February 24, 2012
The year 2012 marks five years of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's involvement with San Francisco's groundbreaking program Project Homeless Connect (PHC). Since 2007, hundreds of student, faculty, staff and alumni volunteers have participated in numerous PHC events held throughout the city of San Francisco. As a result, thousands of homeless individuals have received professional care they otherwise may not have received.
PHC is a city-supported program which takes place at various locations in San Francisco several times each year. It serves San Francisco's homeless by offering free medical and dental care, mental health services, haircuts, employment, legal counseling, food and a variety of other services.
Most recently, the Dugoni School participated in PHC's Feb 15 event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. PHC attendees were screened at the auditorium, and those needing oral surgery services were driven to the dental school for treatment. In total, more than 150 homeless individuals were screened and triaged by dental volunteers on Feb. 15. The youngest person was 21 and the oldest person was 68. In follow-up care provided back at the dental school that day, 33 people were served. Approximately $21,000 dollars worth of donated services were provided at the school that day.
"Pacific's core values are realized in our long-standing community service relationship with Project Homeless Connect," said Chris Miller, director of community programs and co-director of the Pacific Center for Special Care. "Over the years we've served so many homeless citizens who have desperately needed treatment. Everyone at Pacific should be proud of our PHC student leaders working side-by-side with our alumni and San Francisco Dental Society volunteers. Pacific's PHC legacy is made possible by a wonderful core group of staff and faculty!"
"It is our privilege as students at Pacific to serve the homeless population of San Francisco while modeling Dr. Dugoni's example of humanism," added Kevin Walker, Class of 2012 and Pacific's current PHC Leader. "I look forward to seeing sustained peer mentoring and community service leadership opportunities in the next five years."
During PHC's events, participants are able to accomplish in one day what might normally take eight months. Numerous corporations, nonprofits, schools and government agencies provide PHC and its clients with services. In response to the changing needs of the homeless and low-income population, PHC has continued to reshape its outreach strategy and improve available services, hosting events specifically designed for veterans, families and children.
PHC has more events scheduled for the 2012 calendar year including its next event on May 9. To learn more and to see a list of community partners involved, visit: http://www.projecthomelessconnect.com
Category Type: Special Events, Community Outreach
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