Community Connection - Dec 08/Jan 09
The event, organized by the college’s chapter of the Texas Association for Women Dentists, was the first in what organizers are hoping to be a biannual tradition.
Hosted at Mission East Dallas, the event provided exams and cleanings for moms, sealants for kids and education about topics relevant for young children. Twenty-six HSC-BCD students cared for 43 patients and applied 90 sealants throughout the morning.
TAWD invited female dental hygiene students to join them in the outreach project. According to Jung Shin, D4 student and TAWD community service chair, that cooperation made the event not only a success but also a time for fun and fellowship for women.
“Everyone brought their A-game and the spirit of teamwork really showed,” Shin says.
“There was a great camaraderie … and we all started to work together as a team,” says D3 student and TAWD president Sarah Parker. “This allowed us to see as many patients as we did in such a short time.” The students’ volunteerism helped meet the large demand for Mission East Dallas’ services.
“This program is a great opportunity that allows our doors to be opened to our children. We usually have to turn our children away because we don’t have the manpower to see them all,” says Laura McEwen, dental clinic coordinator at Mission East Dallas.
The services performed Nov. 22 will reach beyond the day of the event. Because new patients who came in for Dental Day completed Mission East Dallas’ screening sheet, they are eligible to return to the clinic for future care.
In all, event volunteers included 18 dental students, eight dental hygiene students, Dr. Stephen Crane, assistant professor in public health sciences, and Dr. Danette McNew, adjunct assistant professor in general dentistry. HSC-BCD’s social services office also assisted in coordinating the event.