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Dwight E. McLeod DDS,MS

 

Welcome potential volunteer!

 

The goal of the Jamaica Dental Mission (JDM) is to help reduce oral health disparities among children and adults in western Jamaica through a collaboration with local Jamaican Rotarians and community supporters as well as visiting volunteers. The JDM focuses on comprehensive dental care whenever possible. Patient education, health awareness and overall wellness are central messages that are conveyed through our volunteers. The JDM has been the continuity of care for many Jamaicans over the past 17 years. To date, we have treated almost 17,000 children and adults.

Education is a key element to bridge the socioeconomic gap and to eradicate poverty. The JDM supports education through frequent donations of school supplies, textbooks, computers, and printers.

Building community relationships is essential to the sustainability of the JDM. We want to make a difference in the overall lives of the children and adults that we serve. As such, the JDM, through the support of sponsored programs in the United States, has taken on projects to improve the quality of life of the children and workers at Kew Park School by renovating the canteen facilities, purchasing kitchen supplies for the canteen at Kew Park and contributing toward general upgrade of the school building at Kew Park, and donations of new or gently used clothing and shoes.

The ultimate goal of the JDM is to construct a modern wellness and community center at Kew Park. We continue to raise funds toward that life changing effort. JDM is deeply committed to succeed in achieving its goal.

I am excited that you will be participating in the JDM. There are many reasons why individuals volunteer to participate. Some common reasons are listed below.

  1. I want to give back to society.
  2. I want to learn about another culture and to contribute.
  3. I heard the Jamaica Dental Mission is fun and rewarding.
  4. I was told that if you don’t participate you are missing out.
  5. I am applying to graduate school and I want to boost my application.
  6. Great way to collaborate and to interact with other dental/pharmacy students.
  7. The best experience I have ever had.
  8. The absolute way to learn and to improve clinical skills.
  9. I am going because my friend is going.
  10. Great way to interact with other dentists and healthcare providers.
  11. I love the Jamaicans, the people, food, culture, music, beaches and mountains. I love it all!
  12. I was raised to help those in need.
  13. I love public health dentistry and community service.
  14. I am interested in applying to dental school.
  15. It is such a well-balanced mission and a good deed.
  16. Fosters inter/intraprofessional education and interprofessional collaborative practice.
  17. It is a confidence builder.
  18. It made me a better general dentist and a better person.
  19. It made me a better specialist and a better person.
  20. I am forever grateful for the experience and that is why I keep on giving and returning.

Whatever your reason is for going, the JDM is a rewarding and enriching experience that will shape your perspective on life forever. It offers something for everyone. You work endlessly but at the end you are given relaxation time and an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful island and the country.

On the Jamaica dental mission we have celebrated many special occasions including birthdays, engagements, and weddings. Life-long friendships have been formed and new relationships have developed into marriages. We have seen timid students develop confidence and become compassionate and caring practitioners and mentors. Students who are unsure of their future are given direction and have pursued advanced training or specialty programs, including public health dentistry. Others have started their own mission projects locally in the United States or abroad. Some individuals have become champions or advocates for the underserved while others actively engaged through service or financial support.

You know the reason why you are going and you will return with stories to share with your family and friends. The experience is a great conversation piece that you will share for a life time. It is no wonder that we have so many repeat volunteers.

I remain grateful to all our supporters in the United States and in Jamaica. Without your support, we would not be able to fulfill our annual mission and to work toward realizing our long term goals. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of the people that we serve and for changing our lives through the opportunity to engage in community service and life enriching experience.

 

See you in Jamaica.

Regards,

Dwight E. McLeod

Director and founder

Jamaica Dental Mission, Inc.