The Week That Was: January 29-February 1

Go West Young Man

Sometimes you need to look beyond yourselves for inspiration and innovation. That was the case last week when I jetted straight from MDA’s Legislative Day to catch a flight to Phoenix where I would observe and volunteer at a 25 chair MOM clinic. At our recent MOMOM workshop, we discussed how we might provide a smaller but more targeted clinic in more remote but high need areas of the state.

In this instance, the AZ MOM folks were providing dental care as part of a larger Veteran’s service expo. The partnership made sense, but the initial execution took a moment to find its footing. We are used to MOM clinics being self-contained efforts, and once they figured out the guest role within this larger event, the AZ MOM people hit it out of the park.

It was fun for me to have a volunteer role without all the obligations and pressures associated with a large MOMOM event. I had a chance to study and evaluate the proportionate downsizing of equipment and personnel from 90+ clinic chairs to about 18 treatment chairs (6 each in hygiene, restorative and OS). And I was able to pick the minds of Kevin, Sarah and Kirsten who organized the event and graciously welcomed me into their clinic. They have done 6 large clinics in the same building, but were trying on for size this smaller one. They use their own proprietary WiFi and private VPN network to track more data electronically than we typically do here in Missouri. It was fun to discuss the pros and cons and realize that all MOM organizers have the same struggles of securing enough dental volunteers and trying to follow well-intended policies for the benefit of patients and volunteers.

My takeaways from a quick, but helpful trip?

  • I believe AZ MOM treated close to 250 of our finest veterans. That was fun to be a part of.
  • I was able to talk with ADCF leadership who also is exploring the pros and cons of offering a smaller clinic.
  • I was reminded that the MOM movement is fraternal in nature. It’s charitable dentistry at its best, and I was excited to hear the AZ MOM wants to return the favor and attend our next MOMOM.
  • I learned that people adapt to different hours, smaller settings and fewer hands. I even enjoyed a very simple hospitality area without perishing.

Once again, it’s all about flexibility and keeping the main thing the main thing. For us in Missouri, that means providing a dignified patient experience to as many as possible over two days. I relish the journey ahead as we explore how to best serve our neighbor in this clinic format.

The Week Ahead

After a whirlwind Legislative week and this trip to Phoenix, we caught our breath this week. But next week we fire up the engines again with staff meeting, the auditors in town, back-to-back vendor fairs in St Louis and Kirksville, a trip to the Northwest Dental Society to explore MOMOM options for 2019, and the bon voyage launch of Travel and Learn 2018.

Quote of the Week

“To be busy is man’s only happiness.” – Mark Twain

Do you agree?

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