ron Sconyers (USAF, Ret.), president and CEO of Physicians for Peace. “By working with healthcare professionals at the conference, Dr. Horwitz and Amanda will help create a reliable dental workforce – and a brighter future – for patients in Nicaragua.”

PFP has a strong record of collaborating for better care in Nicaragua. A partnership between PFP and the Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) in León led to the opening of a first-of-its-kind dental assistant program in March of 2011. And last July, PFP worked with UNAN officials and a team from Old Dominion University’s School of Dental Hygiene to present lectures, develop curriculum and assess Nicaragua’s dental hygiene needs.

For information on PFP or to schedule an interview with team members, please contactPhysicians for Peace.


Physicians for Peace transforms lives by training, supporting and empowering healthcare professionals working with the world’s underserved populations. Since 1989, volunteers have conducted medical missions in more than 60 countries. Find us online and Follow us on Twitter,



Dr. Abbey Horwitz has been helping patients find their smile for more than 30 years. The office specializes in constructing individual treatment plans that match each patient’s goals and their unique timeline. No pressure, no stress, just gorgeous smiles. Find out more at