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    Make a difference with Freedom Day USA 2017

    Freedom Day USA gives dentists the opportunity to give back to military personnel, veterans and their families.

    To paraphrase the movie Jerry Maguire, “They had me at hello!” Watching the following videos about Freedom Day USA, tears started to flow from my eyes when the little girl had a surprise visitor at school: Her Dad coming back early from deployment in Afghanistan. When I finished watching the rest of the video, I called Dr. Robert Martino, the founder of Freedom Day USA and told him, “I will support you in any way I can.”

    If I had to choose one dentist to represent our whole profession to the White House or the United Nations, it would be Dr. Martino. I know that everyone who knows him would agree. Five years ago in his never-ending quest to make a difference he created Freedom Day USA, an annual day of thanks that invites dental offices from around the country to provide free dentistry to military personnel, veterans and their families. It is a day that gives dentistry a great name and for those who participate it is a day they never forget.

     

    Watch the following video to hear Dr. Robert Martino talk about why he founded Freedom Day USA.

    To provide more detail on this incredibly special initiative I met with Wendy Boyce, National Marketing Director of Freedom Day USA to answer the specifics about the most commonly asked questions about Freedom Day:

    What exactly Is Freedom Day USA and what is its goal?

    Freedom Day USA is a national thank-you event that takes place one day each year. Dental teams across the nation provide complimentary services to our active military, their immediate families and to our veterans. This year, Freedom Day USA takes place on October 12, 2017.

    There is a significant unmet need among military veterans and their families for basic oral health care. Benefits are not universally available to all veterans and both preventative care and reparative treatment often go neglected. So, besides providing dental teams with a unique vehicle to directly thank our military, their families and all veterans for the sacrifices they have made for our freedom, we hope to unify the dental community as a voice for change to improve dental coverage and benefits for our veterans and their families.

    Are there restrictions on the services that participating dental offices provide?

    Not at all. Dental practices are listed as a Freedom Day USA participants whether they see one patient or dedicate every chair on the schedule for Freedom Day USA guests. The dentist and his/her team determine the services they would like to provide. Many of our participants provide complimentary hygiene appointments along with same-day operative procedures, while others are more specific or limited in their offer.

    This “thank-you” comes from the dentist and their team, so it’s completely up to each practice! The only thing we ask is that whatever services are provided are completely free.

    Have past participants found that Freedom Day USA benefits their practice?

    Absolutely. Along with being able to do something nice for the military/veteran community, Freedom Day USA is an amazing team-building experience for the office. While the main goal is to give back, we have many offices tell us that they experience an increase in new patients due to their involvement, and the media often showcases the practice (free advertising!) as the event gets closer. Many teams appear on the news, in the paper and in magazines/articles.

     

    Continue to page two to learn more about participating in Freedom Day USA 2017—and to see the tear-jerking video that made this author cry.

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