COLLEGE PARK, Md - The XFINITY Center will play host to the Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy Festival, sponsored by the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity from Sept 5-6.
Mission of Mercy is a free adult dental clinic composed of volunteer dental professionals and a volunteer staff. The clinic will only be able to serve patients who are 18 years or older.
Services provided include cleanings, endodontics/root canals, restorative fillings and extractions. Licensed dentist and hygienists, mostly from the state of Maryland, will be executing the dental services. Services are offered on a first come first serve basis.
Mission of Mercy has hosted over 50 projects in Virginia and has since spread to Maryland. Western Maryland hosted MOM projects in 2010 and 2011.
“This is an amazing demonstration of what a big idea looks like. This is a fearless idea,” said Dr. Stephen Thomas, professor of health services administration in the School of Public Health and the founding director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity.
Deacon Jim Nalls of Catholic Charities, a partner in the event, was excited about the amount of care the event could offer at such a large venue.
“This is a wonderful event,” Nalls said “We’re going to help a lot of people. It speaks to the fact that people are good at heart. There is a huge need. A lot of people need dental care. It shows the impact of public institutions, faith communities and private companies all coming together for a common good. This is a bigger venue than any event held like this in Maryland”
Thomas was proud to host the event at an arena with the scope of the XFINITY Center.
“This arena is the seat of competition and what we’ve done is we have transformed this space of competition into a cathedral of cooperation,” Thomas said. “We held an event in Laurel and we had to turn people away. That’s what made me pick up the phone and call Jim so that we could be a partner in this event.”
With 1200 volunteers, the event hopes to serve thousands of people in need of dental care.