This October, MB2 dentists traveled to Jamaica for the 3rd Annual MB2 Mission Trip. Originally spearheaded by Tennessee doctor owner, Dr. Joseph Dove, these humanitarian trips have become an MB2 tradition that is close to our doctors’ hearts.
“My goal in life is to be a philanthropic, volunteer dentist. This is a dream come true to volunteer on these trips and provide care in these communities,” said Dr. Dove, “This is a promise I made to myself when I was 18 years old in the military stationed in Honduras—that if I ever made something of myself I was going to come back and help communities in need. This is a promise I made to a younger version of myself and this is my future. Whenever I leave the MB2 family to retire one day, I’ll be in Central America in the Caribbean’s doing volunteer work. “
MB2 dentists visited several clinics in Jamaica including Ulster Springs, Maroon Town, Mt. Carey, Half Moon and the Hope Health Clinic in Montego Bay. They also visited Chetwood Primary School where they presented a fun oral hygiene skit and care packages to over 200 first graders. But the treatment didn’t stop there. MB2 dentists were able to set up at their hotel and provide treatment to the hotel employees. Word got out and more people came by as well for this unique opportunity.
Dr. Dustin McBride had never been on a Mission Trip and wasn’t planning on attending. After encouragement from Dr. V, CEO of MB2 and friend, Dr. McBride decided to give it a shot.
“I am so happy that I decided to go on the Mission Trip. The experience was both humbling and rewarding. Jamaica is a beautiful country with some of the friendliest people,” said Dr. McBride.
The locations of the clinics the doctors visited are in very rural areas of Jamaica, which brings on a lot of challenges. MB2 partners with local nonprofit, Jamaicans Caring for Jamaicans, or JCJC, and their sister company Jamaica Tours Limited to plan out the logistics of the Mission Trip. JCJ is a completely volunteer run non-profit whose mission is “building a healthier, happier society.” JCJ orchestrated the transportation of our doctors from the moment they touched down to the moment they left. They also help to set up the clinics and market to the local communities to get the word out.
“It was definitely a culture shock. I knew that we were going to be working in different conditions than we are used to, but I didn’t realize how challenging it was going to be. It felt like we were in a different time period. We didn’t have x-rays and everything was so outdated. I don’t think I realized to the extent of how limited access Jamaicans have to any dental care. Even if they do have access, it’s not as advanced. That opened our eyes and made me want to come more often. I knew there was a need, but I don’t think we realized just how big the need is,” said Dr. Dana Tievsky, owner of Archstone Dental.
A lot of factors affect the settings of the clinics such as lack of electricity or running water, lack of technology, and lack of transportation, which makes for a challenging work environment. MB2 is extremely grateful for any equipment donated in order to give patients the best possible care. We’d like to especially thank DDS Lab, Henry Schein, and KavoKerr for their contributions to this Mission Trip.
“Going into the trip, you know that there is limited equipment and technology, but it’s not until you are actually there to see for yourself what all you really lack. The mobile unit from DDS was awesome and we were really grateful to have it,” said Dr. McBride.
Husband and wife dentists, Dr. Max and Cheryl Johnson, owners of Abilene Dental Care are new to MB2. They were excited at the opportunity to not only have the opportunity to attend a Mission Trip, but to spend more time with their new colleagues.
“The trip was amazing. I think a big part of it was that everyone in the group got along so well. Everyone was willing to stay later to help as many patients as possible. We would finish our schedule and stay past hours to continue to work on 20 more patients,” said Dr. Cheryl Johnson.
Dr. Jennifer Hole, co-owner of Robstown Dentistry, shared the same feelings of camaraderie.
“The group of doctors really made the trip. We utilized each other’s skills to treat patients. If there was a child patient, I would come help since I have a lot of experience working with children,” said Dr. Hole, “I knew that coming back from this trip would feel rewarding, but what I didn’t realize was how much it would re-energize my passion for my career in dentistry.”
A Change In Pace
For MB2 CEO, Dr. Chris Villanueva, or Dr. V, the trip was a pleasant change in scenery from his usual routine.
“I am always the leader, the decision maker, the guy who has to hold all of the answers. Running the company, I sometimes forget what it’s like to step back and look around,” said Dr. V, “In Jamaica, I was just another dentist there to provide treatment. It was refreshing to work alongside my colleagues and to learn from them and focus on getting back to patient care.”
Fellow MB2 dentists felt agreeably excited to have their leader alongside them in the clinical setting.
“It was awesome that Dr. V went, I think we all thought that. He said multiple times he felt like a regular dentist on that trip and not a CEO. He was extracting teeth and practicing dentistry, and it was very cool to see him among peers and not the leader of everyone. Whenever people ask about Dr. V, I think the usual response is how humble he is and that he’s just like a regular person, but this experience really brought that to life,” said Dr. Dana Tievsky.
This was the third year for MB2 to embark on the dental Mission Trip, and it’s safe to say that every attendee plans on keeping up the tradition for the foreseeable future and others are excited to join. Altogether, over the span of two days, the doctors were able to treat an astounding number of over 300 patients. The weekend was capped with a Jazz festival fundraising event to raise money for JCJ’s organization.
Dr. Anthony Polk, fellow owner of Dove Family Dentistry, is now a seasoned Mission Trip veteran.
“We improve every year, and are always looking at how we can improve to make the patient experience somewhat comparable to what we do every day in the US. How can we make it flow more like our everyday office?” said Dr. Polk, “You end up serving a community that needs dental care and it helps everyone. It helps the country, it helps the people, and I think it helps us as a practicing dentist. We end up realizing what we’re capable of with very few means, or supplies, or equipment. It helps you grow as a dentist. You use everything you have, the knowledge you have and it makes you a really well-rounded dentist in the long run. Because of the technological barriers we have to go on our training and our experience.”
So what’s next for MB2’s Mission Trips? The annual trips will continue and we encourage any doctor interested in helping out in any way to reach out.
“We all come from different places and work in different practices, but at the end of the day we are all part of one bigger mission—to provide quality care to patients,” –Dr. Chris Villanueva.