Reelfoot Rural Ministries buys face shields at cost for its dental clinic, thanks to 3D technology at nearby University of Tennesee - Martin
Medical face shields produced by University of Tennessee - Martin (UTM) for the dental clinic at Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM) are displayed by, from left, Rev. Robert Craig, Amy Belew and Dr. Greg Moore. (Submitted photo)
By Sarah Knapp, Interim Staff Writer
Office of University Relations, University of Tennessee - Martin, TN
As Reelfoot Rural Ministries (RRM), an agency of the Memphis Conference of The United Methodist Church, prepares to reopen its dental clinic, doctors knew they needed to take additional precautionary measures to ensure the safety of staff and patients against the threat of COVID-19.
After hearing the University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM) was creating medical face shields during the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), Dr, Greg Moore, UTM alumnus and dentist at the RRM clinic, reached out to the university to see if it 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.
UTM provided the 3D technology and labor to produce the face shields for RRM for the cost of the materials. According to Amy Belew, UT Martin chief information officer, the university “wants to help out the community as much as we can,” and the services donated to RRM, “(provided) us with a great opportunity to do that.”
Belew and Moore are members of Martin First United Methodist Church in Martin.
“The face shields that UTM fabricated for us are one of the additional layers of protection that is advised along with much thicker masks,” Moore explained. “The oral cavity provides one primary vector of transmission of this virus through coughing and aerosol of water/saliva generated in having dental procedures. Therefore, the face shields from UTM help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In essence, they may save a life.”
RRM's mission has "always been based upon Christian love. As an outreach of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church for over 50 years, this ministry has been a neighbor to the community that it serves. So many churches, individuals and businesses have offered help to RRM through the years,” Moore said.
“Reelfoot Rural Ministries has received that benevolence and thus has offered assistance in many ministries to people across Northwest Tennessee and Southwest Kentucky for over half a century.”
At this time the RRM dental clinic is set to reopen June 2.
“I know that we’re looking forward to going back and continuing our work there at the clinic, but we have to make sure that we’re protected as much as we can in order to do that,” Moore said.
- about the medical face shields: contact Belew at 731-881-7901.
- about Reelfoot Rural Ministries: contact Craig at 731-538-9970.