Project Open Hearts 2017

Centurion Day Hosptial (CDH) – Project Open Hearts 

Day Hospital and doctors with open hearts


On Tuesday 19 September 2016, Centurion Day Hospital made its theatres and facilities available for the whole day to accommodate patients in desperate need of dental day-procedures. A group of open hearted dentists and anaesthetists, also offered their services for free. Some of the children that benefitted from this project comes from community organisations in and around Pretoria including Smile of Joy (who assists HIV positive orphans with dental procedures) and other needy children in the Centurion community. Most children have to undergo dental procedures in hospital under anaesthetics as it would be too traumatic to have it done in a dental chair. CDH wants to alleviate the financial pressure on these organisations by giving these children the procedures they need at no cost.

Centurion Day Hospital opened the doors of their new facilities in May 2016, and after seventeen successful months we feel fortunate to touch nine more children’s lives by getting rid of teeth that cause them much pain and discomfort. Through the open heart and hands of the Centurion Day Hospital and the medical community, Project Open Hearts makes a lasting difference in the lives of these little patients.

In addition to the great savings for patients and medical funds, a day hospital offers many benefits and is the right place to perform smaller surgical procedures where patients do not stay overnight in the hospital.  More than 60% of surgical procedures is classified as day procedures that can be done in a day hospitals where the costs is much lower than in acute hospitals. A day hospital is a hospital where smaller day procedures are executed and patients don’t stay overnight. Some of the procedures include Dental surgery, Ear Nose and Throat procedures, Gynaecology, Maxillofacial & Oral surgery, Cosmetic surgery, Orthopaedic surgery and Endoscopic procedures carried out by specialists.

As part of National Dental Health Month in September, the Pretoria branch of SADA (South African Dental Association), identified kids in desperate need of dental procedures. The dentists with open hearts that performed the 9 procedures as part of Project Open Hearts was: Dr Willem Kearney (Vise-President SADA (Pretoria branch), Dr James Viljoen, Dr Regardt van Vuuren, Dr Gunter Kuschke, Dr Hest Gelderblom, Dr Amanda Madden and Dr Elsa du Plooy.

Centurion Day Hospital contributed their theatres and ward facilities, as well as the anaesthetics and medicine for recovery. The anaesthetists that assisted in all these procedures free of charge was Dr. Dave Viljoen and Dr. Kathy de Villiers.

According to Mrs Elmarie Marais, General Manager of Centurion Day Hospital, her professional team made this a memorable experience for the patients with lots of love, T-shirts, gift bags, balloons and snacks packs for a full stomach and those sore throats after the procedure. “Surgery can be a very stressful experience, but our child-friendly facility and staff will make sure everybody will have a positive hospital experience”, said Marais.

Amori Booysen, the Smile of Joy clinical manager was full of praise for the hospital: “Smile of Joy HIV orphans oral care is deeply grateful for Centurion Day Hospital’s pro-bono treatment of the orphans and vulnerable children in need of theatre treatment. It is not just the relief of pain, but the gentleness, love and sincerity the children were treated with that made a huge impact in their lives”.

Pictures and interviews available on request

Contact person:

Magda Evans (Doctor Relations Manager) cell: 062 295 3826 or land line: 012-663 2010