Category Archives: Reflections

HDA at East Boston Health Fair

Hispanic-Dental-AssociationTwo weeks ago, members from the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) visited the East Boston Health Fair at Most Holy Redeemer Parish to provide oral health education. While there, they played oral health education using games, gave puppet demonstrations, sang songs, let the kids try on loupes and answered questions. HDA Co-Community Outreach Coordinator Courtney Schick (D16) had this to say:

“We saw a large number of kids. It was wonderful to have our station as part of a larger community gathering. The kids were excited to be there and engaged.  Events like this one help me relate to kids. I want to incorporate children into my practice so it is good to learn how to relate to them. I enjoyed being surrounded by Spanish and speaking some with adults there. I feel the event also shows an interest in that community. We as students are volunteering to take time to visit this community and that sense of ‘caring’ speaks loudly. I was proud to be able to help organize the event for the second year and feel that it was successful.”

Women Fly at the First Women in Leadership Forum!

Over 70 female TUSDM students attended the ‘sold out’ student-run Women in Leadership Forum, held on February 25, 2016 – an evening dedicated to promoting and enhancing the development of women in leadership as students and community members at TUSDM.

The good news is that the number of women in dentistry has been rapidly expanding, and the Class of 2019 at TUSDM boasts the highest percentage of women in its history at 58%! However, despite the increase in female presence in dental school, their numbers are not reflected in on-campus leadership positions. The last female class president at TUSDM graduated with the Class of 2012. Poorna Phaltankar, D17 Vice President, recognized the need to address this gap and organized the Women in Leadership committee (Hana Gilman D16, Poorna Phaltankar D17, Aekta Patel D18, Jacqueline Liu D19, Nari Park D19, Abigail Manzella D19). They were joined by event advisors Nancy Marks and Karen Alexander.  With the support of Dean Thomas, Associate Dean Kasberg, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Tisch-TUSDM Community Service Learning Program, thus was born TUSDM’s first Women in Leadership Forum. Continue reading Women Fly at the First Women in Leadership Forum!

TUSDM students head to JQS with “Lessons in the Lunch Box” OH event!


Tufts Predoctoral Dental students, along with a couple of PG pedo residents, and a faculty member, conducted a dental education event at the Josiah Quincy School. The pedo residents gave a brief PowerPoint presentation on the basics of how many teeth we have, what comprises a tooth, what causes cavities, what foods to eat and not eat, as well as brushing and flossing methods. After the presentation, they played an exciting dental cartoon from for the kids; then, the elementary school students received a lunchbox. The children were very happy, opening the lunchbox and exploring its contents, which contained dental health products and dental education literature. Please take a moment to see the photos posted that were taken from the event.

The goal of the event was to complete the “lessons in a lunch box program,” to children in first through third grades. It consisted of different learning modules to promote health literacy and disease prevention through the use of a lunchbox, containing a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste, which was stored in a carrot-shaped case with a rinsing cup at the top of the carrot. Instructional labels throughout the box illustrate and remind children how to brush and floss properly, as well as to help depict what foods they should be consuming, utilizing information from The purpose of the dental event, which utilized a lunchbox as an educational prop, was to encourage young students to “See yourself becoming a dentist, a dental hygienist, a dental assistant or a dental technician,” promoting a career in the dental field.

Continue reading TUSDM students head to JQS with “Lessons in the Lunch Box” OH event!

Jamaica Service Learning Trip Part III: Tim Kim (D18) Reflects


With the alarm blaring at 6:30 am, I awoke to the sun rising on a Monday morning. However, this was no ordinary Monday; I wasn’t getting ready to go to school, but rather was preparing for my first day of a weeklong service trip in Jamaica. Within the hour, I quickly got changed, packed my camera, and ran by the hotel cafeteria to get a bite to eat to sustain me for the long day ahead. Finally reaching the bus, I was greeted by the other students and faculty that had made the trip from their homes to volunteer their time and service to the local population. With excitement and a hint of nervousness in the air, we all departed the hotel for a two-hour ride to our first location.

Continue reading Jamaica Service Learning Trip Part III: Tim Kim (D18) Reflects

Jamaica Service Learning Trip Part II: Kelly Barbera (D18) Reflects

jamaica_2It’s Work Day 1 of the trip, and after a two hour bus ride to a church in a rural town called Clermont, we arrive at our work site. We get off of the bus and chaos ensues as children and adults alike greet us, anxious to get inside for care. We scatter, converting folding tables into surgical stations and hygiene bays. The second year dental students man the hygiene station, excited to see our first patients that aren’t our classmates. The morning flies by. After a blur of cleanings one after another – scaling-prophy-fluoride, scaling-prophy-fluoride – I am called over to do my first local anesthesia injection since our certification workshop in class two weeks earlier.

Continue reading Jamaica Service Learning Trip Part II: Kelly Barbera (D18) Reflects

AAPD at Buds and Blossom Day Care

Last week, the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentists) visited the Buds and Blossom Day Care to promote the importance of healthy teeth, oral hygiene, nutrition, and dental visits to a group of children aged 3-5. AAPD Vice President, Anna Bak (D17), had this to say about the event:

“This outreach event at Buds and Blossoms Daycare occurred right in the heart of Chinatown, steps away from TUSDM. It was a great way to engage ourselves in the community and provided insight to how a daycare in Chinatown is run. It was interesting to observe that although the class was ethnically diverse, all of the children learned in both English and Chinese. Going forward, it may be a good idea to learn simple Chinese phrases as a way to connect with the children on a different level and to be cognizant of our place as healthcare providers in Chinatown. Additionally, the daycare also had a no-shoes policy and provided us with shoe covers before entering. This emphasized the importance of cultural literacy, and while we might enter a daycare as leaders to provide dental education and health promotion, we must provide it in the proper cultural context. Dr. Forero was a great mentor and exemplary role model for a pediatric dentist who is passionate about health care promotion. Overall, I had a great time at this event! The children were very receptive and bright, and the daycare was very welcoming.”

Risha De Leon (D16) leads the Oral Health Program at Head Start

Over the past several months, Risha De Leon (D16) has been spending time with the children at ABCD Chinese Church Head Start and Brighton-Allston Head Start. While there, she has helped the kids make better meal choices, taught them the proper brushing techniques, and provided plenty of toothpaste and tooth brushes. Risha had this to say about her experience:

“I learned about community service that it entails a lot of immersion and relationship building rather than planning. Needs assessment is key for a successful program. You also have to learn to listen to the administration to be able to develop your program well. I learned about program development and implementation and the importance of community partnership.”