April 19, 2011
A group of Pacific faculty, alumni, oral surgery residents, advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD) residents and dental students recently participated in two unprecedented community medical events in Northern California. Remote Area Medical took place from April 1 to 4 at the Cal Expo Center in Sacramento and from April 9 to 12 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Remote Area Medical is a Tennessee-based organization which provides a wide range of free health services to underserved populations throughout the globe. It started with an international focus, but in recent years began hosting events for disadvantaged people throughout the United States. The group organizes dental, vision, and medical care for the un- or under-insured, medically underserved, impoverished population across the United States via expeditions staffed by volunteer medical professionals and support personnel.
Dental treatment is often in very high demand as many people neglect preventative treatment for financial reasons, but end up needing major procedures down the road due to lack of care. At the Remote Area Medical events, dental volunteers performed extractions, fillings, cleanings and oral surgery procedures.
More than 3,600 people attended the Sacramento event and several thousand also attended the Oakland event. In Oakland, the 80 portable dental chairs were filled with patients from the event start time of 5:30 a.m., until closing time at 6:00 p.m.
The clinics were hosted by the California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and were supported by the Tzu Chi Foundation. Additionally, many oral surgery residents, faculty and staff from Highland Hospital in Oakland participated, along with volunteers from other community groups. In Sacramento, Pacific AEGD residents gave up their Saturdays to volunteer at the Remote Area Medical event.
"Events such as this can serve as a grim reminder of how many people — in our own backyard — are in desperate need of dental and medical care," said Dr. Allen Wong, one of the faculty members from the Dugoni School of Dentistry who volunteered. "Due to the Remote Area Medical events in Sacramento and Oakland, thousands of California residents will have an improved quality of life."
The Dugoni School of Dentistry hosts numerous community events throughout the year to screen and treat people in need. The Northern California Remote Area Medical events gave volunteers from the school the opportunity to "cast a wider net" and reach more underserved people in Northern California.
For more information about Remote Area Medical, visit http://www.ramusa.org.
Category Type: Community Outreach, Special Events
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