The Smile Maker Campaign was officially launched in August 2019 with the goal of raising $125,000 to purchase a pre-owned mobile dental clinic (MDC). Our plan was to turn the MDC over to AHEC to operate. With the ensuing pandemic in 2020, the demand for mobile medical units increased substantially along with the price. In March 2021, we reached our goal but found that the price of an acceptible unit was more than twice what we estimated in 2019. Fortunately, AHEC was able to raise the difference thanks to grants from its funding sources.
In May 2021, TWF’s share of $125,000 was used to make the down payment on a customized two-operatory mobile dental clinic from the Mission Mobile Medical Group of Greensboro, NC. A pre-owned luxury RV was purchased (see photo). The interior furnishings were removed and replaced with all new dental equipment. Meanwhile, the team at AHEC set about designing the exterior and interior graphics.
The finished MDC was delivered to the Keys on September 3, 2021, and on January 4-6, 2022, ribbon-cutting ceremonies were held at schools in Key Largo, Marathon, and Key West.