Observing customs, providing care
Dental students from the college’s Muslim Student Dental Association, who organized the sealant visit, and predental students from the University of Texas at Dallas wait in one of the mosque's classrooms for their next patients.
Photo courtesy Dr. Stephen Crane
Seal Mobile visit to Carrollton mosque continues outreach to faith communities
Dr. Stephen Crane, assistant professor in public health sciences, has maneuvered into some pretty tight corners during the 10 years he’s trekked around Dallas on Seal Mobile visits. He’s had to determine precisely how to balance, load and roll the “sealant dolly” between the van and the selected location to make the setup process as efficient as possible.
This experience came in handy one particular Saturday in late June when Crane arrived at the Madinah Masjid mosque in Carrollton, Texas. Because of the mosque’s floorplan, Crane had to transport the equipment across the congregation’s prayer hall.
Crossing the prayer hall meant Crane’s observance of an Islamic custom — taking his shoes off each time he walked over the room’s plush pine green carpet. This added an interesting dynamic to the setup process. Luckily, Crane has everything down to such a science he only had to make two trips from the sealant van to the classroom.
“It doesn’t matter where the calling comes from. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Catholic church, a synagogue or a mosque. We go and do it.” — Dr. Stephen Crane
Once setup was complete, Crane got to work along with members of the college’s Muslim Student Dental Association, who organized the visit; its president, Ameena Tekbali; Dr. Hoda Abdellatif, assistant professor in public health sciences and the group’s adviser; and student volunteers from the University of Texas at Dallas. The group administered sealants and fluoride varnishes and even conducted screenings for adults. Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., they treated approximately 60 children and adults.
The June 25 trip marks the second time the college has made a sealant visit to the Carrollton mosque and confirms the vast need for sealants and dental screenings across the metroplex.
“It shows that it doesn’t matter where the calling comes from,” says Crane. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a Catholic church, a synagogue or a mosque. We go and do it.”