Last month the Student Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA) received a generous donation from TUSDM alumnae Dr. Janice Conrad, who sent a check with the award money from winning the Thomas Winkler Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Dentistry.
If you haven’t heard of SPEA (or the ACD), we are an organization focused on encouraging, maintaining, and promoting the further learning of ethical and professional behavior in the dental profession. SPEA is your friendly liaison for ethical queries or when you want policy changes at Tufts.
The teeth in our mouths seem so simple and straightforward until they’re in trouble. Then we’re in trouble. Dental health is directly tied to overall health. And try finding a good job when you’re missing teeth or doing a good job when your head’s in pain. And yet, we treat dental care as kind of a luxury.
Lots of insurance doesn’t cover it. A third of Americans can hardly get access to it. And our dentists like doing cosmetics. This hour On Point: the story our teeth tell about wealth, poverty, beauty and American health care. — Tom Ashbrook
Mary Otto, author of the book, “Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America.” Former reporter for the Washington Post, where she covered social issues including healthcare and poverty. Oral health topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists. (@mottomatic)
On May 31, 2017, an oral health screening was held at Mass Mental Health Center. They provide comprehensive services to Department of Mental Health (DMH) eligible adults and adolescents such as, psychiatry service, dialectical behavioral therapy program, etc. Toothbrushes, toothpastes, and brochures were handed out to advocate good oral health.
Arietta Rigopoulos (D19) reflects,
“I, along with 4 of my classmates, Soteji Adeuti(D19), Lillian Lwanga (D19), Meghan Kelley (D19) and Iana Elledge (D19),
volunteered at the Mass Mental Health Fair on May 31. At this event we took turns sitting at our booth and answering questions about dental concerns for those that came by. We recommended they get an oral health screening which consisted of an oral cancer screening, dental findings and our recommendations. Several people came by the booth and were very excited to get a screening. It seemed as if every person that came by our booth truly cared about their dental health and wanted to improve or maintain it. By the end of the day we convinced a few people that were “embarrassed” to get a dental screening to not only get one but potentially become our future patients. This was a great experience working with a different population of patients that we may encounter in clinic and especially now that we are entering clinic it was great exposure to put our skills to the test. We not only practiced our practical skills but our communication skills with a minority group, those with mental illnesses, and this continuous practice will only make us better clinicians in the long run!”
Vermont State Dental Society (VSDS) hosted “Special Olympics Special Smiles” this weekend, special thanks to the following represents on behalf of Tufts American Student Dental Association ASDA & TUSDM at Burlington Vermont to provide screening service to special needs athletes:
Kevin Campbell ’18
Meghan Powers ’18
Shayla Walker ’18
Spencer Nice ’18
David Kirsch ’18
Tiffany Ngo ’18
Avigya Shrestha ’18
Annie Le ’18
Alyssa Tarpy ’18
This is an annual event recurring every spring for third-year students, if you are interested in volunteering, join next year!
On May 23rd, members from the American Association of Women Dentists at Tufts teamed up with high school students from Ursuline Academy and Maureen Favorito of Smart Smiles to promote oral health at the Women’s Lunch Place.
Annabelle, Lobna & Brooke’s Ursuline Academy Project
When we asked high school seniors Annabelle Garrity, Lobna Yussef, and Brooke Mercuri about their capstone project they told us: “Our school encourages students to do 110 hours of community service before we graduate. My classmates and I decided to set up health days for the Women’s Lunch Place. We brought in audiologists, optometrists and dentists for the women to see. The volunteers we brought in did screenings and checked for future possible complications. We had a great time getting to know and work with a great group of women and are grateful for this opportunity.”
Latashia Harris (DA) and I had a table representing Tufts at the Higginson School Health Fair on Tuesday evening, May 23. Other health related organizations such as WIC and Dimock Community Health Center were present. We used the puppets for tooth brushing instruction, played the healthy foods game and gave out toothbrushes, toothpaste and TUSDM pamphlets. We always get amazed looks from the health fair visitors when they see the “Re-think Your Drink” poster, and the kids love to brush the puppets teeth with the giant toothbrush. We were prepared to see more participants this year, but far fewer attended than in the past. The fair is held in the schoolyard, so the cooler weather may have kept some home. Community Hygiene goes to the Higginson during the school year to provide preventive care, so we also try to promote that program to the parents, as all are not aware of this opportunity.
The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) student organization is structured to support those pre-doctoral students who, through military sponsorship, are committed to serving their country both as a dental professional and a military officer. HPSP proudly presents our 8 graduated D17s, our newest captains and lieutenants! HPSP had organized a senior night to celebrate and recognize our graduated 4th years and our faculty/student members who have military ties.
Our D17s showed amazing dedication, compassion, and leadership throughout their years at TUSDM, and there is no doubt that they will succeed not only as dentists, but as military officers. We’re incredibly excited for them as they embark their new journey in their designated military bases. You guys will be missed! Thank you for your service!
Army: Patrick Hoye Lejla Tupkovic
Navy: Ashley Wallace Kyu Choi Tom Vu Jimmy Assad Alex Sukys
Air Force: Mitchell Tossberg-Wilson
Senior night PC: Kevin Campbell (D18)
D17 US Army commissioning ceremony at Fenway Park
D17 US Navy commissioning ceremony on the USS Constitution