S+S Fall 2022
For the first time in its six-year history, Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh had three clinics: dental, vision, and hearing. Over 1,465 patients received free quality care at the successful event, held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on August 5-6, 2022.
Thanks to 1,155 volunteers, eye care was provided to 735 patients. Of that group, 681 received free pairs of glasses, including 75 children. Hearing tests were conducted on 417 patients, 229 people received hearing aids, and 25 patients were gifted with simple amplifiers.
The demand was so great at the two-day event that doors had to close early. “It is overwhelming to see how much need there is for these services in our own community,” said Lawton Snyder, Chief Executive Officer of the Eye & Ear Foundation, one of the event sponsors.
One impressive thing about the event is just because the care is free does not mean it diminished quality. One gentleman came in for a hearing test but was unsure if he would wait as he was in extreme pain from his tooth extraction. His hearing test was expedited, for which he was incredibly thankful. He said he was a retired police officer who – despite having insurance throughout the years and receiving dental, vision, and hearing care in the past – had never received care as great as what he got at Mission of Mercy.
Keith Young, Chairman of A Call to Care and sponsor of the event, said there were countless heartwarming stories from patients and volunteers about Mission of Mercy’s impact. The most frequently heard comment was that of genuine gratitude. “I cannot count the number of times I personally heard that, nor can I count the number of times volunteers (and our planning team) talked about the amazing level of appreciation from both patients and volunteers,” he added.
Everyone—from the patients, dentists, eye and hearing clinicians to the nurses and general volunteers—quickly sense that this annual community event is about so much more than dental, hearing, and eye care. Kindness and compassion are at the heart of everything we do. The dignity of every patient is celebrated—providing them with services that alleviate their pain, improve their hearing and eyesight, boost their confidence, enhance their overall health, and give them their smile back. Perspectives change, friendships are forged, and hope thrives. This annual event is truly becoming part of the fabric of the western Pennsylvania area.
The 2023 MOMPGH Clinic will occur on October 27-28, 2023, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.