Veteran's First


The Illinois State Dental Society Foundation will give priority status to 250 U.S. veterans at its next Mission of Mercy scheduled for 2024 at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL.

In 2024, ILMOM will screen up to 250 veterans beginning at 1:00 pm after the clinic is set-up.  These pre-screened veterans will receive priority status upon the clinic opening on Friday. 

The Illinois Mission of Mercy (ILMOM) provides free dental care to patients who otherwise do not have the means or access to care. The clinic is set up in a convention center or school and patients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is met.  There are no criteria or limitations on who may be treated other than they must meet the minimum health standards.  It takes 1,000 volunteers to run the clinic.  No one is paid for his/her time or talents.

Program Details:

The ILMOM Program Coordinator and Local Arrangements Committee members will communicate with the local Veterans agencies and clubs (County Veterans Assistance Commissions, VFW Posts, and American Legion Posts) to inform them of the Veterans First Program. 

The ILMOM Coordinator or members of the ILMOM Local Arrangements Committee will be available to speak with Veterans groups about the Veterans First Program.  In addition, printed materials will be distributed to the County Veterans Assistance Commission.

Veterans should present at the UW Health Sports Factory between the hours of 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm on Thursday. Signage will direct them to the correct entrance.

Each veteran must present his/her DD214 or appropriate identification ID card to prove that he/she is a U.S. veteran. The veteran can present any one of the following to prove veteran status:

  • Department of Defense Identification Card
  • Veteran Health Identification Card
  • Veteran Identification Card
  • Veteran’s identification on a state-issued identification card
  • DD214 (discharge papers) and photo identification

Each veteran presenting for the Veterans First Program on Thursday will receive a numbered armband corresponding to the number on his/her Registration Record folder.  The veteran must wear the armband upon presenting to the clinic the following day so that the record folder can be easily located. If a pre-screened veteran presents to the clinic on Friday, without an armband, he/she may have to re-do the registration, screening and triage.

The Veterans First Program will include the following ILMOM services on Thursday of the event:

  • Registration
  • Medical Triage
  • Dental Triage
  • X-Rays

The screening on Thursday will begin at 1:00 pm and conclude at 5:00 pm.

Each veteran’s Registration Record will correspond to the number on his/her armband.  The Registration Records will be stored numerically in file boxes and secured at the clinic site until the doors open on the first clinic day, Friday.

Each pre-screened veteran will be instructed to enter or line up at the Veterans First entrance at 7:30 am on Friday.  The veterans will receive priority entry to the clinic and enter via a different door than the general public.

Veterans who arrive later than 7:30 am will need to enter at the end of the general public line.

Upon lining up at the Veterans First door, Line Volunteers will distribute folders to the veterans, matching the individual veteran’s folder to his/her armband number. Each Veterans First participant will receive his/her Registration Record, and a clipboard. 

Volunteers will monitor the Veterans First entry door and ensure patients are appropriately escorted. Ten veterans will be admitted at a time beginning promptly at 7:30 am.

All Veterans First participants must be seen again in Medical Triage on Friday.  Upon clearance in Medical Triage, veterans will be escorted to Dental Routing and then to the clinical waiting area or directly to a treatment chair.

The Veterans First armbands will be a different color than the general public armbands so that volunteers can easily identify Veterans. 

Line Volunteers for the general public should be watchful for Veterans First armbands to ensure that veterans enter the correct line.

When treatment is completed, each veteran will be escorted to the Patient Exit Interview station for processing.

Please join us in saluting our veterans at Illinois Mission of Mercy in Peoria!