Skip To The Main Content

Sentara Healthcare & Optima Health to Support Mission of Mercy in Virginia Beach

The Virginia Dental Association Foundation (VDAF) recently received a generous $50,000 sponsorship from Sentara Healthcare & Optima Health to help launch the first Mission of Mercy (MOM) project in Virginia Beach at Green Run High School on April 30, 2016. 

The VDAF provides care through various direct service programs, including the Mission of Mercy (MOM) mobile dental projects, Donated Dental Services (DDS), and Give Kids a Smile!. Sentara sponsorship provides key funding for the first MOM project in Virginia Beach. Created in 2000 by Dr. Terry Dickinson, executive director of the Virginia Dental Association, the MOM program operates mobile clinics to offer free dental services throughout Virginia. MOM projects are conducted in identified, underserved areas of the state where there are not enough dental practitioners to adequately address the oral health needs of the community. Through 85 completed MOM projects, 59,053 patients have received dental care. The services, valued at $38.3 million in total, were provided by 23,055 volunteers. To learn more or volunteer with a 2016 MOM project, please visit,

“The link between oral hygiene and overall wellness is clear,” said Meril Amdursky, Executive Director of Sentara Foundation – Hampton Roads. “Unfortunately, many of our own friends, neighbors and loved ones cannot afford the dental care that they so desperately need. Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health are pleased to support this event as it is consistent with our mission: “We Improve Health Every Day.” ”

“The VDAF is very grateful to Sentara Healthcare & Optima Health for making the Virginia Beach MOM project a reality,” said Patrick Finnerty, President of the Virginia Dental Association Foundation. “It’s often overlooked that, even in Virginia’s largest cities, there are so many who cannot afford even the most basic dental care. Working together we can leverage their support to provide the best care available for the undeserved in Virginia and to create sustainable solutions in the communities that need them most.”

Support for the Virginia Beach clinic is also being provided by the Virginia Health Care Foundation. Event partners also include Atlantic Dental Care and Access Partnership.

ABOUT THE VDAF - Founded in 1996 as the charitable and outreach arm of the Virginia Dental Association, the VDAF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide access to dental care for underserved and underinsured Virginians. For more information about the Virginia Dental Association Foundation and its programs, visit

About Sentara Healthcare & Optima Health - Sentara Healthcare, based in Norfolk, VA, is a not-for-profit system that includes advanced imaging centers, nursing and assisted-living centers, outpatient campuses, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, home health and hospice agency, a 3,800-provider medical staff and four medical groups. In addition, they provide medical transport ambulances and Nightingale air ambulance, and extend health insurance to 450,000 people through Optima Health. For more about Sentara, visit