GMOM 2013

GMOM: Helping the Less Fortunate

The second Georgia Mission of Mercy (GMOM) event took place June 13-16 at the North Atlanta Trade Center in Norcross in Gwinnett County. A tremendously dedicated group of volunteers, some 1,456 clinical and general in all, provided 1,619 patients with oral health education and donated dental services valued at over $1.588 million.

“The GMOM event helped many patients in dire need, and that was due to the hard work and support of our volunteers, GMOM chairs and leads, sponsors and donors, and event co-chairs Dr. Karyn Stockwell and Dr. Jonathan Dubin,” said 2012-13 GDA President Dr. Sidney Tourial, himself a GMOM volunteer. “The GDA believes that this event successfully accomplished the GMOM goals set forth in 2011 about providing urgent care to low-income adults, educating patients about oral health, raising awareness about the difficulty low-income adults having in accessing dental care, and challenging policymakers to do their part in improving the oral health of those who have difficulty obtaining care."

2013 Commemorative GMOM Video

The GDA and GDA Foundation for Oral Health is pleased to present this video commemorating GMOM 2013. Thanks to GMOM volunteer Seth Dubin for editing this moving tribute to the great work done by dental volunteers.

GMOM 2013: The Statistics

Clinical and General Volunteers: Thanks to the 1,456 volunteers who donated their time and talents. Dentists from every GDA district participated, as well as dental residents from the GPR and Periodontal programs at Georgia Regents University. GMOM benefited from the efforts of 321 dentists, 149 dental hygienists, 234 dental assistants, 66 dental students, 56 dental lab techs, and 630 medical and / or general volunteers.

Services Provided to Patients: One GMOM goal is to provide free access to dental care for low- and no-income adults while placing a high priority on patients suffering from dental infections or pain. That goal was met in 2013 as 1,619 patients received care on the two clinic days of June 14 and 15. The treatments provided were:

• 458 cleanings
• 2,064 x-rays
• 1,019 fillings
• 105 root canals
• 48 crowns
• 2,277 extractions
• 181 partial / full dentures
• 1,587 oral health education presentations
• 2,236 other dental procedures

Although the GMOM 2013 was aimed at caring for adults in dire dental need, the clinic did provide care for 105 children under age 18. The youngest children received care in mobile facilities provided by Help A Child Smile of Conyers, Georgia. The youngest patient was age one. The oldest patient was age 86, and the median patient age was 40.5 years. The majority of patients, 64.52% were female. Patients traveled to Norcross from 106 Georgia towns. GMOM 2013 volunteers also saw two patients from Alabama, two from Florida, four from South Carolina, and one patient from Tennessee.

The total number of patients who visited the clinic was lower than the number from GMOM 2011. However, many people received more than one dental procedure, especially on Friday when the patient flow started slowly. The destructive storms that came through metro Atlanta Thursday night may have kept some people away early and the storm damage was a bigger news story than the clinic. However, once some calls were made to media outlets and other contacts, the lines started forming and Saturday was a very busy day.

A large majority of patients, 82.85%, reported that they currently had no insurance coverage, while 5.50% reported have Medicaid or CHIP (PeachCare for Kids) coverage. Some 4.97% of patients reported having insurance through their employer or job. Patients were not required to prove any income or coverage levels prior to receiving care. The only pre-screening performed was for medical conditions that might prevent a patient from receiving an invasive dental procedure.

Approximately 58.19% of GMOM 2013 patients reported that two or more years had elapsed since they last visited a dental office, and 20.58% of patients reported that they had not seen a dentist in at least a year. Some 33 patients reported that their visit to GMOM 2013 was the first time they had visited a dental care facility.

GMOM Goals

  • PROVIDE free access to dental care for 2,000 low- and no-income adults while placing a high priority on patients suffering from dental infections or pain.
  • EDUCATE patients and family members in attendance about the importance of obtaining and maintaining optimal oral health.
  • RAISE AWARENESS of the increasing difficulty low-income Georgia adults face in accessing critical dental care.
  • CHALLENGE patients, policymakers, and dental professionals to work together to improve the oral health of those who have been promised care by the state.


Donors and Sponsors

Our GMOM event received generous donations from many commercial vendors, foundations, and caring individuals. Please click here to view the list of our amazing financial and in-kind donors. We hope you will thank them for their contribution to the success of this program. (And feel free to make a GMOM donation if you feel called to do so!)

Event Chairs and Leads

A special thank you goes to GMOM chairs Dr. Karyn Stockwell and Dr. Jonathan Dubin. These dentists sacrificed nearly an entire year of their personal and professional lives to make their vision of caring for fellow Georgians a reality. The GMOM Task Force, as well as Courtney Layfield and the other GDA staff members, must also be recognized for their immeasurable contribution to the welfare of the people in their community. Each of these individuals is a shining example of the great works and generosity of dentistry in Georgia. For a listing of Team GMOM 2013 chairs and leads, please click here.