Thanks for successful MOM project

Published 10:37 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2015

To the editor:

Thank you for your coverage of the Virginia Dental Association Foundation Mission of Mercy Project held in Suffolk on Feb. 28.

It is my privilege to report that the project, the 80th project since the inception of MOM, was a huge success, with almost 600 residents of Western Tidewater and Hampton Roads registering for free dental care.

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Of those that presented for care, 550 received dental services valued at more than $510,000. Services to patients during the project included 580 fillings and 1,219 extractions.

This project could not have come to fruition without major grant funding from the Obici Healthcare Foundation or without community support from the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront, King’s Fork Middle School and Sentara Obici Hospital.

A project of this magnitude — utilizing more than 500 general and clinical volunteers — required cooperation from the city of Suffolk, Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, Suffolk Public Schools, Suffolk Rotary Club, Virginia Dental Association, VCU School of Dentistry, many local business owners and organizations, and a steering committee of community volunteers.

I would like to personally thank the members of the committee, who spent many hours planning this event. The members included: Lauren Alphin, Liz Bernhard, Leigh Blakiston, Bruce Bowles, Vicki Brett, James Buie, Chris Dowd, Ashley Greene, John Hoffler, Jennifer Mikell, Doug Naismith, Mary Jane Naismith, Diane Nelms, Monika Patrick, Gina Pitrone, Erica Remasse, Virginia Savage, Deran Whitney, Margie Wiley and Jessica York.

A special thank you goes to King’s Fork Middle School Principal Jennifer Presson and her amazing KFMS staff.

This group’s outstanding support and leadership made this one of the most successful Mission of Mercy Projects in the commonwealth.

Ralph L. Howell Jr., DDS

Dental Director,

Suffolk MOM Project