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MOM Provides Critical Care and Relief for 15th Year

July 31, 2014
  • $1.4 million in high quality dental care delivered at 2014 Wise project
  • 1,299 adults and children served over two-and-a-half days

“They made my life less painful!” These words describing the dental volunteers came from a young man who walked 20 miles to the Wise County Fairgrounds to get care at the Mission of Mercy (MOM) project held July 18th through 20th. He was one of nearly 1,300 adults and children who received free preventative, restorative and surgical dental treatments valued at $1.4 million during the event.

Two days of rain and temperatures in the low 60s did not keep volunteers and patients away from this year’s MOM project in Wise. Governor Terry McAuliffe toured the dental area on Friday, July 18th, and presented the Virginia Dental Association (VDA) and Foundation with a proclamation in honor of the program’s 15th anniversary.

MOM was created in 2000 by VDA executive director Dr. Terry Dickinson. The very first project was held in Wise in the hangar of the Lonesome Pine airport. “When we began this journey almost 15 years ago, we had no idea of the long-term impact it would have,” says Patrick Finnerty, VDA Foundation President. “Since then, this organization has had the privilege of partnering with thousands of dentists and volunteers to provide over $35 million in free dental care to more than 55,000 patients and families across the Commonwealth. In fact, the MOM program is so successful that more than 25 other states have implemented similar models.”

For many individuals living in rural areas – particularly uninsured adults -- MOM projects play a critical role in providing access to dental care. As one patient shared, “It’s great for the people that don’t have insurance. It helps us get by.”

MOM is a program of the Virginia Dental Association Foundation. Founded in 1996 as the charitable and outreach arm of the Virginia Dental Association, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide access to dental care to underserved Virginians. Learn more at The Virginia Dental Association is a member-driven organization representing the interests of over 3,500 Virginia dentists, and it provides a wealth of clinical expertise and hundreds of volunteers annually for dental outreach programs. Visit to learn more. 

For more information, contact Beth Vann-Turnbull, Virginia Dental Association Foundation, at 804-523-2181 or