CTMOM's Collaborative Efforts with Community Health Centers
When the Connecticut Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic (CTMOM) began in 2008, its main focus was to provide free emergency dental care to those who could not afford to pay. In the years since the inception of the clinic, close to 15% of the patients who attended CTMOM have been repeats and in this year’s clinic alone, more than 1600 patients didn’t have any insurance and could not afford to pay for care. In our ongoing efforts to improve the program and to take CTMOM to the next level, we saw that we could meet a tremendous need by assisting our patients in finding a dental home.
This year, CTMOM reached out to the Community Health Centers (CHC) throughout the state for assistance with this initiative. At this year’s clinic, informational tables were set up throughout the clinic for CHC staff to assist patients in finding a dental and in many cases, a medical home. In addition, a post -clinic follow- up letter was mailed to all CTMOM patients who did not have insurance or a dental home, recommending they contact their local CHC to continue their commitment to their oral and overall health. For their convenience, informational pamphlets with CHC locations and hours of the centers were enclosed.
This coming year, CTMOM will focus additional attention on the geriatric and at-large special needs populations while we continue our quest to facilitate the location of a dental home for all of our patients.
Project Homeless Connect
The CFDO participates in Danbury's Homeless Connect held at Western Connecticut State University. Oral health supplies and educational brochures are provided to more than 200 individuals and families. Flyers regarding the upcoming CTMOM event are also distributed. The event also provides clothing, haircuts by hairdressing students, assistance from social service agencies, eye exams and reading glasses provided by the Lion's Club, legal assistance, employment assistance and teeth cleaning by the area's Community Health Center, all free of charge. The attendees are so thankful for the supplies and some even rush to brush their teeth!
Veterans and Soldiers
The CFDO partners with the American Legion Post 83 to provide oral health supplies for our veterans at the VA Hospital and soldiers actively serving our country. We are proud of and thankful for all of our soldiers and are honored to be able to serve them.
New Haven Men's Homeless Shelter
The CFDO partners with one of the area churches to provide oral health supplies and oral health education information to New Haven's neediest at the men's homeless shelter. Goodie bags containing personal hygiene supplies, hats, gloves, socks and other items donated by the church, distributors, corporations and individuals are distributed to the shelter twice a year. The men are most grateful for the supplies and information received.
The CFDO partners with New Reach, an organization which supports and stabilizes vulnerable children, families and individuals through emergency shelter, housing, in-home family stabilization, clinical triage services and the provision of basic needs across Connecticut. The CFDO donates oral health supplies, oral health education information and food leftover from our CTMOM Free Dental Clinic events.