Thursday, November 10, 2022

The Iowa Mission of Mercy was held this past weekend, November 4 and 5, in Des Moines. Over the weekend, the dentists and dental staff saw 1,083 patients, completing 6,732 procedures, which amounted to $1,013,563.44 worth of care. All dental care at the event is provided for free to those who come and are willing to wait. Services provided to the patients include cleanings, restorations, minor oral surgery, endodontic and periodontal care as well as removable prosthodontics (e.g., “flippers”).

This event is a major public health event for our state, and it is a great opportunity for College of Dentistry students to grow and learn as clinicians while connecting with dentists from all over the State of Iowa. As in previous years, the college played a vital role in providing care on Saturday. Over 100 students, several residents, and over 20 faculty and staff turned out to support the free clinics. Several members of our collegiate community brought along family members to support this vital work.

And this, of course, does not include all the alumni of the college who make this event what it is. 

Photos from the Iowa Dental Association, including many of our alumni are available on their Facebook page.

Carrie McKnight, clinical associate professor of oral pathology, radiology, and medicine and the faculty member who organizes the college's IMOM team, expressed her gratitude to those who served, saying:

We could not have done it without all of your help on Saturday!  Compliments to our dental students, who stepped up to provide care in many different areas, and with willingness to participate and serve!

Thanks to the faculty and adjunct faculty who came to instruct the students—we could not have made this possible without you!

A big thanks to our residents, Liz Skotowski from Peds and Connor Dang from Endodontics—you helped see so many patients!  Connor was the very last clinician working at the Mission of Mercy—you deserve a medal!

Two images from IMOM highlight how much this free clinic means. In the first, there are three generations of Iowa dentists (or soon to be Iowa dentists) serving patients: LeRoy Strohman ('58 DDS, '59 PEDO), William "Bill" Strohman ('85 DDS), and third-year dental student Josh Strohman. William Strohman mentioned that his father, Leeroy, was able to assist and oversee Josh as he triaged a patient. Hawkeye truly does mean family, and the Strohman family is deeply committed to helping Iowans get the care they need.

Leeroy, William, and Josh Strohman

In the second image, there are three dentistry faculty members, Kyungsup Shin, Carrie McKnight, and Kari Mass. Faculty are vital for overseeing the work that our students do at IMOM. But these three (and also a couple of others) also brought their teenage children to help. Truly, Hawkeyes help!

Kari Mass, Carrie McKnight, and Kyungsup Shin with their children at IMOM

Please join the college and Iowa dentists next year for IMOM in Waterloo.