Medical Missions Foundation conducted its first local mission on Friday, July 31st, 2015 at St. Therese Little Flower. Urban Plunge, a day of free screenings for low-income Kansas City children and adults, was a collaboration between Medical Missions Foundation and Cerner’s First Hand Foundation. Volunteers performed dental, vision, and hearing screenings in addition to physicals from doctors.
By the end of the day, volunteers had screened 37 individuals in total, of which 18 were adults and 19 were under the age of 18. One mother remarked to volunteers that without Urban Plunge’s free screenings, she would have had to take her three children to Walgreens for screenings at $30 per child, totaling $100. Many of the children screened needed physicals in order to participate in school sports, such as football. Additionally, volunteers were able to identify issues that warranted a referral for follow-up with a care provider. In total, 15 dental issues, 2 vision issues, and 5 hearing issues were identified.
While many of the volunteers at Urban Plunge had donated their time to Medical Missions Foundation before, some were first-time volunteers. Brad and Desni McGuire, both RNs and new volunteers for Medical Missions Foundation and First Hand Foundation, thought it was a great opportunity to take advantage of putting skills to work outside of their normal environment and serve those who need it most and are deserving. Other volunteers came from St. Peter’s Parish, who connected to Urban Plunge through their pastor, Father Steve Cook, whom they share with St. Therese Little Flower. Laura Arensberg, Catherine Kuhls, and Julie Bustamante enjoy volunteering with their parish and are very active. It was wonderful to see volunteers from many different organizations come together for Urban Plunge. Hopefully next year Urban Plunge will screen even more families and adults and build on the partnerships fostered this year.