Professional Volunteer FAQs

Mission of Mercy: Professional Volunteer FAQs

The Minnesota Dental Association and the Minnesota Dental Foundation have partnered to host the 2018 Mission of Mercy project; a special statewide dental access program to be held September 7-8, 2018, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis.  The Mission of Mercy will represent Minnesota dentistry’s largest free dental clinic event to date.

Dr. Alejandro Aguirre, is serving as chair of the 2018 Mission of Mercy event. The Minnesota Dental Foundation welcomes individuals who have a passion for dentistry and caring for the underserved, to volunteer for this important project.

Many other state dental associations and foundations have similar Mission of Mercy events. Find more information at the Americas Dentists Care Foundation website.

1. What is a Mission of Mercy?

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A Mission of Mercy (MOM) is a 150-chair dental clinic with portable dental stations set up in a large public arena. Dental screenings and services are provided on a first-come first-served basis, at no charge to those who attend. MOM combines the donated services of hundreds of dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental laboratory technicians and an array of volunteers to provide these free dental services.

Patients will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis with hundreds of patients typically lining up outside the night before. Care will be provided to adults and children. Dental services that will be provided include: gross debridement and prophylaxis, amalgams, composites, extractions, limited endodontics, and treatment partials. Services not provided are implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, molar endodontics and 3rd molar extractions.

2. Why volunteer for the MDA Mission of Mercy?

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Volunteering at the MnMOM provides a sense of commitment and service with ourselves, our communities and our state. It is a soul satisfying experience because it comes from the goodness of your own heart, with no expectation of receiving anything in return. Your service to the MnMOM event also highlights the continued problem of access to care to the citizens, Legislature and leaders of Minnesota.

3. When and where is the event being held?

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When
Clinic Dates: September 7-8, 2018
Set up: September 6, 2018
Teardown: September 8, 2018 (immediately following clinic closing)

Where
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Google Map/Directions

DIRECTIONS

By Car
From the West (I-94)
Take the 4th Street exit from I-94 and proceed to 2nd Avenue South. (Do NOT turn right onto 2nd Avenue North.) Turn right on 2nd Avenue South and go 8 blocks to Convention Center.

From the West (I-394)
Take Downtown exit (12th Street): follow 12th Street South to 2nd Avenue South and turn right. The Convention Center is on your left.

From the East (I-94)
Take the 11th Street exit: follow 11th Street South until you reach 2nd Avenue South, turn left onto 2nd Avenue South and cross 12th Street South. The Convention Center is on your left. The Underground Plaza Parking Ramp is on your right.

From the South (I-35W)
Follow downtown exit signs to the 11th Street exit and follow 11th Street to 2nd Avenue South. Turn left on 2nd Avenue South and go 1 block to Convention Center.

From the North (I-35W)
Take I-35W to Hwy 280. Follow Hwy 280 to I-94 west. Follow I-94 to the 11th Street exit (NOT 11th Avenue exit). Follow 11th Street to 2nd Avenue South. Turn left on 2nd Avenue South and go 1 block to the Convention Center.

Construction:
For downtown Minneapolis construction updates, check out the city’s Web site: construction updates. For traffic and road conditions in the metro area, visit the 511 Traffic & Road Conditions page.

By Bus
Metro Transit Trip Planner Buses and taxis are readily available at the MCC, the airport, Mall of America and at most hotels. Use Metro Transit’s Trip Planner for easy door-to-door directions for buses and light-rail trains.

Take a “Free Ride” on the Bus
Free bus rides are available on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis and to and from the Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC). This gives you an easy way to go from one end of town to the other – for free! The free service on selected routes between Grant Street and Washington Avenue is offered on buses marked “Free Ride.” Other buses on Nicollet – and all within the Downtown Zone – charge 50¢. Free-ride buses leave every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 to 30 minutes on weekends. Buses on Nicollet stop every other block between 5th and 13th Streets.

Parking

Parking is easy to find at the conveniently located Minneapolis Convention Center. Across the street from the Minneapolis Convention Center is an underground ramp that is connected by a climate-controlled skyway system to the Minneapolis Convention Center and several downtown accommodations and attractions.

Within easy walking distance of the MCC there are a dozen parking ramps, most connected to the Minneapolis Convention Center by skyway.

Attendee Parking
Parking is available on Third Avenue directly east of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

< 1 Hour $5.00> 1 to 3 Hours $8.00> 3 to 6 Hours $10.00> 6 to 12 Hours $15.00> 12 to 24 Hours $20

Early Bird 6:00-8:00am, out by 5:00pm $9.00

Guaranteed Parking

Meet Minneapolis has partnered with Spot Hero, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to allow visitors to purchase guaranteed parking near their destination. View real-time availability and pricing at many locations within easy walking distance to many attractions around Minneapolis.

Click here to reserve your parking.

Once purchased, parking is 100% guaranteed even if the location otherwise fills up. Simply present your purchase confirmation at the selected location, and this serves as your payment with no additional payments or fees ever.

4. I am a Minnesota licensed health care professional, what do I need to know to volunteer for a clinical position?

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All medical and dental health care professionals are required to be licensed by the state of Minnesota and have a current, active Minnesota license to practice. Minnesota Mini Licenses are required to be worn by all dental professionals during the event. Anyone involved in direct patient care or sterilization must have received Hepatitis B vaccinations. Infection control practices will be maintained at all times during the event.

5. I am a dentist or hygienist, but do not have an active license to practice in the state of Minnesota. Can I still volunteer?

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If you wish to provide patient treatment you must apply for a special volunteer license through the Minnesota Board of Dentistry. There are many wonderful non-clinical areas where you can volunteer. Patient ambassadors have an opportunity to interact with patients, to answer questions and to ease their anxiety while escorting them to the various clinic areas. Be a patient greeter or work in exit interview. Perhaps you would like to help in the hospitality area to provide food and beverages to the many volunteers.

6. Will my liability insurance cover me while at the MnMOM?

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The Minnesota Mission of Mercy purchases liability insurance for all volunteers.

7. Will dental and hygiene students be able to treat patients?

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The MnMOM has many wonderful opportunities for students. A limited number of dental students will be allowed to provide direct patient treatment under the supervision of their dental school proctor. This event will be a great learning opportunity and we encourage students to volunteer in positions where they can interact with patients – dental triage assistant, patient education, post-op instructions, assisting in restorative or oral surgery, or patient ambassador.

8. I am not a dental health care professional – what can I do at the MnMOM?

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There are over 500 positions available to general volunteers. Interact with patients by being a patient ambassador, in registration, translation services, waiting room coordinator, patient greeter. You can also work behind the scenes in data processing, food and beverage service, maintenance or parking.

9. I have difficulty in standing and walking for extended periods of time. Will I still be able to volunteer?

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Absolutely, we have a limited number of volunteer positions that can be performed while sitting. Please let us know of any concerns you have on your registration application and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. If we are unable to fulfill your request or you find you are unable to perform your assigned duties, just let us know and we will see where we can utilize your talents and contributions.

10. Is there a minimum age for volunteers?

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In order to assure everyone’s safety, all volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

11. Is there a local hotel you recommend?

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Room blocks have been reserved at the following hotels in Minneapolis. Be sure to mention the group codes to receive the special rates.

Hilton Garden Inn
Minneapolis Downtown
Rate: $99
Group Code: MDA
1101 4th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
612-339-6633
Website

Hilton Minneapolis
Rate: $139
Mention: 2018 Mission of Mercy
1001 Marquette Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
612-376-1000
Website

12. Will there be designated parking for volunteers?

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Parking

Parking is easy to find at the conveniently located Minneapolis Convention Center. Across the street from the Minneapolis Convention Center is an underground ramp that is connected by a climate-controlled skyway system to the Minneapolis Convention Center and several downtown accommodations and attractions.

Within easy walking distance of the MCC there are a dozen parking ramps, most connected to the Minneapolis Convention Center by skyway.

Attendee Parking
Parking is available on Third Avenue directly east of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

< 1 Hour $5.00> 1 to 3 Hours $8.00> 3 to 6 Hours $10.00> 6 to 12 Hours $15.00> 12 to 24 Hours $20

Early Bird 6:00-8:00am, out by 5:00pm $9.00

Guaranteed Parking

Meet Minneapolis has partnered with Spot Hero, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to allow visitors to purchase guaranteed parking near their destination. View real-time availability and pricing at many locations within easy walking distance to many attractions around Minneapolis.

Click here to reserve your parking.

Once purchased, parking is 100% guaranteed even if the location otherwise fills up. Simply present your purchase confirmation at the selected location, and this serves as your payment with no additional payments or fees ever.

13. What should I expect at the Mission of Mercy?

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The Minneapolis Convention Center will be set up as a portable dental clinic with the anticipation of seeing 1,000 patients per day for the two-day clinic. Add to that approximately 1,200 volunteers and you have a Mission of Mercy.

As patients register they will be asked to complete a form for basic demographic information and their health history. The form will be used for triage and to record patient treatment information. Patients will be treated based in their most urgent needs, with infection control and pain elimination as the first priority.

The clinic will be divided into several areas: Registration, Medical and Dental Triage, Radiography, Hygiene, Restorative, Pediatrics, Endodontics, Oral Surgery, Prosthodontics and Lab, Pharmacy and Patient Education. In addition, there are support areas such as Sterilization, Dental Supplies, Volunteer Registration, Data Processing, Hospitality as well as Food and Beverage.

A dental clinic with 150 portable dental chairs, lights and units will be set up to treat patients. The chairs will recline and the units will have access to water and suction. Given space restraints, each dentist will be able to have one dental assistant.

Children 12 and under will be treated in the pediatric clinic area.

In addition to receiving needed dental treatment, MOM patients learn the importance of good daily oral hygiene practices, healthy diet and routine preventive dental care. They learn about the negative effects of pop, sugary beverages and tobacco products, the link between dental health and overall health, oral cancer and more.

14. Will dental instruments, equipment and supplies be available or should I bring my own?

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Dental instruments and handpieces will be provided. There are amalgamators and curing lights available, one for every two restorative stations and one cavitron for each hygiene station.  Dental restorative materials, burs, anesthetics and disposable dental supplies will also be available. All gloves are latex free.

Those who prefer to work with their own instruments are welcome to bring them along as it may make the experience more enjoyable. Please feel free to bring your own STERILE instruments, clearly labeled with your name. There is a process in place to help ensure you get your personal instruments back after they have been sterilized. If possible, please bring your instruments in cassettes. Instruments not in cassettes will be individually bagged. The sterilization department will process personal instruments separate from the MOM instruments.

There will be a portable dental stool for each work station but feel free to bring your own. Please be sure all equipment brought to the clinic is CLEARLY labeled. If you are volunteering for both clinic days you may leave your equipment at your station. There will be overnight security in the clinic area.

15. Will radiographic equipment be available?

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Radiographs will consist of digital periapicals or panoramics. Select patients will have pre-treatment images taken of the tooth/teeth in question as part of the registration/triage process and prior to being seated in the post-triage waiting area.

16. Is nitrous oxide available?

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No, nitrous oxide will not be available for dentists or hygienists to use on patients.

17. What else should I bring?

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WHAT TO BRING:
The same Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Centers for Disease Control guidelines that apply in the dental office also apply at MOM. We will provide masks and gloves for all volunteers needing them and disposable gowns. If you have favorites, bring a supply of them for your personal use. There are no guarantees we’ll have a specific product, because we get supplies donated as much as possible. Clinicians should bring protective eye wear. Eye wear is only provided for those working in sterilization.

We want your experience to be as enjoyable as possible and for some that means using a specific instrument or material when working. Therefore, we encourage you to bring your own. There is a process in place to help ensure you get your personal instruments back after they have been sterilized. Bringing your instruments in cassettes will help save time otherwise each instrument will be individually bagged.

STOOLS:
Please consider bringing a stool or two from your office, especially if you have a comfortable one that you like to sit on.

WHAT NOT TO BRING:
Please leave valuables at home or lock them up out of sight in the trunk of your vehicle. There is no place to lock them up inside Concordia College.

WHAT TO WEAR:
Dress comfortably. You will be doing a lot of walking or standing on a concrete floor, so

Comfortable, closed-toe shoes are a must.
Clinical volunteers will receive a scrub top, and non-clinical volunteers a T-shirt. Please wear the shirts provided so you can be easily identified as a volunteer. You can wear pants, jeans, shorts or skirts – whichever you prefer. Shorts and skirts should be of a length that is appropriate for a professional atmosphere, family setting and shows respect for patients.

Every effort is made to maintain a comfortable inside temperature, but it is next to impossible for it to be comfortable for everyone in such a large group. Therefore, you may choose to wear layers under the volunteer scrub top or t-shirt provided or a sweater or jacket that allows your volunteer shirt to show. Having the option to change into shorts and/or pants is also a good idea.

18. What should I NOT bring?

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Please leave valuables at home or lock them up out of sight in the trunk of your vehicle. There is no place to lock them up inside the Minneapolis Convention Center.

19. Where should equipment be dropped off?

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If you are bringing your own stool or other large amounts of equipment, there is an equipment drop-off area at the loading dock area of the Minneapolis Convention Center.

20. Can I bring my own dental assistant or will one be provided for me?

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You are welcome to bring your assistant, but they must register individually. Once onsite they will be paired to work with you. If you do not bring an assistant one will be provided to you to work with. Dentists are encouraged to have their entire office sign-up; there are opportunities for everyone in the office to help. This builds staff camaraderie and they will be talking about it for months.

22. How do I provide my employer with proof that I volunteered for the MnMOM?

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After the event we’ll send out a thank you confirmation email listing your hours of volunteering.

23. What should I wear?

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WHAT TO WEAR:
Dress comfortably. You will be doing a lot of walking or standing on a concrete floor, so comfortable, closed-toe shoes are a must.

Clinical volunteers will receive a scrub top, and non-clinical volunteers a T-shirt. Please wear the shirts provided so you can be easily identified as a volunteer. You can wear pants, jeans, shorts or skirts – whichever you prefer. Shorts and skirts should be of a length that is appropriate for a professional atmosphere, family setting and shows respect for patients.

Every effort is made to maintain a comfortable inside temperature, but it is next to impossible for it to be comfortable for everyone in such a large group. Therefore, you may choose to wear layers under the volunteer scrub top or t-shirt provided or a sweater or jacket that allows your volunteer shirt to show. Having the option to change into shorts and/or pants is also a good idea.

24. Will there be food for volunteers?

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A light breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided for volunteers onsite in a break room away from the clinic floor. Because some of the food is donated we can’t guarantee that we can provide for every special dietary need.

Only water in a covered cup or bottle is allowed on the clinic floor. No open-top beverages will be allowed.

25. Will there be an orientation?

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Everyone is required to attend a department specific orientation session prior to working their first shift on Friday or Saturday. (There is not an orientation session required for set-up or tear-down.) Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your shift so you will have time to register and attend the pre-requisite orientation.

At Thursday evening’s dinner we will have a general orientation for all volunteers. It begins at 6:30 pm and you will have an opportunity to go through orientation, register, get your shirt and get a tour of the clinic.

26. If I can’t volunteer at the event, is there another way I can help the MnMOM?

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Absolutely! A project of this magnitude requires nearly $250,000 in tax-deductible donations and in-kind contributions to cover expenses for dental equipment, facility rentals, supplies, pharmaceuticals and food costs. Consider donating money or in-kind products or services. Your contribution, no matter the amount, will make a difference in treating thousands of patients. Please visit the Donations page on the Minnesota Dental Foundation website and select Mission of Mercy from the dropdown list.