The Health Wagon and Virginia Dental Association Foundation Cancel July Pop-Up Health Events in Wise 

The Health Wagon and the Virginia Dental Association Foundation (VDAF) have decided to cancel this year’s Move Mountains Medical Mission (M7), formerly Wise Remote Area Medical (RAM), and the VDAF Mission of Mercy, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event was scheduled to be held in Wise, Virginia from July 9-10, 2021 with the Health Wagon’s medical and vision clinics held at the Wise County Fairgrounds and the VDAF’s Mission of Mercy dental clinic held at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise Convocation Center.

The free three-day annual summer event, which was held for most of the past twenty years, has been cancelled due to public health considerations regarding large public gatherings amid the pandemic. According to Health Wagon President and CEO, Dr. Teresa Tyson, “Public safety is of the utmost importance and after planning the event for over twenty years, it was a painstaking decision, but everyone’s health and safety were paramount. We will be planning for a 2022 event knowing how deeply meaningful the event is to the region for saving lives and knowing that thousands had come to depend on the event for eye, dental and medical services.” 

If you signed up with the Health Wagon as a volunteer for vision and medical at volunteers.thehealthwagon.org, you do not have to do anything. The Health Wagon will save your information and will contact you to sign up for next year’s event (date yet to be determined). If you have questions, contact the Health Wagon at 276-328-8850 or contact Nicole France at nfrance@thehealthwagon.org. If you enrolled as a volunteer and have a hotel or lodging reservation, please cancel it immediately. 

For patients located in southwest Virginia needing dental cleanings, extractions and restorative, the Health Wagon has recently hired a full-time dentist who is accepting patients. To make an appointment, please contact 276-328-8850. The Health Wagon will be hosting smaller specialty clinics throughout the rest of the year. 

“After convening the Wise Mission of Mercy dental clinic since 2000, we are saddened that we must again cancel this year’s event due to the pandemic. However, our greatest concern is the overall safety of our patients and volunteers. The VDAF knows that so many across southwest Virginia remain desperately in need of dental care and so we will be doing all that is possible to conduct smaller events in the region to help relieve their pain,” said Tara Quinn, VDAF Executive Director. 

Both the Health Wagon and the Virginia Dental Association Foundation will begin planning for next year’s event shortly. To be added to the list serve for monthly meetings, please email nfrance@thehealthwagon.org

The Health Wagon has spearheaded the M7 (formerly RAM) event for over twenty years. The event was founded by Dr. Teresa Tyson FNP, Stan Brock and Sister Bernadette Kenny FNP and has logged over 100,000 patient encounters and given millions of dollars of free health care. 

Founded in 1996 as the charitable and outreach arm of the Virginia Dental Association, the VDAF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide access to dental care for underserved and underinsured Virginians. Created in 2000 by Dr. Terry Dickinson, past executive director of the Virginia Dental Association, the Mission of Mercy (MOM) program operates mobile clinics to offer free dental services throughout Virginia.

For more information about the Virginia Dental Association Foundation and to donate to its programs, visit www.vdaf.org

The Health Wagon is a nurse practitioner managed clinic that has been in existence since 1980 which provides free medical, dental and vision health care services in Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan and Russell Counties and Norton City.

For more information about The Health Wagon, please call 276-328-8850 or visit www.thehealthwagon.org. If you would like to donate to the Health Wagon, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, please visit: www.thehealthwagon.org/donate.

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