Mobile Dental Clinic shortlisted for Denobi Award

Five guests at Denboi red carpet.

The Mobile Dental Clinic was shortlisted for the 2024 Denobi Team award for the National Mobile and Teledentistry Conference.

Now in their fourth annual conference, the Denobi Awards recognize “industry stars who’ve made outstanding contributions in dentistry around the world,” according to the website.

From among 300 nominees, Denobi selected 70 finalists, including six finalists competing for one Team award.

Owned by UCare and operated by the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, the Mobile Dental Clinic provides primary and preventative dental care services to pediatric, adult and senior populations, as well as patients with special healthcare needs. The clinic supports and assists UCare members in finding a dental home. The 43-foot, wheelchair accessible space is entirely mobile and features three dental chairs. It regularly visits fifteen sites throughout Minnesota, and functions as an Outreach opportunity for dental, dental therapy and dental hygiene students.

As director of the Mobile Dental Clinic, Michael Henderson, DDS ’17, says the clinic’s main role is simple: “the MDC brings dental care to the patient.”

Henderson was proud, excited and grateful to find out that the clinic was named a finalist for the award. “I speak on behalf of all MDC staff when I share my gratitude; our culture is centered around the privilege to be able to offer much-needed services to deserving patient populations in a unique and forward-thinking manner,” he said. “The MDC team and I are honored by the nomination, as it is a recognition of the many staff and faculty that work clinically, as well as behind the scenes, to make it happen.”

He sees the hard work of staff, faculty and students as what makes the Mobile Dental Clinic most deserving of this nomination. “I get the immense privilege of witnessing the dedication and hard work of the MDC faculty, staff and students on a daily basis,” he said. “The amount of behind-the-scenes work that is done to keep operations running smoothly and patient care continuing is always amazing to witness.”

It’s no surprise, then, that he’s proud to work with his excellent team. “I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of a positive culture centered around student education and patient care,” he explained. “The MDC team gets to be part of making patients’ lives more comfortable and healthy on a daily basis while building and strengthening our local communities.”

Representatives for the clinic attended the Denobi Awards Gala in March to celebrate the great honor.

"The Mobile Dental Clinic team is most deserving of the Denobi Team nomination due to their co-created mission statement of ‘Delivering innovative outreach education while providing high quality dental care to underserved communities. Uniting students, patients, and communities together to increase social connections and guiding students to become well-rounded, community-oriented professionals,’” said Angela Hastings, DMD, director of the Division of Community Outreach and Engagement. “Being recognized for their dedication to our community at large is a value add for our patients."