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Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award 2004

Kansas Mission of Mercy, a program of the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation

2004 Winner
Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award

From among the roughly 150 grant projects supported by the Health Fund in 2004, one raised the bar in each of the four criteria used to evaluate projects for the Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Recognition Project of the Year--Kansas Mission of Mercy, sponsored by the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation.

On attainment of goals and objectives, this project successfully provided free dental care valued at $3,410,678 to 8,817 people in need through four Kansas Mission of Mercy events. The first weekend event was held in Garden City in February of 2003 and the fourth in Salina in February of 2005. Events were also held in Kansas City in 2003 and Pittsburg in 2004.

On utilization of volunteers, Kansas Mission of Mercy engaged literally thousands of volunteers including dental professionals, church members, and local community members. An example is the most recent Kansas Mission of Mercy in Salina for which 1256 volunteers participated, including 164 dentists, 91 dental hygienists, and 260 dental assistants. The Pittsburg and Salina events also activated the United Methodist Hutchinson District Disaster Response Food Trailer and church volunteers to provide meals.

(L-R) Kevin Robertson, Dr. Jon Tilton, Dr. Glenn Hemberger, and Greg Hill receive the 2004 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project award on behalf of the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation.

On the development of community, church, and other support, this project has received, in addition to Health Fund support, grants from other foundations, local cash donations, and in-kind donations of equipment and food. For the Salina event, a total of $95,532--including the Health Fund's $10,000 grant--was raised in financial support.

On the institution of good management and financial practices to assure quality service delivery, Kansas Mission of Mercy exemplified the learning organization with each event gaining from the experience of the ones that came before it to handle the massive job of coordinating volunteers, equipment, facility and supply needs, food service, and patient flow, all while attending to the sometimes overwhelming needs of large numbers of patients.

None of these remarkable accomplishments, however, captures the value of Kansas Mission of Mercy in raising awareness of the unmet oral health needs in our state. The picture of hundreds of people waiting in line through the night to receive care when the gates opened in the morning--the stories of people who preferred having no teeth to suffering the pain of untreated oral disease--the quantifiable reports of unmet need from exit surveys sponsored by the Health Fund--combined to provide compelling evidence of a very real health issue, captured the attention of the media, and put a face on oral disease in Kansas.

For significant accomplishment, not only as an exemplary project, but also as a vital component of on-going efforts to improve oral health in Kansas, we recognize Kansas Mission of Mercy as the Health Fund's 2004 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project.

Representing Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation--Kansas Mission of Mercy: Kevin Robertson, Trustee and Staff; Dr. Jon Tilton, Trustee; Dr. Glenn Hemberger, Trustee; and Greg Hill, Staff.

Awarded May 11, 2005

Learn more about the Janet Sevier Gilbreath award