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Medical gear from postponed charitable clinic distributed to first responders statewide

The Wisconsin Dental Association is donating the personal protective equipment (PPE) that would have been used for the large-scale event to Wisconsin Emergency Management to help medical workers curb the spread of coronavirus.

The organization decided to postpone the June 2020 WDA and WDA Foundation Mission of Mercy charitable clinic due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. In total, the donation consists of 20,000 surgical masks, 25,000 pairs of gloves and 1,700 surgical gowns that would have otherwise been used for Mission of Mercy – a two-day charitable event that provides free oral health care to low-income adults and children.

“After serving as the Mission of Mercy chair for three years and attending all nine MOMs held in Wisconsin, I’ve seen the incredible impact the event makes in the lives of its patients,” said WDA President Dr. Thomas Raimann of Milwaukee. “It was disappointing to postpone this year’s event, but we are honored to be able to step up to aid our fellow healthcare professionals in this unprecedented international crisis. We are all in this together, and we are glad to support all of those who are dealing with this problem head-on.”

The first Mission of Mercy event in Wisconsin was held in 2009. Since that time, MOM volunteers have provided over $10.4 million in free dental care to more than 15,000 children and adults. The event also aims to raise public awareness of the barriers to dental care faced by low-income adults and children, challenging patients, policymakers and dental professionals to work together to improve Wisconsin residents’ oral health. This year’s Mission of Mercy was to be held in Green Bay at the KI Convention Center on June 12 to 13.

Members of the National Guard picked up the WDA supplies, which had been warehoused in New Berlin on March 25, so that they can be distributed to hospitals, first responders and other care facilities throughout the state.

“The decision to donate PPE was made in response to the global shortage suffered by healthcare professionals who have seen supplies run critically low,” Dr. Raimann said.

In conjunction with the state’s “Safer at Home” order and recommendations from the ADA, WDA, CDC and others, most Wisconsin dental offices are currently limiting care to emergency procedures only. Many have been donating masks, gloves, gowns, disinfectant and other PPE to their local public health departments, hospitals, first responders, medical clinics, nursing homes and other care facilities throughout the state.

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Wisconsin National Guard

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