Illinois State Dental Society Foundation Mission of Mercy treats
hundreds in need
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[June 12, 2010]
BLOOMINGTON -- The Illinois
State Dental Society Foundation kicked off its first Mission of
Mercy, or "MOM," event at the Interstate Center in Bloomington on
"When the doors opened at 6 a.m., there were 350 people in
line waiting and hoping that they would be able to receive the
dental care that they need," said Dr. Brad Barnes, co-chair of the
Illinois Mission of Mercy.
were prioritized, with the most critical being
"(Friday) we provided care to 975 children and adults. The
types of care delivered were fillings, extractions and cleanings,"
explained Dr. Mark Humenik, also a co-chair.
The Interstate Center was converted into a large dental
clinic. It had over 90 dental operatories set up to provide
services; 36 chairs dedicated to doing basic dental procedures
such as fillings, with 16 of those staffed by oral surgeons doing
extractions; 18 chairs dedicated to cleanings; and eight pediatric operatories providing care for young children.
"We saw a young man (Friday) who had been camping in the parking lot
since Wednesday. (Thursday), when we were setting up the clinic, he
offered to come in and volunteer to help. This gentleman worked all
day alongside the other volunteers. (Friday) he was the second patient
through the door. By the time he left, he had received thousands in
dental care," emphasized Dr. Larry Osborne of
Decatur, ISDS president.
The Illinois Mission of Mercy is likely the largest access to
oral health care opportunity ever offered in the state. On Friday
volunteers delivered an estimated $400,000 in free dental
services to hundreds of individuals.
"What we have witnessed here is a tragic example of the oral
health care crisis in Illinois," Osborne added. "However, it is encouraging that
several lawmakers from around the state took time out of their busy
schedules to visit the Illinois Mission of Mercy in an effort to
better understand the access to care crisis in our state and the
critical need to increase Medicaid funding."
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On hand were Sens. Deanna Demuzio, D-Carlinville; Kyle McCarter, R-Highland; Dan Rutherford, R-Pontiac; Keith Sommers, R-Morton;
and Dave Syverson, Rockford; and Reps. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington; Mary Flowers, D-Chicago;
and Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville. Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Bill Brady as well as
other lawmakers were expected to visit the Mission of Mercy early
The ISDS Foundation's Mission of Mercy calls attention to the
serious problem that Illinois citizens have in accessing dental
care. The event will relieve some suffering, but it won't solve the
problem. Only the Illinois Legislature can provide the solution
through adequately funding the dental Medicaid program in Illinois.
For more information, visit www.isds.org.
[Text from file received]