EDINBURG, Texas — The Texas Mission of Mercy Rio Grande Valley (TMOM-RGV) recently held a Free Dental Clinic at the Edinburg Bert Ogden Arena on September 15 and 16. The event was a big hit, with many volunteers and community members showing up to get free dental care. It was a great example of how people can help each other.
This noteworthy accomplishment was announced at a press conference on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at the Bert Ogden Arena. Dr. Carlos Cruz, a leading oral and maxillofacial surgeon, took the stage. Accompanying them were Richard F. Cortez, Hidalgo County Judge, and Jaime Longoria of the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency, who also lent significant support.
Dr. Douglas Bogan, the Chair of TMOM from the Texas Dental Association (TDA), and Dr. Barry J. Currey, acting chairman of the Texas Dental Association Smiles Foundation, expressed their gratitude for their remarkable community support.
Having dedicated his career to philanthropic medical pursuits, particularly in cleft palate repair, Dr. Cruz redirected his focus toward meeting the dental health needs of South Texas. “This event was more than a milestone; it was the realization of a mission I feel deeply committed to,” Dr. Cruz said.
The seriousness of the dental health crisis in South Texas, an area with a population of about 870,000 and significant poverty rates, wasn’t lost on the organizers. The event drew upon the collective strengths of community partners like Lone Star National Bank, DHR Health, and the Bert Ogden Arena.
The initiative boasted 44 dental chairs, more than its regular 40, and medical professionals started treating patients as early as 7:30 a.m. “The doctors are extremely busy, and it’s extremely organized,” noted Dr. Cruz. The aim is not just to provide immediate care but to create a fulfilling experience patients want to return for future events.