Mountain Health Alliance (MHA) is once taking a lead role in organizing the upcoming Mission of Mercy (MOM) free dental clinic slated for October 12 and 13, 2018, at the Allegany County Fairgrounds, with this year's clinic to be opioid-free in response to the local and national opioid crisis.
MOM dental clinics serve hundreds of people who lack insurance or the means to obtain regular dental care. More than 200 volunteer dentists and other oral healthcare professionals from throughout Maryland and the surrounding region staff the two-day clinics, which in the past have featured up to 20 treatment chairs. This will be the fifth MOM to be held in the county, following clinics in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015.
The first organizational meeting was held earlier this month at the AHEC West offices on the Downtown Cumberland Mall. At that meeting it was decided that, unlike previous clinics, the 2018 MOM will be opioid free and that appointments will be scheduled in advance. Registration information and other details about the 2018 MOM will be announced at a later time.
MHA Network Director Catie Wampole applauded the decision. "MOM clinics can make a huge positive impact in people's lives, but we want to be sure the clinic does not exacerbate the opioid epidemic, and thus are following best-practice models calling for the acetaminophen-ibuprofen combination," she said.