DAYTON – Just a few months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Midmark Corp. donated 14 ultrasonic cleaners to Medical Teams International.
With these new, state-of-the-art products onboard its mobile dental vans, Medical Teams’ staff and professional dental volunteers have been able to respond more effectively and efficiently to urgent needs related to COVID-19 throughout Washington and Oregon.
As the COVID-19 virus spread in the United States, dental offices closed and emergency rooms became overloaded, making it difficult to treat emergency dental problems in a timely manner.
Medical Teams’ normal Mobile Dental Clinics were canceled, but the governors of Oregon and Washington deemed Medical Teams an essential service. This enabled the team to run emergency dental clinics in the Pacific Northwest.
For several months, Medical Teams has provided emergency dental care for at-risk populations – screening them for COVID-19 ahead of visits – to keep them from having to go to emergency rooms.
Midmark’s donation was instrumental in equipping staff and volunteers to meet needs quickly and safely. The Midmark QuickClean Ultrasonic Cleaners, with advanced technology, provide a safer, more efficient work environment for the clinicians by decreasing their exposure to contaminants while reducing the time and effort needed for cleaning.
“During these unprecedented times, health care facilities are challenged now more than ever with controlling and preventing the spread of infection as they diagnose and treat patients,” Mitch Eiting, global philanthropic and corporate giving manager, said. “We are excited about the work Medical Teams International is doing to bring emergency dental care to at-risk communities while keeping patients safe.”
Additionally, as COVID-19 broke out, hospital emergency rooms became busy seeing people possibly infected with the virus. To meet the rapidly growing demand for tests, many hospitals set up drive-thru screening sites.
Medical Teams quickly repurposed its fleet of mobile dental vans to support testing. The mobile clinics began providing COVID-19 testing in Washington State. Testing sites rotated in the Seattle/King County area, and populations served included unhoused, migrant and low-income populations. Medical Teams also positioned one of its vans in Issaquah, Washington, to support a testing site at Swedish Hospital.
Medical Teams also responded to the shortage of personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves. As a global medical charity that ships life-saving supplies from its warehouse every week, Medical Teams is thankful it could fill some of these gaps for nurses and doctors. The organization packed up and shipped supplies from its warehouse and mobile dental vans as needs arose.
With the help of Midmark and other corporations that have donated time, products and resources, Medical Teams International has been able to better assist those in greatest need during the pandemic, through emergency dental services, COVID-19 testing and the provision of PPE. The organization looks forward to continued collaboration to meet ongoing needs, with a focus on serving marginalized populations.
Medical Teams International and Midmark are both members of Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, an alliance and global network between nonprofit and corporate organizations. PQMD leads the development and championing of guidelines on quality for donation policies and practices, delivering urgent care in disaster situations and delivering life-saving products and services to at-risk and chronically underserved populations.