BayNews9 Article By Bill Murphy, Everyday Hero Host

This week’s Everyday Hero is a dentist who is helping bring smiles to the community as he dedicates his time to helping those in need.

Dr. John Ellis is this week’s Everyday Hero
For the last 11 years, he has treated patients for free
Want to nominate an Everyday Hero? Email us

In Lakeland, Talbot House is a place of hope for people who may have lost hope. Inside is the Carolyn Fearnow Dental Clinic, part of the Good Samaritan Clinic.

That’s where Everyday Hero host Bill Murphy met Dr. John Ellis.

His dental practice has been around for almost 40 years, but you’ll have to see him there Monday through Thursday.

On Friday — every Friday for the last 11 years — he has been here treating patients for free.

Ellis says good dental health is an important part of the journey in getting one’s life back on track.

“We can get them started in the right direction and get their lives turned around,” Ellis said. “Even this morning we had a girl come in who said, ‘I just want to smile again. I want to feel good about myself.’ So it makes me feel good.”

Along with his time he has, over the years, picked up the additional costs of this care, and Friday’s are busy.

“Lately we’re seeing about 20 patients every Friday,” he said.

A man of deep faith, Ellis encourages other doctors to volunteer their time.

While all he does brings him joy, Ellis does not think of himself as a hero.

“I certainly feel good about myself, but I don’t look at myself as a hero,” he said. “It certainly has been a long road and it’s been very fulfilling.”