Big Ten Network: This Maryland festival is spreading smiles across the state: BTN LiveBIG
The Big Ten Network (BTN) reported on the 2017 Mission of Mercy & Health Equity Festival and how “the home of the Terps became a house of smiles.”
This is the second Mission of Mercy & Health Equity Festival to take place at the University of Maryland Xfinity Center through a partnership between the School of Public Health’s Center for Health Equity, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Maryland State Dental Association (MSDA). The volunteer-run event serves hundreds of patients seeking emergency dental care and provides wrap-around health services. Approximately $1M in free dental and health services were provided during the two-day event.
BTN spoke with Stephen Thomas (professor, Health Services Administration and director, Maryland Center for Health Equity) about the event. “When you walk into the University of Maryland Xfinity Center, it’s as if you can hear the crowd roar,” Thomas reflected. “But for two days, we turned our arena of competition into an arena of cooperation.”
Inspired by a newspaper story he read about an emergency dental clinic in a high school gym, Thomas pledged to be a part of the next event. With the partnerships he developed with Catholic Charities and the MSDA, hundreds of dental, medical, and general volunteers, and the generous donations from corporate and private donors, Thomas’s pledge became a reality and is, as he notes, “a demonstration that we are stronger together.”