Four students from the ‘Health Literacy Intensive’ course travelled with Professor Dolan to Anaheim, CA in early May to attend and present at the Institute of Healthcare Advancement’s 15th annual Health Literacy Conference: Creating a Vision for Health Literacy’s Future. Kim Meyers (D18), Mikenah Vega (D18), David Somoza-Valle (D19), and Anne-Marie Vu (D19) presented a poster on the Health Literacy Intensive course for the 1st and 2nd year dental students at TUSDM, which was very well received! Tufts was the only dental school who presented at the conference and the only organization that sent students. Read on for their reflections!
D19 Community Service has some great work planned with the Cardinal Medeiros Center in Bay Village, Boston, and it all starts with a Meet and Greet.
The Cardinal Medeiros Center (CMC) is a day shelter for men who are forty-five years and older. Several D19 students went to meet with the men on Monday, May 16th. They gave a short presentation about dentistry and how they plan to help the men and the center. Following the presentation, the men were given a crossword puzzle with broad dental terminology made by the D19 CMC committee and each person was given a goodie bag of oral hygiene supplies. Afterward, the D19s helped to serve food and enjoyed some lunch with the men of CMC. This Meet and Greet was a great opportunity to get to know the CMC patrons and build a relationship that will allow the D19s to continue to connect with them and provide them with meaningful oral health promotion and more in the future.
Abigail Manzella (D19), D19 Community Service Co-Director, shares her experience:
When I first when to Dr. Kim’s pre-trip meeting introducing the Haiti dental service trip, I expected it to be a vacation. I thought about my classmates’ Facebook pictures of them treating patients in an air conditioned modern clinic, trekking in the jungle, and relaxing in the beach. I knew that Haiti was in the Caribbean and when I thought of Caribbean islands, what I pictured were tropical resorts. The meeting was introductory, so we didn’t go into details about the trip itself. I should’ve done more research. But I was a 3rd year dental student at the moment, so I was more preoccupied with successfully finishing my first denture case and studying for my implant exam the following week. On the night before leaving to Haiti, I remember packing my bathing suit and sunglasses in my suitcase. I was glad that I forgot to pack my beach towel, because my bathing suit and sunglasses never left my suitcase throughout the trip.
We were in Haiti for only 6 days, so Dr. Kim didn’t waste time. Starting from day 1, we checked the church building that will be used as a clinic the next day and organized dental supplies that we will use the next day into a few bags for easy transportation. The food that our host provided was delicious and the view outside of the window was the exotic landscape of Haiti, not the usual Chinatown streets that I can see from the library windows. Everything just felt perfect the first day.
A group of TUSDM students along with a few TUSDM alumni, took a 7 day trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti this past spring break. As part of KADA (Korean American Dental Association) at TUSDM with the help of Dentist for Humanity, we were able to setup free dental clinic in various towns near Port-au-Prince. As a first year dental student, I was able to observe so many dental treatments up close and was able to interact with patients.
One of the most memorable days was day 5 when we visited the Eglise Salut Pour Tous, in Mariana, Loeogane, Haiti. We set up our clinic at the local school and had many young children and students visit us. As soon as we arrived at the school, we were greeted by swarms of young children who had big smiles on their faces. They were chanting and singing as we greeted them one by one. Lots of hugs, kisses, and high-fives were given out. It was a heartwarming and memorable to be around these children and young students. Their giggles and laughter made me forget all about the hot and humid weather we had to endure.
D19 Community Service is at it again! On 03/02/16, seven D19 students attended the Wednesday Supper Club at the Paulist Center in Boston. This dinner is hosted by the Paulist Center every Wednesday night and serves close to 150 homeless people. In addition to dinner service tasks including set-up, food distribution, and drink distribution, the D19s also brought along the Oral Health Jeopardy game and oral hygiene prizes.
Dan Allen (D19) reflects on his experience and the renewed sense of gratitude it provided for the blessings in our lives: (more…)
Every Monday for one hour, volunteers read books to children and teach them proper brushing and flossing techniques. The program is designed to educate preschool-age children on the importance of developing proper oral hygiene habits.
Gopi Surti (D18), Director of ASDA Smile, Share and Care, reflects on her experiences: (more…)
At yesterday’s drop in meditation, I addressed a favorite topic of mine, connection. Connection is a crucial part of our existence as human beings. We all find connection with different people and experiences in our own unique ways. Dr. Kasberg shared with me recently how walking through the public garden Read more…
The D19 Community Service committees have been hard at work developing several different oral health outreach programs designed for different communities! On 04/08/16, the Geriatrics Committee visited the Center Communities of Brookline. D19s Kareema Roushdy, Tabitha Lewis, and Soteji Adeuti educated the residents on oral health through an interactive Jeopardy game, active dialogue on oral health preventive methods, proper toothbrushing demonstration, and gifts like toothpaste, toothbrushes, brochures, and other hygienic aids designed for the geriatric community. The goal was for the seniors to take away something new from this event, and from the feedback that the D19s received afterward, it seems that residents learned a lot of information that afternoon!
See what volunteers Kareema and Tabitha had to say about their experiences: (more…)
Risha De Leon (D16) has been spending time with the children and families at ABCD Chinese Church Head Start. This community program provides comprehensive services to families and children aged 3-5 years, such as education, family services, and health screenings. During her most recent visit on 04/04/16, Risha educated parents on basic oral Read more…
On March 10, 2016, members of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) visited college students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Wellness Fair. Tufts AAPHD had a booth on oral health, gave out goodies like toothbrushes and toothpaste, had interactive games like Jeopardy, and gave out information on careers in the dental profession.
AAPHD Community Outreach Representative Swaitha Maripuri (D16) had wonderful things to say about her experience: (more…)