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Medical Teams International | Official Blog

Get the latest updates from our programs in the field internationally and here in the United States.  

  • Field Report: Bringing Smiles to Children at a Local Elementary

    by Katie Carroll | Mar 01, 2014

    This week, one of our Mobile Dental Clinics made a routine stop at a Parklane Elementary school in Portland, Oregon. Throughout the year, this location serves hosts a clinic for its own students, as well as kids from neighboring elementary schools who arrive via bus. Most children who visit the clinic have such significant dental problems that follow-up appointments are required to address the critical needs at hand.

    Professor of Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Paulson is an exclusive volunteer to this location working alongside the school’s Registered Nurse, Robin Lazuran, and with the assistance of four senior dental school students. In the days leading up to the clinic, Robin provides the initial assessment and places the children on a wait list based on priority. The first to be seen are those in significant dental pain, then obvious multiple cavities, and so forth. The majority of the children treated come from low income families who are not receiving assistance elsewhere or are undocumented citizens.

    It’s not uncommon for children to show up at the Mobile Dental Clinic scared and reluctant to receive treatment. Within a matter of minutes, Dr. Paulson changes the mood with his big smile and playful banter. Like a magnet, the kids are drawn to him and his staff, and a once fearful event becomes a positive experience setting the stage for ongoing successful dental care. Pediatric patients of the Mobile Dental Clinic are not only treated for severe and often complicated dental problems, but are offered dental cleanings and education around oral hygiene in hopes of decreasing future problems through effective prevention.

    “Here you go, you can even pick two,” said Dr. Paulson as he held out the prize box to one successful patient.

    “Oh, and don’t forget this!” he said as he placed a small package of dental floss into the child’s tiny hand.

    “Hey thanks!” the young patient replied with a grin.



    Despite dramatic improvements in medical care for children in the area, the Mobile Dental Program continues to address an unmet need for dental care, successfully filling in gaps in service one smile at a time.

    We are so thankful for our volunteers and donors - you are putting smiles on the faces of children in your own neighborhoods!

    Story & Photo by: Krystal Foote
  • Mobile Dental Success Story: Curtis

    by Katie Carroll | Feb 28, 2014


    A recent referral from his inpatient recovery program prompted 26-year-old Curtis to reach out and visit his local Mobile Dental Clinic. For much of his life, a combination of dental anxiety and lack of insurance prevented Curtis from receiving adequate oral care. Sometimes he struggles to sleep at night because the pain in his mouth is so intense. Tooth sensitivities to food and beverage temperatures have made eating meals almost intolerable. While at the Mobile Dental Clinic, a volunteer dentist reviewed and treated an excruciatingly painful cavity, which provided Curtis with hope for relief from years of pain. Now, Curtis looks forward to completing his inpatient program, finding a meaningful job, and, last but not least, getting his oral health back on track with the help of MTI’s Mobile Dental Program.

    Thank you for supporting our programs and for providing relief and hope to neighbors in desperate need!

  • Haiti Success Story: Baby Webster

    by Katie Carroll | Feb 26, 2014

    During a home visit in the community of Dubédou, assistant program manager Miss Vilia and community volunteer supervisor M. Pasteur Lahence Dieucilien came across a startling but far too common sight. Three-year-old Webster was showing signs of severe malnutrition.

    The place where the family lived had noxious odors caused by a houangan (witch doctor) practicing in the home. Miss Vilia and Pasteur Lahence advised Webster’s mother and father to take him straight to the Haiti Foundation of Hope clinic in nearby Terre Blanche.

    After arriving at the Clinic, Webster was immediately placed in the Medika Mamba-Ready to Use Therapeutic Food program. After 10 days of therapeutic support the child was brought from near death to good health. Haiti Foundation of Hope will continue to monitor the health and development of Webster to ensure that he does not return to his previous nutritional state. The family will attend trainings on hygiene and will how to use locally available crops to properly nourish Webster.


    Your generous donations restore the health of children in Haiti! Thank you for supporting our Haiti and child nutrition programs!

  • Mobile Dental Success Story: Ahmed

    by Katie Carroll | Feb 21, 2014

    A note of gratitude to you...

    After successful treatment in one of our Mobile Dental Vans, Ahmed wrote a handwritten letter of thanks to you for the treatment he received.  


     The Land of Freedom Relief, Opportunity Kindness, Dream Hope

    I wish I could find a word better than "Thank You" to really help sum up and show how loved, appreciated, and cared for I feel with Medical Teams International!  I have never known of any medical team, or service to offer me their full attention- on the hour and off, 24/7.  Medical Teams treated me with royalty.  I wish to have an opportunity to pay you back, but I know that no matter what I do, it would never measure up to a percentage of what you have done for me!  I feel so blessed and so loved to have the honor of knowing Medical Teams.  

    Made with love.
    - Ahmed

    May God bless you and your family, the way you have blessed mine. Thank you.


  • Mobile Dental Success Story: Terry

    by Katie Carroll | Feb 21, 2014

    We are excited to share with you how your gifts are providing urgent dental care to a hardworking community member in urgent need.


    This week, our Mobile Dental Van partnered with Outside In – an organization established to help homeless youth and other marginalized people move toward improved health and self-sufficiency. The second patient of the day was 48-year-old Terry. While Terry is blessed with employment he, like many, has lived much of his adult life without medical and dental insurance. Terry was a clear reminder of how difficult it is to get help without insurance. In fact, Terry hadn't visited a dentist in over 20 years, creating significant problems with his oral health. Terry came to the Clinic seeking respite from an incredibly painful, oozing abscess along his molars. With open arms, our volunteer dentist treated Terry for the first time in over two decades!

    Said Terry: “This is top of the line care!”

    Thank you for helping relieve Terry from excruciating pain!

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