This week, the Josiah Quincy School awarded the Humble Dragon Award — which honors three people who devoted time and effort to strengthening the school, without seeking the limelight—to Professor Kathy Dolan.
“Kathryn Dolan (Kathy) is the founder and Director of the Josiah Quincy School (JQS) school-based dental clinic operating since 1982. In the early years, the JQS dental program focused on children with special health care needs and operated out of a hallway on the 2nd floor. In 2006, the dental program expanded to include all JQS students. The current dental clinic is located in room 302 and is adorned with dental artwork and bustling with oral health activities. When not peering in an open mouth, Kathy can be found working with students, teachers and parents, alike! Kathy continues to work at the JQS school based dental clinic 2-4 days per week.
One of Kathy’s most memorable experiences involves working with a young girl with a physical and intellectual disability who could not talk. This girl was challenged by misaligned teeth that would not allow her to close and purse her lips. This interfered with her ability to make the necessary sounds for speech. As a result, the girl avoided interaction with her classmates and teachers. It was obvious that she needed orthodontic treatment. There were barriers that stood in the way including a lack of insurance, high cost and limited access to a dentist. Driven to be part of the solution, Kathy found an orthodontist willing to provide treatment. Over time, the young girl’s teeth started to realign so she was able to make sounds and eventually talk. As her confidence grew, she began to smile and her inner beauty bloomed! Soon after this experience, Kathy began working with local dental and dental hygiene schools to have their students rotate through the school dental clinic, so they too would have an opportunity to work with school-aged children and children who have special needs.
When not at the JQS school, Kathy is at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine teaching oral health promotion, epidemiology and health literacy. Kathy also mentors dental and dental hygiene students who are interested in special care dentistry, community-based dental programs, health literacy and dental research. “
Congrats Professor Dolan! We are proud of you.