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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.  

  • Mobile Dental Success Story: Alex

    by Katie Carroll | Feb 15, 2014
    Since childhood, Alex suffered with molar pain caused by a dental care mistake in his home country of Russia. For decades he has suffered - unable to even sleep at night because of the pain. Volunteering at a local food pantry, he heard how MTI's dental vans could help uninsured patients. After visiting a clinic, he now lives pain-free.

    We are so grateful for our donors and volunteers - you are changing lives!


  • Partner Highlight: Bridgetown

    by Katie Carroll | Feb 13, 2014

    Bridgetown Inc. is a Portland-based organization serving the homeless and marginalized in downtown Portland, Oregon through a weekly outreach program, Night Strike. Recently, Bridgetown Inc. recognized the dramatic need to offer free and accessible dental care in addition to the medical care they were already providing.

    Dr. Angell, a volunteer with both Night Strike and MTI’s Mobile Dental Program, heard about the need and suggested a partnership between the two organizations. During the first Mobile Dental Clinic in December 2013,

    Dr. Angell performed extractions and fillings for about nine patients in just two hours. Night Strike guests, who on average range between 35-40 years old, were thrilled to be given the opportunity to receive excellent dental care. With the success of the first Mobile Dental Clinic, Bridgetown Inc. has nearly doubled the hours of our next scheduled visit and is hoping to see at least 15 new patients!

    Bridgetown Inc.’s Founder, Lesley Schneider, shared that the partnership received an overwhelming positive response from both Bridgetown staff and the served population.

    “We think it’s going to have an enormous impact on the overall health of our guests,” said Schneider.

    Story by Krystal Foote

  • Impact Story: Fish for Teeth

    by Katie Carroll | Feb 12, 2014

    Our Mobile Dental program relies on variety of community partners to help provide dental clinics to those most in need. In 2012, Medical Teams International partnered with Fish for Teeth – a non-profit organization serving Washington’s San Juan County. Matt Marinkovich, a San Juan Island commercial fisherman and founder of Fish for Teeth, shares the impact MTI’s mobile dental care has had in his community.


    First off, the only reason Fish for Teeth exists is because in 2005 an eight-year-old girl came up to me out of the blue when I was at the elementary school playground with my daughter. She said to me "Wanna see my cavities?" and opened up her mouth to show me a mouth full of decay. That was the extent of our "scope of need" study; one and half years later Fish for Teeth was formed, complete with a Board consisting of fishermen and dentists.

    A few years later, we were introduced to Medical Teams International’s Mobile Dental program. Their mobile dental vans equipped our volunteer dentists with all they needed to provide care. Since we partnered with MTI, we have had many instances that made us say "Thank God we're doing this!" Thumbing through the comment forms patients fill out after their visit really shows that we are reaching the people that need help. One woman said the pain was so bad she "thought she was going to die," while another woman said that she felt like her visit to the dental van "saved her life.”

    I grew up with a lot of cavities and know what dental pain is like, and I cannot imagine having a toothache and not having a way to make it end. So I'm really glad to be a part of this to help people rid themselves of dental pain! During our most recent clinic, my wife met a woman who said her husband’s tooth had been hurting him so much he couldn't talk or sleep, and they didn't have money to see a dentist. My wife encouraged her to bring him to the clinic and they took care of the situation that day. This couple is just one example of the many people we see who need help - responsible families who are working two jobs, but still don't have the means to afford dental care. Thank you to MTI for giving Fish for Teeth the means to help so many people up in the San Juan Islands.

  • Oral Health Crisis in America

    by Katie Carroll | Feb 06, 2014
    Did you know that dental health in the United States is reaching a state of crisis?  

    Check out this infographic that illustrates the barriers to care for low-income families here in America, the negative outcomes on hospitals - plus what you can do to help!  


  • Thank You: Typhoon Yolanda

    by Katie Carroll | Jan 31, 2014

    Thank you.

    Your compassionate and generous response to Typhoon Yolanda helped provide direct medical care to more than 20,000 people affected by the disaster.

    Because of you, Medical Teams International was able to quickly respond, shipping urgently needed medicines and medical supplies to clinics and hospitals in the Philippines – enough to care for 10,000 people for 3 months! And thanks to you, our volunteer teams of medical professionals were able to be on the ground within days of the disaster, helping to restore the health of communities devastated by the typhoon.

    Your support made a difference in the lives of so many – a baby with acute pneumonia was restored to health by life-saving medicines, an 86-year old man crippled by arthritis received urgent medical care after days of being trapped in his storm damaged home, and a young girl whose leg had been severely injured by flying sheet metal was rescued by our team and airlifted to a hospital in Tacloban to receive the surgery she so desperately needed. Your gifts made all this and more possible.

    Here, nearly 10 weeks after the storm, I’m pleased to report that the country’s capacity to provide adequate medical care is being restored. Our 15th and final medical team will return this week and we will continue to provide support to local partners engaged in a variety of rebuilding efforts in the coming months. On behalf of our staff and volunteers, thank you for joining us in our commitment to rise, mobilize and make a difference in the lives of people affected by this historic and devastating typhoon. Your support is a huge blessing to those we serve, and we are so grateful to have you on the team.

    Watch: Our Medical Teams on the ground in the Philippines:

    MTI President & CEO Jeff Pinneo visited the field shortly after the typhoon. He and volunteers on the ground reported the destruction, the need, and the care we are providing.



    A note from one of our partners in the Philippines to MTI CEO & President, Jeff Pinneo:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you very much for your kind words but I must say that compared to the valiant efforts of your team, our contribution appear paltry. To come half way across the globe to assist our people in their greatest hour of need is nothing short of admirable. To see all the outpour of generosity from the global community inspires me and convince me that despite all the calamity, the people of this country are truly blessed with good friends and neighbors. For being spared the catastrophe, it is our duty and responsibility to help our countrymen, yet those of you who are not obliged are here. It is us who should be showing the appreciation and not the other way around. So, in behalf of the people affected by Typhoon Yolanda, Thank You! and God Bless you all!

    With greatest appreciation,
    Andrew B. Co

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