Compassion Dental is Northern Nevada’s only faith-based nonprofit dental clinic, offering health and hope to low-income, uninsured adults. We are the first and only ongoing free dental clinic in Northern Nevada that provides exams, x-rays, fillings, extractions and cleanings to patients who meet qualifying criteria.

Dr. McElroy (left) and Taylor (right) celebrating the completion of patient Celsa's (center) treatment.


To deliver compassionate, high-quality, free dental care to the uninsured and underserved adult population suffering throughout the communities of Northern Nevada.


Compassion Dental strives to reflect the love and hope of Jesus Christ in all our services. Our desire is for each patient to leave healthy, with a beautiful smile on their face, and a promise of a purposeful future because of the compassionate care they received. 


We hope to grow our organization over the next 5-years to provide all of Northern Nevada’s uninsured and underserved eligible adults with healthy smiles, lasting friendships, and the promise of a purposeful future through the love and hope of Jesus Christ.


If you want to know more about Compassion Dental’s 5-year growth plan, please email and we’d be happy to set up a meeting with you!


Co-founders Shari Byrnes (left) and Chris Ormsby (center) pose with Mary (right) who was part of Compassion Dental's original volunteer team.


Compassion Dental was founded as Compassion Community Clinic, a 501(c)3 organization, in 2012 by Chris Ormsby BSN, RN and Shari Byrnes, CDA. In March of 2013, with the help of many volunteers and generous community donations, we were able to secure a vacated dental office and make renovations to ensure the clinic was fully stocked and functional before our Grand Opening on December 7th, 2013. For the first six months, the clinic was staffed by three dentists, three hygienists, two dental assistants, and four non-dental volunteers. 


When COVID-19 hit, Compassion Community Clinic was forced to shut down and was unable to reopen for nine months. During our hiatus, we felt God was providing us with an opportunity to reevaluate our mission, ministry, and vision for the clinic. After much reflection, we realized God had bigger plans for us than we could have ever imagined. In faith, our Board of Directors brought on a new Executive Director (JS Parker) and Director of Operations (Taylor Washalefsky) and decided to rebrand ourselves as Compassion Dental. 


After many hours spent preparing to reopen the clinic under new management and new COVID regulations, Compassion Dental began treating patients again on November 14th, 2020. In the past, we had been blessed to treat about 70 patients a year, and just treated our 500th patient in March of 2021! However, we recognize the growing need for accessible and affordable dental care in Nevada, and have lofty goals to extend our reach within the community. By the end of 2021, we hope to have treated 200 patients, and to continue tripling that amount each year! 


Compassion Dental’s Mission and Ministry are only made possible through the generosity of our donors, the kindness of our committed dental professional volunteers, the devotion of our ministry and administrative volunteers, and the love of our caring and dedicated employees. If you have a heart to give back to our community, please consider joining Compassion Dental through donations or volunteering today.

The Board of Directors

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David Zaniel

Keith Brown

David is a practicing attorney and managing partner of Ashby, Ranalli & Zaniel. He has served on the board since its inception in 2012. Aside from his normal practice, he assists families from the

Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission with family law issues. David also serves underprivileged families of Reno by assisting a mission through his church. 

Dr. Brown has been serving our Northern Nevada communities for many years. His passion to share and reflect the love of Jesus is contagious, and his compassion for the less fortunate and the hurting can be seen in all his service and ministry works over the last fifty years. Dr. Brown was honored to serve on many prestigious medical and clinical Boards throughout his medical career, as well as in the U.S. Navy, leaving after 15 years as a Lieutenant Commander of the Medical Corps. He is a member of South Reno Baptist Church where he has organized many Humanitarian Health Missions overseas, founded the Hosanna Home, and is currently serving as the Director of the Missions' Team. We welcome Dr. Brown and ask for prayers for him and his family, and that God will bless his union with our Board, along with Compassion Dental's Mission to serve our community.

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Shari Byrnes

Shari has been employed in the dental field since 1980. She earned her degree in dental assisting from Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno, NV and in 1982 obtained her national Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) credentialing. Shari has worked as a chairside assistant, a dental receptionist, and taught dental assisting for five semesters at TMCC. Since 1988, she has been employed as a field sales consultant for Henry Schein Dental. Shari is very active in her church and has led a visitation outreach program there since 2001. Shari is also recognized as Compassion Dental’s Co-Founder.

Our Clinic