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ARCHIVES: May 2013

May

31

Special Olympics

Posted by Paul on 5/31/2013 1:46:00 PM


 
It may seem like MOMOM gets a lot of the ink but MDA leads another outstanding volunteer dental clinic each year for the Special Olympics called Special Smiles. It's a pleasure for the MDA to partner with such a solid organization and help their athletes increase awareness of their own oral health. It's also beneficial to the parents and caregivers who support the athletes year round.
 
The Special Smiles dental screenings are just as much fun for the athletes as the events they train for year round. This weekend in Columbia is the high point of the year for many. Today, it was fellow MDA staffers, Stacey Kloeppel and Cassie Tangney, who hit the road for this great event. They were part of 15 volunteers who joined 3 hygienists and 8 dentists to round out the dental clinic team that gave oral health screenings and passed out "Goody Bags" with paste, brush, and floss for each participant.
 
For three years in a row, I have had a conflict on this date but Stacey and Cassie always love to go and come back with heart warming stories of interacting with the athletes. It's great to be able to offer this service to this population.
 
Featured above are Drs Bethany Baillargeon, Bryan Foote, and Kyle Lisenby - just three of volunteer docs.Thanks to all for their time and commitment to make it a success!


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May

06

MOMOM - A Final Word

Posted by Paul on 5/6/2013 10:26:00 AM


 
As we wrap up our second successful MOMOM, I would be remiss not to thank those brave and dedicated souls in Cape Girardeau who stepped up to the plate to bring this clinic to their community. They eagerly signed up for duty and then dutifully involved their whole community from fundraising to volunteer service. Visit the sponsor page at www.momom.org and you will see individuals, companies, and churches who all chipped in.
 
Of particular note was the fantastic way that Southeast Missouri State University chose to partner with us. Dr Dobbins and his whole staff embraced the opportunity to serve the region. From the facility team to public relations to every imaginable option, SEMO was a generous and like minded partner.
 
The photo above is most of the main leads who worked for more than a year to pull this baby together. I salute you all. And of course, we were all rudderless without our enthusiastic and hard working leader, Dr. Janet Ruopp. We could never quantify the sacrifice of time and energy made by her, her family, and her dental practice. She loves her community and loves to serve and we all tip our hat to you, Dr. Ruopp. Thank you for leading the way.
 
The preliminary results of our collective effort are very positive. They include serving over 1,775 patients while delivering more than $950,000 in free dental care. That is impressive!
 
Lastly, I'll leave you with a quote I heard yesterday at a high school awards ceremony. I think it gives us perspective.
 
"There are things you can count that don't mean anything. And there are things that you can't count that mean an awful lot."


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May

05

MOMOM - The Volunteers

Posted by Paul on 5/5/2013 10:07:00 AM


 
Riddle: How do you provide dentistry to over 1700 people in 2 days in a temporary setting? Answer: It takes an army of dedicated volunteers who love people and who love dentistry and who don't mind working hard.
 
I have nothing but praise and gratitude for the more than 1000 volunteers who worked behind, in front or on the scene at MOMOM. They registered patients, they parked cars, they hung signs, they emptied trash, they served food, they entered data, they restocked supplies, they escorted patients, they monitored doors, they passed out good bags, they unloaded and loaded massive amounts of equipment, they problem solved on the fly, they calmed the nervous and laughed with the merry, and if they were a dental professional, they gave of their time and skill to provide critical care and first rate treatment. All of them of course did it with a smile!
 
Saying thank you seems to fall short but based on the comments below that I personally received, I would say once you are a MOMOM volunteer, you are hooked. Thank you all and see you at the next one!
·         “I was overwhelmed by how appreciative all of the patients were” 

·         She was BESIDES herself with tears of JOY!THIS is what makes these events great!”

·         “Everything about it, from check in, to the administrators, to those who escorted the patients, was a pleasure”

·         “Volunteering in such a setting ALWAYS reminds me how blessed I am to have such a skill to offer. It renews my love of dentistry.”

·         “I feel so proud of our state and grateful to be a part of its dental community”

·         I would have loved to have been in every section just to see what everyone else experiences.  Thanks to everyone for your perseverance and dedication.  I know there were a lot of appreciative people.”
 


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May

04

MOMOM - The Payoff

Posted by Paul on 5/4/2013 9:58:00 AM


 
Helping another person is the simplest form of human kindness. When you can help them out of pain and boost their spirits by giving of your time and skills, it's even more rewarding. Hearing "thank you" is reward enough. Reading the heartfelt gratitude of patients as expressed in a mountain of feedback cards is overwhelming and will make your spirit soar to the point that you forget how tired you are or how early you got up or how less than ideal the conditions may be. I sure hope all the volunteers took time to read these cards that were posted in the volunteer refreshment area. If you did, you know you'll be back at the next MOMOM.


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May

03

MOMOM - The Clinic in Action

Posted by Paul on 5/3/2013 9:32:00 AM


 
How does MOMOM work once the doors are opened? There is a method to the madness. Patients are numbered and given a clipboard where they fill out some basic information. This clipboard travels with them throughout the day. Once their number is called, a patient visits medical triage to make sure they are healthy enough to receive treatment. From there they go to dental triage where a dentist evaluates their needs and agrees with the patient on the top priority for treatment. Then the patient is routed to the appropriate waiting area (there's lots of waiting). Their experience may include an x-ray, a visit to the numbing area, or some lab work. When it's their turn, the patient goes to the appropriate treatment area (extractions, fillings, cleanings) and gets their free work done by a smiling and talented team of professionals. Once they are done, they go to patient exit to get any necessary prescriptions and to finish off the paperwork. All patients leave with a goody bag of personal hygiene products. They also leave with a big smile and a heart of gratitude. That makes all the madness worth it!


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May

02

MOMOM - The Set Up

Posted by Paul on 5/2/2013 9:16:00 AM


 
For those who are logistically inclined, watching an arena transform into a MOMOM clinic is fascinating. It takes coordination, many hands, and lots of flexibility. The America's Dentist Care Foundation brings all the fundamental equipment needed to operate a 100 chair temporary clinic. Big crates are unloaded, dental chairs are unfolded, sterilized, and set up. Water and power are set up for suction and lighting. An entire area is set up with sterilization equipment so tools can be cleaned and turned over in a timely fashion. LOTS of chairs are set up in a variety of waiting areas. All sorts of directional and informational signs are put out. Preparations are made to check in hundreds of volunteers and thousands of patients. It's no small feat but it's exciting to see many hands hard at work and then look up to see a clinic that's ready to go. The take down process is similar but by that time you're exhausted and it doesn't feel as glamorous - just satisfying knowing how many people were helped.


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May

02

MOMOM - How Long Would You Wait?

Posted by Paul on 5/2/2013 8:56:00 AM


 
The value of something can often be measured in how long you will wait for it. A frequent phrase you hear at MOMOM is "It was worth the wait." Just how long kind that wait be? I arrived at the Show Me Center for set up at about 9 am on Thursday. The first patients were already in line just outside the door. By mid afternoon the first tent  was in place. When I left about 6 pm that night, the rain had started to fall but spirits remained elevated. At 3:45 am the next morning, I was in disbelief as I walked the line in the chilly rain and found people sleeping on the ground or huddled in groups. Not a single one spoke a discouraging word. In fact, when I said the doors would open soon, they cheered.
 
The value of hard work can often be measured in the satisfaction of a plan realized. I found it very satisfying after months of planning and coordinating with a host of highly committed volunteers to walk outside and see the reason we do this. There are so many fellow humans who are in dire pain and have no other alternatives for care. Waiting 20 hours or more in the rain just to get inside only to wait several more hours is a mild inconvenience. It's humbling and inspiring to think we get to work together to help them.


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