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Home | News | In the Community | Mission of Mercy’s Modest Beginnings Blossom into Massive Minnesota Event

Mission of Mercy’s Modest Beginnings Blossom into Massive Minnesota Event

December 02, 2015
By John E. Gulon, DDS
Park Dental Eden Prairie

As a dentist at Park Dental, my number one concern has been – and always will be – the well-being of my patients. Nothing comes before your needs, and I will always try to do everything in my power to be available and give you the best care possible.

Unfortunately, many people across the country do not have access to this level of quality care. A few years back, a group of dentists came together to try and do something about this fact.

After seeing his fellow Virginians suffer from dental pain with nowhere to turn for help, Terry Dickinson, DDS, the executive director of the Virginia Dental Association, organized the inaugural Mission of Mercy in 2000. At this event, he and his fellow dentists provided preventative, restorative and surgical dental treatments to low-income individuals. The response was so overwhelming that this single event has blossomed into a national movement in a matter of years.

Minnesota eventually followed suit. In 2012, the Minnesota Dental Foundation coordinated the state’s first Mission of Mercy event in Mankato. When their request for dentists went out, Park Dental and many of our colleagues across the state responded with an enthusiastic “yes”. Based on event’s initial success, another was held in Bemidji in 2013, and another in Mankato last year. Dozens of Park Dental dentists and team members participated in these events, with 38 more volunteering their time this past summer in Duluth. We’re so pleased we can deliver the care many patients need and truly help make a difference in oral health throughout the state. This is an important part of our organization’s vision.

In just two days, Park Dental’s dentist and team member volunteers, along with more than 1,000 others, treated 1,500 patients , preformed over 6,500 dental procedures and provided nearly a million dollars in care, including fillings, extractions, dentures and more. In addition to giving their time, Park Dental and The Dental Specialists also donated $15,000 to this noble cause. Through this combination of time, talents and donations, we’re honored to be doing our part to help provide quality, patient-centered care to our community, especially those in need.

The Minnesota Dental Association just announced that the 2016 Minnesota Mission of Mercy will be held at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN on July 22-23, 2016. For more information please visit, www.mndental.org/mnmom. Volunteer registration will open on April 22, 2016.