Our hearts go out to all the people of Joplin, MO who have suffered incredible losses after an EF5 tornado tore through their community killing at least 125 people and leaving 1,500 people unaccounted for. We have reached out to the Missouri Dental Association (MDA), and Vicki Wilbers, MDA Executive Director, told ADA News, “We know of nine dentists for certain who received heavy damage or complete destruction of their offices,” Ms. Wilbers added that MDA believes upwards of 23 dentists have heavy damage or complete destruction of their location. MDA records indicate approximately 57 dentists are located in Joplin in 40 locations. Please see ADA News for coverage http://www.ada.org/news/5890.aspx
In an effort to help the dentists of Joplin and their community, a special fund has been created through the MDA Foundation to raise money and help in future relief and rebuilding efforts. The Foundation will serve as a collection center, and 100 percent of funds collected will go to the relief efforts.
For donation and other disaster response information go to http://www.modental.org/tornado.
We often refer to our colleagues and their families as “our dental family”, and especially in times of crises, families pull together. During this Memorial Day weekend, as we remember and honor our veterans, let us also honor the courage of the people of Joplin who are bravely coping amidst terrible devastation.
Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, DMD, MPH
Executive Director / Chief Operating Officer