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CCRI again to host Mission of Mercy free dental clinic
April 15, 2013
The Community College of Rhode Island again will host the Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation’s free Mission of Mercy public dental clinic on June 1 and 2 at the Dental Hygiene Clinic at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln.
Organizers expect the clinic will treat as many as 900 patients over the two days. Doors will open at 6 a.m. and remain open until the clinic reaches capacity.
Last year, more than 650 professionals and volunteers treated 800 patients. The two-day clinic provided a total in-kind donation of more than $293,000 in free care.
Patients last year included an elderly woman who just learned she was dropped from her dental plan; a CCRI Nursing student; and a father and son who had not seen a dentist in more than 10 years because they did not have dental coverage, to name a few examples.
CCRI is a primary sponsor and partner in the event and once again will host the Mission of Mercy in its state-of-the-art Dental Hygiene Clinic – a 24-chair, fully-equipped dental care facility with digital radiography, a sterilization center and electronic dental records. The college’s in-kind contribution to last year’s Mission of Mercy event was close to $100,000.
“As Rhode Island’s community college, we are always pleased to partner with organizations that seek to better the lives of our fellow residents. The Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation does just that,” said CCRI President Ray Di Pasquale. “We were proud to be associated with such a fine event and are pleased to offer use of our facility again this year to help make it possible.”
CCRI also provides dental faculty, staff and students who volunteer their time to work with the many community volunteers who assist patients and handle logistics. Additional mobile dental equipment and other health care resources also will be on site.
The Rhode Island Mission of Mercy’s goal is to address patients’ most urgent oral health needs, placing a high priority on patients suffering from infections or pain. During the free clinic, dental services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and will include cleanings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, X-rays, oral health education, fillings, tooth extractions, some root canal treatments and minor denture repairs. Rhode Island dentists and other dental and medical professionals will be donating their time to treat those in need.
“These fine people who need the most care, unfortunately receive the least care,” said Dr. Les Prasad, DDS, who volunteered his services. “They were really thankful for whatever care they received, however small it may have been.”
The R.I. Mission of Mercy is completely run by volunteers. In addition to dentists and other dental and medical professionals, community volunteers are needed to assist in both clinical and nonclinical activities. Volunteer registration is now open on the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy website, www.rimom.org.
Delta Dental of Rhode Island is once again the primary funding partner through its charitable endowment, the Delta Dental of Rhode Island Fund.