This April our traditional MB2 Mission Trip was held in the rural jungles of Jamaica. Typically, many of our dentists and hygienists volunteer to attend the Mission Trip. This year, we were pleased to have three of our executive level team members journey to Jamaica to assist our dentists on the ground level. MB2 executive team members Justin Puckett- President, Susan Huff- Chief Integration Officer, and Clint Ellenberg- Vice President of Corporate Operations were excited to work side by side with our dental partners in an environment completely opposite of their day-to-day positions in the MB2 office.
“In our organization, leadership doesn’t hide behind spreadsheets,” explains CEO & Founder Dr. Steven Villanueva, “Executives join our mission trips so they can experience the humility that comes from serving patients that are most in need. Assisting dentists in these conditions instills a tremendous amount of respect for all who provide patient care. By understanding service and compassion in dentistry, it allows my executives to become better leaders.“
At MB2, we believe that it’s crucial to maintain a flat structure. Just as our doctor partners understand and appreciate the work our executive team members do to ensure our 147 partner offices, 300+ doctors, 1500+ team members and growing are successfully on-boarded and supported– our executives must fully grasp the importance of our dentists work in treating patients daily.
Dr. Villanueva serves a unique position coming from a dental background combined with his entrepreneurial journey building MB2 over the last 12 years. “One week I’m out in the jungles of Jamaica pulling teeth with my executives in our scrubs, and the next I am in a suit speaking on a panel at a conference among some of the top lawyers in the dental industry,” said Dr. V as he spoke on the Healthcare Dealmakers Conference hosted by Polsinelli, “As a dentist and a CEO, I am able to bridge the gap between my partners with a better understanding of both worlds. It’s important that our clinicians and non clinicians are aligned. So bringing executives on a rural dental Mission Trip is comparable to including my doctor partners in every aspect of our centralized services so that they truly understand what it takes to keep an army afloat.”
Clint Ellenberg shared his experience in serving in Jamaica: “I knew to expect hectic days running around and helping the team. What I didn’t expect–but quickly learned– was that we also had a major role to play in comforting patients, especially children. This is sometimes a painful, scary experience. Especially for those who are a first time patient, and there was a major emotional component to our patient interactions each day. The patients were overwhelmingly grateful and genuinely excited to get relief from a problem that had been bothering them. Children tended to be more nervous, however as you can tell from the photos, patients of all ages were all smiles and truly happy to receive help. I was struck by the children–respectful, friendly, very interested in learning. At both locations, every time you looked out the window you could see the faces of children trying to get a glimpse of the action.”
Not only did the MB2 team members in attendance get a better understanding of patient care, but they also experienced true team work.
“Days FLEW by,” recalls Clint, “I was never overwhelmed because we had a confident team that was organized, and there was always something that could be done to help the group. I feel like we accomplished a lot, both by the numbers and by the spirit of our patients. It’s always heartbreaking to not be able to see everyone, so of course there could be more done–but there are limits to everything. We wasted no time though.”
The feeling of appreciation of teamwork was felt on the doctors’ side too, veteran attendee Dr. Brooks Graves said. “Having been to Jamaica in the past for mission work, I understood what I would be seeing in terms of patients. In the past I have really enjoyed the time spent with friends and colleagues while using our education and training to be able to give back to others who would not otherwise have any options. But the difference this year for me was the chance for all of us to be together in the same church & same clinic providing dental care – that is what truly set this trip apart from any others for me. Both the clinics provided such a different experience. Both locations were very well organized and we were able to maximize the amount of dentistry we were able to provide because of the support we received from members of the MB2 executive team as well as Jamaicans Caring For Jamaicans–the volunteers who help coordinate our trip and were onsite each day.”
Dr. Joseph Dove, who originally brought the MB2 Mission Trip to life, also shared in the appreciation of the MB2 team members for their efficient processes in getting in as many patients as possible.
“I have been involved with all of the Mission Trips since their inception in 2016,” said Dr. Dove, “My favorite part of this particular trip was the bonding between the “office” and the “field”, executives and dentists, no egos, all go, with no quitting! The planning from our end (MB2 and Jamaicans Caring for Jamaicans) was tantamount to our success on the ground in Jamaica. The systems set in place by our executive team members, specifically Susan, definitely aided in movement of the patients. Time was a non-factor, we simply treated as many patients as we could. We accomplished a great deal of work in a very short period of time. I truly hope the mission exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
When asked if they would attend another MB2 Mission Trip if given the chance, the executives responded with a resounding “yes”!
“Yes! I feel like I have the flow of patients down and could help keep the clinic running smoothly to maximize the number of patients that can be seen. Although we have a busy integration schedule, I wanted to be part of the service to the local Jamaican communities and to help the overall mission.”
“In a minute! It’s a fantastic combination of the resources MB2 and our partners (such as Schein and DDS Lab) plus the skills and effort of our employees and owners. We definitely created a lot more value than just going somewhere to volunteers; it’s great to have something we can do that is so oriented around what we do as a company. “
“Absolutely, it’s a beyond rewarding experience. For me personally, this was not my first time to attend the Mission Trip, and I will continue to go at every given opportunity. It’s a truly one of a kind experience that you will not get anywhere else.”
Keep an eye out for more from MB2 to see more of MB2’s Mission work in fall 2019!
Any vendors interested in donating to the MB2 Mission Trips can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org