Monday, June 25, 2018


Streetside view of Saturday's line midday of folks waiting for free dental care...
One might have thought folks were standing in line for concert tickets considering the long lines beginning while it was still dark in the wee hours of both Friday and Saturday mornings by the convention hall on Wisconsin's State Fairgrounds. Actually the line was to gain access to Wisconsin's MOM  (Mission of Mercy) 2018. MOM started 9 years ago in my home city of La Crosse with a purpose to provide free dental care to those who don't have the resources.  I have volunteered at 7 out of 8 MOMS around the state helping mainly those patients with limited English ability. 

Some 2000+ folks this past weekend made a 'dent' in their dental issues coming from all over Wisconsin to attend MOM on the State Fair Grounds in West Allis. Although doors didn't open for patients until 5:30 am, folks hoped to be early enough to be able to be serviced for all their dental needs. 

After completing a medical information sheet, having their blood pressure taken, each patient is triaged by a dentist who determines the urgency of various dental needs. The possibilities include cleanings, fillings, endo, extractions, flippers (partial dentures). 

Toothcare Education is also one of the stops.

Host cities begin planning a year in advance and as you can imagine it's a huge undertaking. 1300 volunteers helped with MOM 2018. Over 2,000 people were helped in the 2 days of the clinic. I wish everybody could have been helped with all their needed procedures.

Many thanks to local businesses who donate food for volunteer meals and snacks for patients. 

My favorite this year was Amore's meatball and pasta lunch with a wonderful salad.  

Patients  were offered fruit and even Racine Kringles one day for a snack.

Despite being tired from the long waits, patients were so grateful for the services rendered free of charge. Besides verbal appreciation, many wrote notes and  extended hugs to their caretakers. It was an emotional weekend for all of us.

Dino, some of the interpreters, and our fearless leader Marissa (in purple) from my Friday shift 
May our country figure out a way to offer better, more affordable health care for all... sooner rather than later.

* Here are the final numbers for Mission of Mercy 2018:
"More than $1 million was provided to children and adults, ages 1 – 90, during 2,087 patient visits at the ninth Wisconsin Dental Association and WDA Foundation Mission of Mercy held June 22 and 23 at the Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.

8,332 dental procedures
1,090 X-rays
1,436 fillings
3,923 teeth pulled
818 cleanings
801 sealant/fluoride treatments
72 root canals and therapeutic pulpotomies
156 full and partial dentures
It takes more than people – it takes dollars and in-kind donations to make it happen as well. Special thanks to the sponsors who contributed to our first eight MOMs:

Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation
First Supply
Henry Schein Dental
Dr. Tim and Mrs. Sue Durtsche
Professional Insurance Programs – a division of WDA Insurance and Services Corp.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful endeavor. I really wish this country would come up with some kind of healthcare program to allow everyone access to the care they need.