Nearly 2,100 patients received free dental care during the recent Mission of Mercy clinic at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake.
Patients took advantage of free dental, medical and vision care at the fairgrounds. Illinois State Dental Society Foundation and CURE Network co-hosted the Mission of Mercy over two days in June.
While anyone was eligible to visit, an estimated $1 million in dental and medical services will have been given primarily to adults and children who are uninsured, underinsured or otherwise can't secure treatment.
"What you see at the Mission of Mercy is simply a larger example of the charitable care that dentists, physicians and vision professionals provide every day in their offices. This year's event was especially significant due to the Illinois State Dental Society Foundation's partnership with the CURE Network to provide dental, medical and vision care," said Dr. Robert Bitter, president of the Illinois State Dental Society.
Spread across the fairgrounds' exposition building were dental chairs for checkups, a makeshift laboratory, sterilization equipment and an area to produce eyeglasses.
More than 1,300 volunteer dentists, hygienists, physicians, nurses, optometrists, dental students and other professions participated and treated 2,082 children and adults.
Throughout the giant, free clinic, dental volunteers provided 1,113 exams and oral cancer screenings and 1,242 restorative treatments, said Dr. Mark Humenik, a general dentist who chairs the Mission of Mercy.
More than 500 patients received vision exams, and eyeglasses were made on-site for every patient who needed them, according to Dr. Ken Nelson, chair and co-founder of the CURE Network.
He said medical exams, pap smears, breast exams, blood sugar screenings and blood pressure screenings were performed on more than 300 patients.
"If everyone gives a little, we can do great things," Bitter said. "The overwhelming sense of gratitude from our patients was so rewarding to our tireless volunteers. Many patients commented that they had never been treated with such kindness and dignity."