Working in the Emergency Department at Newton Medical Center, Jenna M., RN, BSN, is a witness to the struggle her patients go through with dental pain and/or issues due to not having insurance. So when a friend told Jenna about a free dental clinic that helps these patients, she wanted to be a part of it.
The Kansas Mission of Mercy (KMOM) free dental clinic is an event organized by the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation. Every year, for two days, dental and health care professionals volunteer their time to provide dental care to both children and adults who don’t have dental insurance.
As a health care professional, Jenna assists with medical triage, going over medications and medical history, and ensures patients meet specific criteria before they receive care.
“Some patients that have high blood pressure or blood sugar are not allowed to have fillings or extractions for safety reasons,” explains Jenna. “However, if a patient is denied dental services, we help get them the medications or resources they need.”
Early each year, the event rotates to a different part of the state. Having volunteered for KMOM for the past six years, Jenna has traveled to Wichita, Salina, Manhattan, Dodge City, Topeka and, most recently, Hutchinson.
“This event is a hundred percent volunteer. Over the years, I’ve created a bond with other volunteers and we strive to make the event enjoyable,” said Jenna. “There is music and prizes, free food, and always a visit from the Tooth Fairy. The patients are so very appreciative. It’s a great feeling.”