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Medical Teams International, HealthPartners and Patterson Dental Partner to Provide Dental Care for Homeless Families

by Angela Pratt | Dec 18, 2013
(Minneapolis, MN, December 16, 2013)—Medical Teams International (MTI), HealthPartners and Patterson Dental will offer mobile dental clinics to provide dental care once a month to residents at People Serving People – the largest and most comprehensive family-focused homeless shelter in the Minneapolis area.

"Providing care to underserved populations is an important part of our mission to improve the health of our community," said David Gesko, DDS, Dental Director and Senior Vice President at HealthPartners. “When Medical Teams International approached us with this idea, we knew it would be a great opportunity to improve access to dental care and make a difference in the lives of these families."

Since 1989, Medical Teams International’s mobile dental program has provided free or low-cost care to children and adults who cannot afford or access dental services. Each mobile clinic contains dental chairs and all necessary equipment, instruments and supplies. HealthPartners has committed to providing volunteer dental professionals to staff the clinics at People Serving People each month. Patterson Dental and Patterson Foundation have not only provided funding, but donated digital x-ray, patient software, and hygiene equipment and supplies.

“Our effort to provide critically needed dental care to vulnerable populations has taken on a whole new dimension through the involvement of HealthPartners and Patterson Dental,” said John Braddock, MTI’s Mobile Dental Program Development Office. “Their support allows us to expand the reach and impact of our program and we’re truly grateful for their partnership.”

Last year, Medical Teams International was able to provide dental care to more than 730 people in Minnesota. The clinics offered at People Serving People will provide care to an estimated 300-450 homeless children and adults this year.

“For Minnesotans caught in the cycle of poverty and homelessness, obtaining quality dental care is extremely difficult,” said Daniel Gumnit, CEO and President of People Serving People. “We know a high percentage of the kids who stay here have untreated dental concerns. These untreated oral health issues have a negative impact on their overall wellness, and the pain hinders their school performance. That is why it’s so important for us to have partners like Medical Teams International and HealthPartners provide this service to our guests.”