Originating in Virginia and spreading throughout the United States, Mission of Mercy dental programs have provided 100,000 patients with nearly $50 million in free dental services and treatment since 2000.
The Nebraska MOM program provides care to the uninsured, the under-insured and anyone who otherwise 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-serve basis.
In Nebraska, a successful MOM event focuses on:
- Providing free access to critical dental care while placing a high priority on patients suffering from dental infections or pain.
- Providing basic dental education and awareness to patients.
History of Nebraska Mission of Mercy (NMOM)
Nebraska was the fourth state to hold a Mission of Mercy, following Virginia and Texas in 2001 and Kansas in 2003. Nebraska held its first NMOM in North Platte, NE October 20-21, 2005. Dr John Ahlschwede made it his 'mission' to have the Mission of Mercy start in Nebraska after his tenure as President of the Nebraska Dental Association. Coupled with the vision of Dr Jim Jenkins and Dr Jim States, the first NMOM was chaired by Dr States in North Platte in October of 2005. Over 900 patients were seen in two days and with the help of Kansas (KMOM) individuals and equipment, the Nebraska dental community provided over $350,000 of free dental care in those two days. At that time NMOM had very little equipment of their own but were fortunate to have the expertise of Kansas dentists such as Dr Jeff Stasch, Dr Jon Tilton, Dr Max MacReynolds, Executive Director Kevin Robertson of the Kansas Dental Association and others as well as the use of their equipment.
In 2010, the Nebraska Dental Foundation (NDF) created the Nebraska Mission of Mercy, a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to operate future Missions of Mercy. The NDF also transferred the assets acquired for the Nebraska Mission of Mercy to America's Dentist Care Foundation, which coordinates Missions of Mercy around the United States.
It is very satisfying to see how dentists give of their time, talent energy and love for such a project. All of their services are donated. Many of them bring their office staff and personal office supplies to help make the event a great success. Each community has been great in providing expert assistance from Non-dental Volunteers who also give of their time talent and energy to help their neighbors and friends who may not be as fortunate as some. Also each community has been very generous with donations of food, dollars, space to have the event and so much more.