Mobile Dental Program Helps Create Smiles for Patients

Julia shows off her beautiful smile.

By Tami Hughes, Advocate Aurora Health Public Affairs. Reprinted with permission.

Julia Ordonez has gone without teeth for 20 years. She is 79 years old and didn’t have regular dental insurance. She thought there was nothing that could be done.

“I went to three different dentists and they all said my mouth was bad. They denied making dentures for me,” Julia shared.

But at the end of 2020, she discovered the Mobile Dental Program through Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, and her luck finally changed. “This program was willing to work with me and give me a set of teeth I can use. I am extremely happy with my new teeth,” Julia said with a smile.

Julia received care through the Mobile Dental Program which just received a new van that will help us take care into the community where it’s needed most. The van was funded through Advocate Charitable Foundation, thanks to a grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The goal of the program is to provide quality, comprehensive and affordable dental care to underserved adults and children throughout Chicago. This new van will help the program treat over 650 low-income and at-risk people who, like Julia, would likely have nowhere else to turn.

“The van serves as a modern dental office on wheels, equipped with two exam rooms,” explained Amy Martin, DDS, Dir. Of Mobile Dentistry at Advocate Illinois Masonic.

The van can provide virtually any service provided in a freestanding dental facility. The program works with 18 partner sites through the city of Chicago and greater Chicagoland area. It has been significantly funded through philanthropy for 20 years, giving the gifts of a smile and confidence to thousands of people.

“This new van make thousands of healthier smiles possible across the city over the next few years. We are truly grateful,” said Dr. Martin.

To help patients like Julia, Advocate Illinois Masonic has a special giving page. Select “special needs dentistry” in the drop-down menu.

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CHHSM Board and Staff are grieved to learn of the death of our friend and colleague, Greg Watson, who died in October 2022. Greg was vice president of operations for Embrace Living Communities, based in Oak Brook, Ill.Greg was a graduate of CHHSM’s Nollau Leadership Institute, class of 2018-2019, and was consecrated as a Diakonal Minister during our 2019 Annual Gathering in Chicago. In an article about his class in June 2018 — not long after the group’s first retreat — Greg said, “The best part is not only beginning the process of clarifying your calling; but also, understanding and accepting one’s personal strength. Recognition of one’s ‘true' self enables us to serve from a place of wholeness.”Greg also served on the CHHSM Board of Directors, and was a beloved friend and colleague to many in the CHHSM family. Embrace Living stated on its website, “Greg was an outstanding servant leader for 17 years at Embrace Living Communities. He will be greatly missed.”CHHSM sends its prayers and love to Greg’s friends, family, and Embrace Living colleagues. ... See MoreSee Less
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