- Wisconsin legislators comment on MOM, dental access
- Patient education
- How a MOM site is selected
The America’s Dentists Care Foundation launched the first Mission of Mercy in Virginia in 2000. Today, MOM events can be found nationwide. The WDA and WDA Foundation Mission of Mercy dental program has provided $4.6 million in donated services and treatment through more than 9,300 patient visits since 2009.
A successful MOM event focuses on:
- Providing free, critical dental care with a high priority on treating patients in pain and with infections.
- Raising public awareness of the barriers to dental care faced by low-income adults and children.
- Challenging patients, policymakers and dental professionals to work together to make viable and bipartisan “Healthy Choices” that will improve Wisconsin residents’ oral health.
The Wisconsin MOM program provides care to anyone who has difficulty getting to a dentist. Those who show up for care, children and adults, and don’t have any medically- compromising condition that would prohibit them from receiving care are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
One goal of the WDA Mission of Mercy is to challenge patients, policymakers and dental professionals to work together to make viable and bipartisan “Healthy Choices” that will improve Wisconsin residents’ oral health.
A special invitation to tour MOM in Madison – the largest charitable dental clinic ever staged in the nation – in June 2012 was extended to state, local and national policymakers to help them see the human faces of Wisconsin’s dental access problem.
Eight state legislators and candidates volunteered and another 10 lawmakers, administration representatives and staffers toured the WDA MOM.
Read their comments here:
- State Medicaid Director Brett Davis
- State Sen. Pam Galloway, R-Wausau
- State Rep. Scott Krug, R-Wisconsin Rapids
- State Rep. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon
- State Rep. Donna Seidel, D-Wausau
- State Rep. Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna
An important element of the Wisconsin MOM program is patient education. Education is the most cost-effective way to reduce oral disease. A special program helps educate patients about the importance of good daily oral hygiene practices, healthy diet and routine preventive dental care.
It’s a fact that such things ultimately save money and time in the dentist office.
They learn about the negative effects of soda, sugary beverages and tobacco products, the link between dental health and overall health, oral cancer and more.
There are approximately 20 site-selection criteria, including:
- A strong local dental society with dentists interested in helping plan and volunteer
- Local community involvement (e.g., oral health coalition, legislators) to help with recruiting volunteers and fundraising (dollars and in-kind donations)
- A venue that can house a dental treatment project the size of MOM, along with sufficient local hotels and other housing options for 900+ volunteers, the majority of whom travel to the community
For each WDA Mission of Mercy event, funds are needed to help cover dental equipment and facility rental, supplies, pharmaceuticals and food costs. For every $1 in hard-dollar donations we receive, WDA dentists and other MOM volunteers donate $6 – $8 of care.
If you or your organization would like to help us make a difference by making a tax-deductible contribution, please contact Lani Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or send your contribution to:
6737 W. Washington St., Suite 2360
West Allis, WI 53214
*Be sure to include Mission of Mercy in the memo line