ST. LOUIS, Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM) issued a call today for volunteers in advance of its large-scale charity dental clinic in St. Louis in early May.
Missouri Dental Association (MDA) and MDA Foundation are hosting the state's third Mission of Mercy (MOMOM) at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis May 2-3, 2014 to provide free dental care to underserved people of all ages.
Mission of Mercy events have been providing free dental services for the underserved since 2000. Up to 2,000 patients are expected at the clinic on May 2-3, to be hosted at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. This marks the third Mission of Mercy event in Missouri and there is a great need for volunteers to make it a success.
"A variety of healthcare providers from across the state, including dentists, hygienists, assistants, lab technicians, physicians, nurses and many non-dental community volunteers are needed to donate their services to hundreds of underserved patients in the area," said Dr. Stuart Waite, 2014 MOMOM co-chair. "More than 1,000 volunteers made each of the past the MOMOM events in Springfield and Cape Girardeau a success, collectively providing dental care to more than 3,600 patients. We're issuing that same call today."
MOMOM, supported by the Missouri Dental Association (MDA) Foundation, also seeks non-dental community volunteers to lend their talents to the clinic.
"There are opportunities for volunteers as patient escorts, translators, food service, site set-up and tear-down, clean-up, equipment loading and unloading, parking and security," said Waite. "It really is a full-scale event."
The high volume of patients participating in charitable clinics in Missouri highlights a clear gap between those with and without good dental health. Since its inception, MOM events have provided care to more than 135,000 patients and provided nearly $76 million in free services nationwide.
"MDA dentists have been hard at work for years advocating for increased funding for dental care and driving community prevention efforts, including a public education campaign, 'Your Mouth Is Talking,' and most recently, joining forces with the American Dental Association in promoting MouthHealthy.org," said Vicki Wilbers, Executive Director, MDA. "Many of our member dentists also offer charity care and education in their communities through volunteer programs like Mission of Mercy, Give Kids a Smile and Donated Dental Services, but it isn't enough. Charity events like MOMOM help bridge the gap, but volunteerism alone won't solve the problem."
In the meantime, MOMOM will provide Missourians and residents in bordering states with an opportunity to come together to help their neighbors. MDA asks that volunteers register online from now through mid-April at www.momom.org.
SOURCE Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM)