(MARTIN, Tenn.) – As Reelfoot Rural Ministries prepares to reopen in early June, the doctors in its dental clinic knew they needed to take additional precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their staff, patients and themselves against the threat of COVID-19. After hearing the news about the University of Tennessee at Martin creating medical face shields during the shortage of personal protective equipment, UT Martin alumnus and volunteer dentist at the clinic, Dr. Greg Moore, reached out to the university to see if they could help.
“The ability of UTM and many other entities to produce needed PPE has enabled not only front-line health-care providers to continue but has also enabled other health-care providers like dentists to return to work and practice in the face of this virus,” said Moore.
UT Martin provided the 3D technology and labor to produce the face shields for Reelfoot Rural Ministries for the cost of the materials.
According to UTM Chief Information Officer Amy Belew, the university “wants to help out the community as much as we can,” and the services donated to Reelfoot Rural Ministries, “(provided) us with a great opportunity to do that.”
Reelfoot Rural Ministries is a religious nonprofit organization that serves those in need the counties of Dyer, Lake, and Obion Counties in Tennessee and Fulton County in Kentucky, as well as senior citizens from any county in Tennessee. From low-cost dental and vision care for the uninsured and underinsured provided by volunteer doctors, to grocery distribution and home repairs, Reelfoot Rural Ministries seeks to help those who qualify for financial need in one of the most poverty-ridden areas in Tennessee.
The Reelfoot Rural Ministries dental clinic will reopen June 2 in order to continue serving the dental needs of Northwest Tennessee residents.
West Tennessee Healthcare Volunteer Hospital also purchased face masks for use in direct patient care. Two recent UT Martin graduates, Garrett Hay and Grayson Lambert, delivered the shields to the hospital May 7.
PHOTO: (l-r) Executive Director of Reelfoot Rural Ministries, Rev. Robert Craig, UT Martin Chief Information Officer, Amy Belew, and UT Martin alumnus and volunteer dentist, Dr. Greg Moore)