Dr. Widen provided free dental care to some of the neediest patients. Some camping out at 3:30 in the morning to make sure they got to be seen. Dr. Widen is happy to be a part of the organization that helped so many people. A few pictures from the event are below!
Pictures from 2012 Illinois Mission of Mercy free dental clinic!
Dental Setup at Mission of Mercy
Dental clinic at work at Mission of Mercy
Dr. Widen with one of the many grateful patients seen at the clinic today!
Dr. Widen with another happy recipient of
free dental care on day 2 of Illinois Mission of Mercy 2012!
The Illinois State Dental Society Foundation and CURE Network
co-hosted the Mission of Mercy, or “MOM,” at the Lake County Fairgrounds in
Grayslake on June 8-9. Nearly 1,500 volunteers including Dr. Ronald Widen
provided an estimated $1 million in free basic dental, medical and vision care to
patients who would not otherwise have access to necessary treatment. Nearly
1,500 volunteers from throughout Illinois provided free basic dental,
medical and vision care to needy patients. They included 223 general dentists, 24
pediatric dentists, 24 oral surgeons, 13 endodontists, 10 orthodontists, 95
dental hygienists, 250-plus dental assistants, 104 dental students, 14
physicians, 60 RN/LPN/CNA’s, 19 vision professionals, and a large group of lay
volunteers. Volunteers were prepared to see 1,000 patients per day, but hoped to
accommodate more. Dental volunteers used 100 portable dental units to
provide free basic dental care and oral surgery to patients who would not
otherwise have access to necessary dental treatment. However, not all dental
services are provided, and dental problems are prioritized with the most
critical being treated. No false teeth were made, but limited partials were
be made in the lab. Basic medical screenings included high blood pressure,
diabetes, cholesterol, and women’s health, including breast exams and PAP
smears. Vision professionals conducted eye exams and screened for glaucoma and
macular degeneration. Prescription eyeglasses were made on site.
Monetary and in-kind donations from more than 130 organizations,
businesses, dental and medical supply companies, and individuals have been
provided to offset the costs of equipment and facility rental, supplies,
pharmaceuticals and food costs for this huge access to care event. A list of our
generous donors is available on the ISDS Foundation website. The Mission of
Mercy calls attention to the serious problems that Illinois citizens have in
accessing dental and medical 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 Medicaid program in Illinois, which was
drastically cut in the 2013 state budget. “More than 2.6 million Illinoisans are
enrolled in state-sponsored health insurance. Two-thirds of those enrolled in
government-sponsored health care are children. While Illinois has experienced a
steady increase in public aid enrollment, funding for the most critical
procedures have not increased in more than 30 years,” noted ISDS President Dr.
Robert Bitter of Skokie. He adds that, “Medicaid’s adult dental program was a
casualty of the May 25th passage of Senate Bill 2840 that slashed $1.6 billion
from the $11 billion Illinois Medicaid program. The adult program will now be an
‘emergency only’ program. “
More information on this event is available by clicking on the
“Mission of Mercy” graphic above!