It is hard to believe that Mission of Mercy is in its 27th year of providing free medical and dental services, as well as free prescription medications, via a mobile medical and a mobile dental unit, to all uninsured and underinsured Carroll County residents.
Throughout these years our footprint in the county has included the Human Services building in Westminster, Calvary United Methodist Church in Mt. Airy and presently, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Taneytown. In addition to our church partners, Carroll Hospital also provides free lab and X-rays for our patients.
Our licensed medical and dental staff, supported by a cadre of volunteers, have provided more than 230,000 medical and dental patient visits and dispensed over 420,000 prescription medications since we began in 1994.
These services have been provided without reliance on government funding and at no cost to our patients.
According to the Mobile Health Clinics Association’s national Mobile Health Map (www.MobileHealthMap.org), the positive return on investment for mobile clinics is $12 for every dollar spent on operations. By this measure, Mission of Mercy saves our communities over $11 million every year.
Presently, we are seeing an increase in medical, and particularly dental, patients since many men and woman have lost their jobs and their health insurance due to the pandemic.
Maryland is one of few states with no dental benefit for adults on Medicaid. Dr. Diane Romaine, past president of the Maryland State Dental Association and current president of the Maryland State Dental Association Foundation, reports that more than 70 percent of people age 65 and older have no dental benefit and cites the cost of care as the number one reason for not going to the dentist.
Our dental director, Dr. Roslyn Kellum, says avoiding oral care can lead to a host of other health risks, including diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory issues. In addition to providing free extractions and fillings, her team conducts blood pressure and diabetic screenings on all dental patients and refers patients with these health issue to our medical program to provide our patients with comprehensive risk assessments and care.
Thanks to the generosity of Carroll countians, Mission of Mercy has, for nearly three decades now, provided quality medical and dental care to the sick and suffering in Carroll County who are uninsured and underinsured. Funding from foundations, corporations, businesses, civic groups, special events, churches, and individuals enables us to continue our life-saving efforts.
If you would like to donate to Mission of Mercy, or you need our services, please visit our website at www.amissionofmercy. For dental services please call 410-390-1314, and for medical services please call: 410.833-5870.
We sincerely need and appreciate your support.
Linda M. Ryan, M.S., is the executive director of Mission of Mercy.
Each Monday, the Carroll County Times publishes a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it, as our editorial. To be considered, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Nonprofit View.”