News and Events

Student Volunteers Promote Oral Health in the Bay Area

October  14, 2009

September and October are busy months for student volunteers from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) program. SCOPE participants have taken a hands-on approach to promoting oral health throughout the Bay Area through a variety of community outreach events.

On Sept. 20, SCOPE volunteers participated in Dentistry from the Heart, in cooperation with the non-profit organization of the same name. The one-day event offering free dental procedures was held at the South San Francisco office of Dr. Kelvin Choi, a 1977 graduate of the Dugoni School of Dentistry. Patients lined up as early as 4:30 a.m. to receive free procedures and preventative treatment from enthusiastic volunteers. Dentistry from the Heart is a non-profit organization that offers free dental work to people who need it, and every year, individual dentists and practices across the country donate their time and resources to host local DFTH events around the country.

A student volunteer meets with a senior citizenNext, students turned their attention to another segment of the population, visiting the San Mateo Senior Health and Wellness Fair on Sept. 26 to help promote oral health among senior citizens in the San Mateo area. Participants volunteered their time to screen and instruct dozens of seniors on the importance of oral hygiene and preventative care.

On Oct. 3 students visited the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco and volunteered at the Tenderloin Community Health and Safety Fair. There, they provided free screenings and oral health information to event attendees, many of whom lack the means to have consistent access to dental care.

The month of volunteering is not over yet. On Oct. 17, students will volunteer at the Fourteenth Annual Chinatown Community Health Fair, where they will screen and educate over 150 health fair attendees of all ages.

"SCOPE has given me a chance to reach out beyond the walls of Pacific and use what I've learned in school to positively impact the oral health of people in the greater Bay Area community," said Clio Samia-Lindenauer, Class of 2010. "While it's easy to focus on school work and the stresses of being a dental student, volunteering through SCOPE is a great reminder of the help we can offer those we might not otherwise see in our clinic chairs."

SCOPE is a student-run volunteer community service organization at the dental school whose mission is to develop dental professionals committed to improving the health of all people. The program, now celebrating more than a decade in operation, is unique in its student-initiated and student-run community service. Nearly all students participate in SCOPE activities during their time at the dental school.

One of the nation's premier dental schools, University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry has served the Bay Area community for 113 years. The School of Dentistry is committed to excellence in student-centered education, patient care and research. Its clinics, located in San Francisco, Union City and Stockton, offer quality, affordable dental services to children and adults throughout Northern California.

Category Type: Community Outreach

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