Mid- Year Promotion Announcements
Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) conducts staff promotions in July—at the start of the new fiscal year—for those who applied to an open position, a restructured position or a newly created position. Promotion announcements are typically issued during that timeframe. Often, however, some staff members receive promotions mid-way through the fiscal year due to filling vacant positions. We would now like to recognize those staff members who received promotions with the Annual Midyear Promotion Announcements.
Amanda Barber has been promoted to Clinic Care Coordinator as of September 2014 at the BU Dental Health Center at 930 Commonwealth Avenue. Amanda is responsible for ensuring the provider schedules and patient appointments are at optimal efficiency. Prior to this role, Amanda served as a Patient Coordinator at the Dental Health Center since 2013.
Erin Bastyr was recently promoted to the Administrative Program Coordinator position supporting Dr. Cassis and the AEGD program in September 2014. Erin began her employment in June 2010 as a Senior Patient Coordinator working in the 7th Floor Dental Health Center.
Julia Bookout began her employment at GSDM in November 2012 as the Communications Manager in the Office of Communications. Julia recently accepted the vacant position of Assistant Director of Publications and Media Relations where she will be responsible for managing production of all publications and serving as the point of contact for all media inquiries and press releases.
Janina Brown was recently promoted to Clinic Care Supervisor in September 2014. She now provides guidance and direction to the patient coordinators at the 2nd floor front desk in the Post-doctoral Patient Treatment Center. Prior to this role, Janina served as a Patient Coordinator on the 5th floor where she began her career at GSDM in March 2012.
Tammy Melanson was promoted to Clinic Care Supervisor effective January 2015 in the 7th Floor Dental Health Center where she is providing guidance and direction to the patient coordinators at the front desk. Tammy began working at GSDM as a Patient Coordinator in the Pre-doctoral Patient Treatment Center in September 2013.
Catherine Mirarchi began working at GSDM as a Senior Patient Coordinator in the Pre-doctoral Patient Treatment Center in July 2012. Catherine supported the student and patient population assisting with scheduling patient appointments in addition to the patient check-in and check-out process. Catherine has now taken on the role of Administrative Coordinator providing assistance to Dr. David Russell and Alexa Styrczula in the Group Practice Office.
Aeisha Pringle has been with GSDM since February 2006 as a Patient Coordinator supporting the 1stfloor clinics. Aeisha was promoted to Patient Intake Coordinator in September 2014 where she is one of the main contacts for recruiting potential new patients by providing guidance and direction and providing answers to questions related to becoming a patient of GSDM.
Erika Ramos was promoted to Research Project Coordinator effective July 2014 where she monitors the daily progress of a large clinical trial (e.g. retention of study participants, participant’s progress) for completeness and quality. Erika began working at GSDM as a Research Project Assistant in the Health Policy and Health Services Research Department in August 2012.
Emily Regan has been an employee at GSDM since November 2007 working in the 7th Floor Dental Health Center. Emily held the roles of Patient Coordinator, Senior Patient Coordinator and Clinic Care Supervisor. Emily’s new role is Practice Manager of the 7th Floor Dental Health Center overseeing the day to day clinical operations.
Alicia Ruff was promoted to the vacant Operations Manager position in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology as of October 2014. Prior to this new role, Alicia served as Administrative Manager for the Department of Oral Biology and Administrative Assistant supporting the Department of Periodontology and Oral Biology. Alicia has been with GSDM since December 2000.
Melissa Salazar was promoted to Clinic Care Supervisor in September 2014. She now provides guidance and direction to the patient coordinators at the 5th floor front desk in the Pre-doctoral Patient Treatment Center. Prior to this role, Melissa served as a Patient Coordinator on the 5th floor beginning in July 2007.
Alexa Styrczula began employment at GSDM in June 2014 as the Admission/Student Service Representative. She recently accepted the position of the Group Practice Administrator in October 2014 and assists Dr. David Russell with the day to day operations of the Group Practice Office.
Molly Washburn served as the Senior Administrative Secretary in the Department of General Dentistry where she provided support to the faculty from September 2011 when she joined GSDM, through March 2014. In April 2014 she moved into the Group Practice Administrator role where she provided support to the Group Practice Office. Molly was recently promoted to Communications Manager in the Office of Communications as of September 2014.
“I know I speak on behalf of the entire GSDM community when I say congratulations to the staff members who received promotions,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “It is through your dedication and hard work that GSDM is able to thrive.”
Tet in Boston Festival Welcomes GSDM Volunteers
Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) students volunteered at the annual Tet in Boston, a Vietnamese New Year festival organized by the Vietnamese-American Community of Massachusetts and New England Intercollegiate Vietnamese Student Association. Held at the colorfully decorated Carson Place (inside the Boston Teachers Union Hall) in Dorchester, the event drew thousands of people of all ages who enjoyed family-friendly activities, delicious food and a concert.
For more than a decade, GSDM’s Asian Dental Student Organization (ADSO), in partnership with the Tufts School of Dental Medicine Asian Dental Organization, has participated in Tet in Boston. At the dental table, volunteers promoted oral health with kid-friendly activities such as the “Celebrity Smiles” game, creating a tooth necklace, and counting a puppet’s teeth. Using visuals, they also provided instruction on how to brush and floss teeth, and provided other dental care information. In addition, toothbrushes and toothpaste were handed out.
“ADSO had a great turnout of volunteers even with the snowstorm. It was a great opportunity for our members to give back to the local Asian American community in Boston,“ said Co-President of ADSO Alex Nguyen DMD 17.
This year, ADSO ramped up their commitment to Tet in Boston by helping to decorate and set up on Friday night, and assist in preparations for a concert on Saturday night. The concert featured New Brothers band that played covers of pop songs and backed up local college vocalists, who performed in both Vietnamese and English.
“It was great to see such dedication from the ADSO leadership and members, especially on a cold and snowy Valentine’s Day weekend,” said Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri.
“Tet” is short for “Tet Nguyen Dan” which means “the first morning of the first day.” It marked the beginning of a new year on the lunar calendar and the beginning of spring— ironically during blizzard conditions. Yet despite the frigid temperatures, spirits were high and festival attendees welcomed in 2015, the year of the goat.
“The BU Asian Dental Student Organization is honored to be part of the festival and is looking forward to helping out again for years to come,” said ADSO Co-President Mike Lee DMD 16.
“Thank you to ADSO for contributing to another successful Tet in Boston event,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter.
Volunteers included: Nidhi Arora AS 15, Rizwan Baig AS 16, Kevin Campbell (Tufts), Margi Chan DMD 16, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Sai Ramani Krishna Kumar AS 15, Guanghui Ling AS 16, Mike Lee DMD 16, Lana Le DMD 17, Oral Health Promotion Director Ms. Kathy Lituri, Annie Le (Tufts), Shah Lopa AS 16, Alex Nguyen DMD 17, Jeremy Nguyen DMD 18, Louen Pereira GMS 15, Wellington Tejeda (Pre-Dental), Ian Teng DMD 16, Vanessa Thai DMD 16, Do Tien DMD 18, Angela Wu AS 16, Lee Wu DMD 17, Wanpeng Xu AS 15, and Amanda Yip DMD 16.
Students Promote Awareness of HIV Oral Health Issues at Yankee Dental Congress
From January 29 to January 31, 2015, students from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) volunteered at the HIV Dental Work Group booth at the 2015 Yankee Dental Congress (YDC). They joined students from Boston-area dental and dental hygiene schools as well as staff from GSDM and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) to provide information to visitors about HIV and oral health.
The HIV Dental Work Group is part of the BPHC AIDS/HIV Ombudsperson Program, a dental program designed to facilitate access to oral health care for people living with HIV/AIDS. The program offers education, dental referrals, and advocacy for people with HIV/AIDS. In addition, the HIV Dental Work Group strives to provide accurate information to dental professionals about HIV/AIDS and how it impacts oral health. It also gives students an opportunity to learn more about issues related to HIV/AIDS. This marked the HIV Work Group’s 17th year of providing an educational exhibit on HIV/AIDS oral health issues and infection control at YDC.
Volunteers handed out information packets, talked to visitors, and assisted in collecting consumables to donate to programs for people living with HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts. Many of the GSDM volunteers are from the student chapter of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD), who helped organize the effort.
Oral Health Promotion Director Ms. Kathy Lituri said, “The students had a great on-site experience and left knowing a little more about HIV and oral health. They were able to spend time with people living with HIV/AIDS, and learn firsthand about the oral health issues they encounter. Thank you for all of your efforts.”
Volunteers were: Caroline Adams DMD 18, Nicolas Branshaw DMD 16, Nicholas Capezio DMD 18, McAllister Castelaz DMD 17 (AAPHD), Setu Choksi DMD 16, Shelby Curtis DMD 16 (AAPHD), Brittany Dacier CAS 15, Sanjay Kataria DMD 16, Anna Komnatnaya DMD 16 (AAPHD), Andrea Lam DMD 16 (AAPHD), Hyunah Lee DMD 16 (AAPHD), Oral Health Promotion Director Ms. Kathy Lituri, Siddhi Mehta AS 16 (AAPHD), Michelle Prieto DMD 16, Hilary Reiter DMD 16, and Siavash Golaby Sanajany DMD 15.
GSDM Students Attend New England Global Health Conference
On Saturday, January 10, 2015, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) students attended the New England Global Health Conference for Medical and Dental Students and Residents. The all-day conference sponsored by Massachusetts Medical Societyand held at its headquarters, featured keynote addresses and mini-lectures by area doctors on a variety of global health topics, as well as hands-on skill workshops and networking opportunities.
The morning kicked off with several mini-lectures on pertinent global health topics including the “Global Burden of Disease—An Overview”, given by Endocrinology Specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital Dr. Julia von Oettingen, and “Basic Oral Health”, given by Instructor in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Chief of Oral Health Services at Cambridge Health Alliance Dr. Brian Swann.
Following the mini-lectures, Pediatric Residency Assistant Program Director at UMass Memorial Medical Center Dr. Patricia McQuilkin presented the keynote address “Academic Collaboration in Global Health.” In the afternoon, another significant presentation, “Ebola, International Disasters, and How You Can Get Involved” was given by the Director of Disaster Response at Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health Dr. Hilarie Cranmer and Chief of the Division of International Emergency Medicine and Humanitarian Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School Dr. Stephanie Kayden.
Later in the day, GSDM students participated in a dental workshop instructed by Harvard School of Dental Medicine’s Assistant Professor in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology Dr. Brittany Seymour, Instructor in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology Dr. Brian Swann, and Clinical Instructor in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology Dr. Donna Hackley, along with Clinical Associate Professor at University of Massachusetts Medical School Dr. Hugh Silk. They also took part in a Medical Ethics workshop presented by Instructor of Medicine at Boston Medical Center Dr. James Hudspeth, along with another workshop of their choice.
In addition to all of the informative lectures, the conference provided a great networking opportunity for the attendees. To promote discussion, students and faculty were encouraged to sit together during lunch. Coffee and dessert in another room allowed for further introductions and free flowing conversation.
“This conference brought together students and residents from all of the medical and dental schools in Massachusetts,” said Associate Dean for Global & Population Health Dr. Michelle Henshaw. “It was very rewarding to see students work across disciplines to identify and find solutions for the many health challenges faced by developing nations. Everyone in attendance, students and faculty alike, left with new skills, knowledge, contacts, and an increased passion for addressing the complex health needs of our global population.”
GSDM students and faculty in attendance were: Nicholas Capezio DMD 18, Ayinkeran Gunarajasingam DMD 18, Associate Dean for Global & Population Health Dr. Michelle Henshaw, Guanghui Ling AS 16, Oral Health Promotion Director Ms. Kathy Lituri, and Angela Wu AS 16.
Healing Our Community Collaborative Welcomes GSDM Volunteers
On Monday, January 12, members of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine community volunteered at the Women, Oral Health, HIV Connection event sponsored by Healing Our Community Collaborative(HOCC): Programs for Women, by Women, about Women. Located at Old South Church on Boylston Street, HOCC is non-profit organization for women infected with, affected by, or at risk for HIV/AIDS. Through ongoing HIV health education and prevention programming, HOCC strives to help eliminate health disparities among women without access to optimal health care.
The volunteer event, a collaborative effort between the GSDM Student Chapter of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) and the Boston Public Health Commission HIV Dental Program, drew over 75 at-risk women from the community. During lunch, Director of the HIV Dental Ombudsperson Program at the Boston Public Health Commission Ms. Helene Bednarsh gave a presentation on oral health and dental screenings that led to a solid discussion. Many of the women in attendance also received screenings from the GSDM volunteers and asked insightful questions.
“The HOCC volunteer event was an awesome opportunity for some of the female members of AAPHD to connect and give back to an incredible set of women who have experienced many of life’s hardships,” said GSDM’s AAPHD President Andrea Lam DMD 16. “Altogether, it was a unique and enriching experience and I can’t wait to return again next year.”
Executive Director of HOCC Heidi Bright reported that the program received great feedback from the women who received dental screenings and attended the presentation. “I want to thank you for making this wonderful program on oral health happen for the women of HOCC,” she said. “It was a great start toward our mission of increasing health and wellness awareness in 2015.”
GSDM faculty and staff volunteers were: Clinical Instructor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research Dr. Gladys Carrasco, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research Ms. Dee Devlin, Oral Health Promotion Director Ms. Kathy Lituri, and Research Dental Assistant Ms. Nekou Nowrouzi.
The student volunteers were: Setu Choksi AS 16, Smriti Singh AS 16, Neemi Lama Sherpa AS 16, Siddhi Mehta AS 16, Manisha Shrestha AS 16, Angela Wu AS 16, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Andrea Lam DMD 16, Amanda Yip DMD 16, Guanghui Ling AS 16, Jing Guo DMD 17, and Ana Keohane AS 16.
Women to Women Program Serves the Women of Rosie’s Place
Every month, students from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) join together atRosie’s Place, a women’s shelter in the South End, to volunteer their time by providing oral health screenings for women in need through a program called Women to Women. Their efforts are the fruit of a collaboration between the GSDM chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD), the Division of Community Health Programs, and the Wellness Clinic at Rosie’s Place.
Volunteers spend the second Friday of every month at the shelter talking with women and answering oral health related questions, as well as offering oral health advice, oral screenings, referrals, and personal oral health products.
In addition to serving at-risk women in the South End, the Women to Women program contributes to the holistic education of the GSDM student volunteers. It gives them the opportunity to better understand the plight of women in their community, and it enables the students to work alongside other healthcare professionals in an interdisciplinary environment.
“The Women to Women Program at Rosie’s Place offers an incredible opportunity for our students to gain a broad view of issues faced by women who are in need of the services at Rosie’s Place,” said Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri.
Located in the South End, a few blocks from GSDM, Rosie’s Place describes itself as a sanctuary for women in need of a little extra care and support. It was founded in 1974 with a mission to “provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity, and find security in their lives.” It was the first women’s shelter in the United States.
“I am so pleased to see our students participate in this important event every month,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “Giving back to the community is an important part of our mission and it is truly gratifying to know that our students are regularly engaged in our community.”
October 10, 2014, volunteers were: Palwasha Durrani (Pre-dental), Anna Komnatnaya DMD 16, Jina Lee DMD 16, Ms. Kathy Lituri, Carolina Perdono (Pre-dental), Ayman Suliman (Pre-dental), Ian Teng DMD 16, Ryan Vaughn DMD 16, and Amanda Yip DMD 16.
November 7, 2014, volunteers were: Laila Bamashmous (Post-doctoral DPH resident), Palwasha Durrani (Pre-dental), Ms. Kathy Lituri, Mary McClintock DMD 16, Carol Patel DMD 16, Snehal Pingle AS 15, Sai Ramani Krishna Kumar AS 15, Ayman Sulimany (Post-doctoral DPH resident), and Vanessa Thai DMD 16
December 5, 2014, volunteers were: Mina Abdalla AS 16, Debbie Desravines DMD 17, Sara Elashaal DMD 17, Courtney Knapik DMD 15, Sandip Ladani AS 16, Ms. Kathy Lituri, Vrushali Mirajkar AS 16, Nikkita Muwanguzi DMD 17, Lemma Salem (Pre-dental), Tetyana Shreyer AS 16, and Olga Spivak AS 16.
January 9, 2015, volunteers were: Jing Guo DMD 17, Courtney Knapik DMD 16, Ms. Kathy Lituri, Nora Nakshabendi DMD 16, Ayman Suliman (Pre-dental), and Amanda Yip DMD 15.
If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Women to Women event at Rosie’s Place, please contact Kathy Lituri at firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not have to be an AAWD member or a woman to participate.
GSDM Students Visit Crispus Attucks Children’s Center
On December 9–11, 2014, Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri and 12 Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) students visited the Crispus Attucks Children’s Center in Dorchester, as part of the school-based dental outreach program. Throughout the three days, the team of volunteers went into six classrooms of children ages three to six years old.
During the visits, all of the children participated in circle time where the GSDM students engaged them in age-appropriate, hands-on dental health lessons. Every child (and the teacher) received a toothbrush. In total, about 110 children also received a dental screening and fluoride varnish.
“Visiting a child care center such as Crispus Attucks provides the students a chance to see young children in their own element—one that is warm, fun, and nurturing,” said Lituri. “Most of the children received a dental screening, which gave the students an opportunity to work closely with pre-school children and allowed them the chance to assess a pediatric dentition, something they do not regularly encounter in the Patient Treatment Centers.”
The student volunteers were: Charlotte Bigg DMD 16, Nicolas Branshaw DMD 16, Anna Komnatnaya DMD 16, Israel Korobkin DMD 16, Michelle Prieto DMD 16, David Tran DMD 16, Luri Lee DMD 16, Mike Mayr DMD 16, Nora Nakshabendi DMD 16, Shivani Patel DMD 16, Faraz Tartibi DMD 16, and Vanessa Thai DMD 16.
Dr. Shenkin is First ADA Trustee to Receive Fulbright Specialist Program Grant
A Shenkin hadn’t set foot on Belarussian soil in more than 120 years.
The Shenkins left Minsk for the United States and it wouldn’t be for generations to come that Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, ADA first vice president, would break the streak. Dr. Shenkin’s family left Belarus seeking a better life, but he would return seeking to make life better for Belarusians.
Dr. Shenkin, clinical associate professor of health policy, health services research and pediatric dentistry at Boston University, received confirmation Jan. 7 from the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars that he was selected for a Fulbright Specialist Program grant in public/global health at Belarusian State Medical University. He will develop strategies and curriculum for Belarusian State dental faculty on how to train pediatricians in Belarus about the oral health of young children ages 6 months to 3 years.
“Dr. Shenkin is the first ADA trustee to receive this honor, and we are very proud of him for sharing his knowledge and expertise with the physicians, dentists and people of Belarus,” said ADA President Maxine Feinberg. “This prestigious honor demonstrates Dr. Shenkin’s ongoing global commitment to improving the oral health not just in America but in the world.”
The Fulbright Specialist Program promotes linkages between U.S. scholars and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas, according to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars’ website. Dr. Shenkin will travel to Belarus this spring for two weeks to help the dental faculty to develop a training seminar for pediatricians to conduct oral exams and improve the health literacy of their patient populations.
“Belarus has a state-funded dental system where all care for children is provided in clinics for free,” Dr. Shenkin said. “They recognize that they have an increasing level of dental decay in kids but they already have enough dentists and enough drills to fill teeth. They want to prevent disease from happening beforehand, which has been my mantra in the United States for years. I hope this project bridges a common divide between dentists and physicians that exists worldwide.”
Part of Dr. Shenkin’s grant also includes educating physicians on how they can encourage their patients to purchase fluoridated salt. Instead of fluoridating their water, which is how many U.S. cities deliver fluoride to residents, Belarus fluoridates its salt and makes it available for purchase.
“We are going to try to educate physicians about oral health and the need to educate their patients about specific behaviors that they’re not doing,” Dr. Shenkin said.
One of the challenges in Belarus, as in many countries, is that many children under age 3 only see a dentist when they are in pain, leading to an increase in dental caries. The seminars Dr. Shenkin will develop will help pediatricians understand oral health behaviors that result in health outcomes; clinical skills to identify early signs of disease; placement of fluoride varnish to reduce disease risk; and educational tools to promote oral health in children. The training will also help physicians understand the importance of setting up a dental home for their patients.
“On behalf of the entire GSDM community I congratulate Dr. Shenkin on becoming a Fulbright Scholar,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. He continued, “The outstanding quality of the faculty at GSDM has always been a hallmark of the education provided to our students and this honor raises the profile of our faculty even further. I am very proud that Dr. Shenkin continues to serve on our faculty while also serving patients in Maine and now, colleagues and patients in Belarus.”
Soderlund K. Dr. Shenkin is first ADA trustee to receive Fulbright Specialist Program grant. ADA News Jan. 19, 2015;46(2):2. Copyright 2015 @ American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.
Dr. Raul Garcia Elected Vice President of AADR for 2015-2016
On November 5, 2014, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research Dr. Raul Garcia was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 Vice President of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). Dr. Garcia will assume office at the conclusion of the March 11-14, 2015 AADR Annual Meeting in Boston.
Dr. Garcia has been an active AADR member since he joined in 1977. He is the current North American Regional Counselor for IADR and has served on the Journal of Dental Research Editorial Board as well as the IADR/AADR Publications Committee.
“This is an exciting opportunity for both Dr. Garcia and the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine to make an impact on the evolving research policies and initiatives of this respected national dental association,” said Associate Dean for Research Dr. Maria Kukuruzinska.
Dr. Garcia’s major research interests focus on health services research and oral epidemiology. He is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of oral health disparities and developing interventions to eliminate them. Dr. Garcia is also dedicated to identifying the relationship of oral conditions to systemic disease and health-related quality of life. His research includes longitudinal studies of oral health in diverse populations and the analysis of treatment outcomes. The work has included randomized controlled trials, observational studies, and community-based participatory research. Studies encompass the areas of oral epidemiology, health services research, and health policy.
“Congratulations to Dr. Garcia on being elected to this prestigious position,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “The American Association for Dental Research is an important organization, and it is certainly exciting that a dedicated and experienced researcher like Dr. Garcia has been elected to its leadership.”
Dr. Garcia holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Periodontology, and a Master of Medical Science in Oral Biology from Harvard University School of Dental Medicine. He has held teaching appointments at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He has earned numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Career Development Award in Health Services Research from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, American Dental Association Meritorious Award in Geriatric Dental Health Care, NIDR Physician Scientist Award, and most recently the Gies Award for Outstanding Vision from the American Dental Education Association.
The American Association for Dental Research is the largest division of the International Association for Dental Research, a non-profit organization. The AADR has nearly 3,500 members nationwide. Its mission is: to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health; to support and represent the oral health research community; and to facilitate the communication and application of research findings.
GSDM Alumni Meet at Annual ADA Meeting in San Antonio
Many members of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) community attended the 2014 American Dental Association (ADA) Annual Session, held October 8–11 in San Antonio, Texas. At this year’s Session, GSDM congratulated the latest inductees into both the American College of Dentists (ACD) and the International College of Dentists (ICD), and announced that GSDM is the first dental school in the nation to go completely digital.
During the ADA Session, Dean and Mrs. Jeffrey W. Hutter hosted a reception for GSDM alumni on Saturday, October 11, at the Mokara Hotel & Spa. Dean Hutter addressed the attendees: “It is wonderful to see so many of our alumni, faculty, staff, students, family members, and friends here tonight.” He continued, “I especially would like to congratulate the 15 alumni and faculty who were inducted into the American and International Colleges of Dentists. It is a wonderful accomplishment and one you should feel very proud in achieving.”
The ACD and the ICD recognize dentists for their individual achievements, leadership, and contributions to dentistry and society.
The GSDM inductees to the ACD were: Elvis Babo DMD 01; Cherae M. Farmer-Dixon DPH 14; Associate Dean for Global & Population Health Michelle Henshaw MPH 96, DSc 07; and Amir Mehrabi ENDO 05.
The GSDM inductees to the ICD were: Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry Charilaos Asikis; Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry Laura Bacerra PERIO 04, DMD 10; Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry David Dano AEGD 12; Frank A. DeQuattro DMD 98, ORTHO 01; Assistant Dean for Business Development Dr. Margaret Errante; Harish Gulati PGOE 05; Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry Bing Liu DSc 99, DMD 03; I. Blake McKinley, Jr ENDO 97; Gigi Meinecke DMD 88; Amir Mehrabi ENDO 05; and David H. Schneider DMD 81, PERIO 83.
During the alumni reception, Dean Hutter proudly announced that on August 29, 2014 GSDM signed an agreement with Sirona Dental Systems, and as a result of this collaboration, GSDM is the first dental school in the nation to transition entirely to seamlessly integrated digital dentistry. With the implementation of digital dentistry, GSDM has committed itself to providing state-of-the-art technology to its students, faculty, and staff, and fostering its use by practitioners in the community.
Dean Hutter said, “The transition to digital dentistry will be an enormous benefit for our students and our patients. Once fully implemented, all patient data will feed into a comprehensive digital record allowing experts, world-wide, to access a patient’s record when necessary.” He continued, “Intra-oral digital images, intra-oral exams, and digital scans of hard and soft tissues will then be accessible through a comprehensive record. Ancillary information such as photographs, computerized axial tomography, cone beam, cephalometric, panoramic, and facial scans will also be attached to the digital record. This data may then be overlaid and interact to produce a complete digital representation of the patient, including 3-D renderings of the face.”
As a result of the seamless digital dentistry transition, GSDM students, residents, and faculty will be able to engage in comprehensive treatment planning without the need for the physical presence of the patient, saving valuable patient time. Furthermore, this transition presents a unique opportunity to conduct an innovative program of comparative effectiveness research on digital dentistry, which will allow GSDM to play a leading role in advancing evidence-based dentistry in the US and the world.
Dean Hutter concluded by saying, “Not only is digital dentistry an enormously beneficial change in the world of dental medicine and patient care, it is going to absolutely transform dental education.”
An Interactive Lesson Plan—Oral Health Promotion at the School of Peace
On Saturday, November 8, 2014, Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) pre-doctoral students Margi Chan DMD 16 and Destinee Ingrao DMD 15 spent the morning at the Community of Sant’Egidio School of Peace in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts talking to children about oral health and the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
The visit to the School of Peace was a first for GSDM. Pre-doctoral student Margi Chan is a regular volunteer at the Community of Sant’Egidio, and arranged for the visit. Chan created the lesson plan and presented it to the students with the help of Pre-doctoral student Destinee Ingrao. There were 18 children in attendance ranging from ages 6 to 10.
Chan and Ingrao talked to the students about the importance of brushing their teeth and flossing each day. They taught them what cavities are and how they form, and the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. They used Play-Doh on large Lego blocks to simulate plaque and to demonstrate proper flossing techniques.
At the end of the presentation, the children were given an opportunity to ask questions. “They were very enthusiastic and asked us many questions, demonstrating their intelligence and curiosity in the topics Margi and Destinee were presenting. We were very impressed by the questions the children posed,” said Oral Health Promotion Director Ms. Kathy Lituri.
They asked salient questions such as, “Do we brush in a circle or back and forth?” and “Why do my classmates have teeth that come out at different times than mine?” Another asked, “Why do our gums bleed when we brush our teeth and what does that mean?” One budding young athlete asked, “How can we protect our teeth when we play sports?”
At the end of the day, the children were provided with a goodie bag containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, and stickers.
GSDM Students Promote Oral Health at Suffolk University Annual Health and Wellness Fair
On Tuesday, September 9, 2014, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) volunteers, with Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri, led oral health promotion activities at the Suffolk University Annual Health and Wellness Fair.
The Health and Wellness Fair is an opportunity for GSDM students and volunteers to provide valuable oral health related information to Suffolk University students, faculty, and staff. It also allows Suffolk University students to increase their awareness of healthy lifestyle choices, behaviors, and resources within the Boston area.
Siavash Golaby Sanajany DMD 15, Durrani Palwasha (pre-dental), Divya Reddy (pre-dental), Ayman Sulieman (pre-dental), and Ms. Lituri provided oral health promotion, screenings, referrals, education, and activities to the Health and Wellness Fair attendees. Suffolk University students are eligible for the Boston University Student Dental Health Plan.
“Thank you to Ms. Lituri and the four volunteers who attended the Suffolk University Health and Wellness Fair,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “Your dedication to promoting oral health awareness is highly valued, and I’m sure the Suffolk University community greatly appreciated your efforts.”
Oral Health Promotion through Puppets and Song
On September 15 and 16, 2014, pre-doctoral students from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) joined Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri for two days of dental outreach at Nurtury, a preschool-based program serving infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children.
Students worked with the children in small groups and talked to them about the importance of teeth and why they always need to brush them. They engaged the children with the use of puppets and a song about brushing teeth. The students then prepared the children for dental screenings and fluoride varnish application by practicing the “tell, show, and do” technique. First, they told them about what they were going to do, then showed them, and when the children understood what was about to happen, the students were able to do the oral screenings and apply the fluoride varnish.
Margi Chan DMD 16 said, “We filled out a report card to put inside the children’s goodie bags. These served to communicate directly with the parents or caretaker at home to inform them about the child’s oral health if we detected caries or poor oral hygiene, or to reinforce the good effort they have been making to take care of the child’s teeth.”
The service learning program is connected with the third year pre-doctoral Pediatric Dentistry course for DMD3 and AS2 students. The purpose of the program is to better acquaint pre-doctoral students with pediatric patients and to provide oral health outreach to preschool age children.
Volunteers included: Margi Chan DMD 16, Sai Ramani Krishna Kumar AS 15, Jinjoo Lee DMD 16, Kathy Lituri, Mona Najafi DMD 16, Alyssa Peracchio DMD 16, Ali Basha Shaik AS 15, and Diana Torres AS 15.
GSDM Volunteers Lend a Helping Hand to People with Cognitive Disabilities
On September 18, 2014, volunteers from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) participated in the Bay Cove Human Services annual wellness fair at the Gill Wellness Center in Jamaica Plain.
Bay Cove Human Services is a private, non-profit corporation that provides a wide variety of services to individuals and their families who face the challenges of developmental disabilities, aging, mental illness, and drug and alcohol addiction. The organization holds the wellness fair to improve health awareness through education and prevention.
Some of the offerings to attendees of the fair were health screenings, blood pressure and glucose checks, and information on community-based health services. Attendees were treated to music and food and also participated in various wellness activities.
Led by Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri, the GSDM volunteers offered oral health care education, screenings, and referrals to the attendees. The volunteers were Clinical Instructor of Health Policy & Health Services Research Gladys Carrasco, Matthew Jones DMD 18, Vrushali Mirajkar AS 16, Ifeanyichukwu Okoye AS 16, and Aditi Rajul AS 16.
GSDM Students & Staff Volunteer at Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Asian Dental Student Organization (ADSO), in collaboration with Global & Population Health and the Tufts Asian Dental Student Association, participated in the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival on September 13, 2014, from 3–8 p.m. at Townfield Park in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is traditionally celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunisolar month, when the night moon is supposed to be the brightest and fullest. Due to inclement weather, however, this year organizers decided to hold the event on the thirteenth day of the month. The 3,000-year-old tradition is a family celebration usually accompanied by many outdoor activities. According to Chinese and Vietnamese tradition, families stay up late, eat moon cakes, and gaze at the moon—a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion.
Approximately 100 members of Chinese and Vietnamese communities attended the free festival and enjoyed food tastings, lion dances, lantern decorating, raffles, and other activities. ADSO members were on site to provide oral screenings and promote oral health. The event concluded just after dusk with the traditional lighting of the “Kongming” lanterns or “sky lanterns”, popular with Chinese and Vietnamese children.
Faculty sponsor and Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri helped organize and prepare for GSDM’s involvement at the event. GSDM volunteers included: Margi Chan DMD 16, Jonathan Kuang DMD 17, Jimmy Li DMD 17, Guanghui Ling AS 16, and alumna Anh Phi Nguyen DMD 07.
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “Thank you to Kathy Lituri and all the ADSO volunteers that worked to make the School’s outreach at the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival a huge success.” He continued, “It is through efforts like this that the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine succeeds in its mission of excellence in community service.”
GSDM Students and Faculty Volunteer at Local Brazilian Independence Day Festival
On Sunday, September 7, 2014, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) students and faculty volunteered their time at the Brazilian Independence Day Festival at the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Herter Park in Boston. Attending the event was an opportunity for GSDM students and faculty to interact with Brazilian families from around the area, learn about Brazilian culture, and to promote oral health.
The Festival was hosted by the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS), whose mission is to improve the lives of Portuguese-speaking individuals and families from Massachusetts and help them become contributing, active participants in American society while maintaining a strong ethnic identity and a sense of community. MAPS works with and for the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, and other Portuguese-speaking communities to increase access and remove barriers to health, education, and social services through advocacy, leadership, and community development.
Also onsite were representatives from the Boston Public Health Commission HIV Dental Program to raise awareness about HIV and all aspects of oral health as it pertains to children and adults—such as oral health considerations for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The event kicked off with a performance of the Brazilian National Anthem followed by activities such as face painting, drawing, pony rides, live performances, and ethnic food tastings. Various health-related organizations were on site to provide screenings for attendees. GSDM students and faculty offered dental screenings and talked to attendees about the importance of oral health.
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I want to thank our student and faculty volunteers for attending the Brazilian Independence Day Festival event.” He continued, “Your efforts promoting oral health to the local community are highly valued and greatly appreciated.”
GSDM faculty volunteers were: Pre-doctoral Patient Treatment Center Practice Leader Dr. Angela Cancado, Director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs Dr. Larry Dunham, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research Dr. Martin Ugarte-Chavez, and Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri. GSDM student volunteers were Omer Al Azizi DMD 15, Monique Alves DMD 17, Bernadette Campos-Therriault AS 15, Nicholas Capezio DMD 18, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Michelle Darocha DMD 15, Tamara Gordon DMD 18, Peyman Kafri DMD 16, Navtej Kang AS 16, Ana Keohane AS 16, Sandip Ladani AS 16, Lana Le DMD 16, Andrea Lugo AS 16, Aaron Mertz DMD 16, Caroline Michaels DMD 18, Rafaella Sampaio DMD 18, Shivani Shirgavi AS 15, Neha Sood AS 15, Nobiru Suzuki DMD 18, Faraz Tartibi DMD 16, John Westres DMD 15, and Tiphannie Yin DMD 17. Also in attendance was GSDM graduate Abdul-Rahman Addas DMD 14.
GSDM Revives Oral Healthcare at Mattapan Health Revival
Approximately 20 members of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) community volunteered at the Mattapan Health Revival on September 6, 2014. Held at the Mattapan Health Center in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, the mission of this event is to improve the quality of life for residents of Mattapan and surrounding communities by providing health care services.
Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri and Health Policy & Health Services Research Clinical Instructors Drs. Lina Benslimane and Martin Ugarte-Chavez were faculty sponsors for GSDM’s involvement in the Mattapan Health Revival. Through a collaborative effort between the Office of Global & Population Health and the Student Chapter of the National Dental Association, volunteers provided dental screenings for a total of 68 adults and children. Many of the volunteers stayed all day, interacting with and providing oral health information to people from the community in the GSDM main tent as well as the children’s areas.
Student volunteers included: Amr Aly DMD 17, Yousef Behbehani DMD 16, Margi Chan DMD 16, Rubbiya Charania DMD 16, Debbie Desravines DMD 17, Sloane Kaminski-Ditzel DMD 18, Sara Elashaal DMD 17, Ahmed Jawad DMD 16, Salman Khannani DMD 16, Dave Lane DMD 16, Luri Lee DMD 16, Sasha Manchanda DMD 18, Alyssa Mazzoli DMD 16, Nora Nakshabendi DMD 16, Divya Reddy (pre-dental), and Daniella Rizzo DMD 15.
Lituri praised the volunteers, “These events are only successful because of volunteers such as you who give your time and expertise.” Dean Hutter agreed and added, “I am continually amazed at the level of commitment to our community that is demonstrated by our students, our faculty, and our staff members. I am so very proud to be Dean of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and such a fine group of individuals.”
The Restructuring of Dental Practice: Dentists as Employees or Owners? Dr. Raul Garcia authors guest editorial for the October 2014 issue of JADA
Is your oral health care affected by the type of dental practice you visit? That’s what Professor and Chair of Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research Dr. Raul Garcia explored in his October 2014 guest editorial in The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA).The article was written on behalf of the Santa Fe Group, a not-for-profit organization of international scholars interested in improving oral health.
The editorial, titled The Restructuring of Dental Practice: Dentists as Employees or Owners, looks at the trend of dental practitioners in the United States today as they transition from owning their own practices to working for someone in a larger group practice model.
Large group practices in which dentists are employees are on the rise while smaller private practices in which dentists are owners are on the decline. The editorial explores why this may be taking place and discusses how changing socioeconomic, racial, and demographic trends may have led to disparities in access to oral health care, particularly in populations that have a higher risk and prevalence of oral health disease.
With a greater number of new dentists entering the workforce than retiring, and the vast majority of new dentists leaving school with mammoth debt loads, it may no longer be feasible for recent graduates to buy private practices of their own. New dentists entering the marketplace are being drawn in greater numbers to dental service organizations (DSOs). As a result of their increased buying power, these large DSOs are often able to offer lower prices than private practitioners and are able to accept more types of insurance, thus widening their potential patient base.
Garcia notes that these new mega-offices are not necessarily competing for patients against private practitioners; they are often vying for potential patients who are not already utilizing dental services, thereby creating new patients and expanding the market to those with unmet dental care needs.
“When all is said and done, what matters most is our patients’ oral and overall health,” Dr. Garcia said. “As a profession, we collectively need to ensure that the management and ownership structures of dental practices always serve our patients’ and the public’s best interests.”
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “Dr. Garcia makes several important observations about the changing nature of dental practices.” He continued, “As we continue to train our nation’s future practitioners, we must constantly be striving to make policy decisions that are in the best interest of our patients.”
The October 2014 edition of JADA, where Dr. Garcia’s editorial is featured, is available by request toJADA.
Homeless Veterans Receive Assistance from GSDM Volunteers at Stand Down
Massachusetts Stand Down is a community program designed to help homeless veterans, and is hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Held on August 22, 2014, the annual daylong event gives homeless and at-risk veterans a chance to receive food, shelter, clothing, health services, and more. This year, the event was held at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 103 in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Volunteers from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) were eager to offer assistance to veterans in need. Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri organized a full day of service consisting of two volunteer shifts—a morning and an afternoon—to be available and help the more than 500 veterans in attendance. In addition to Lituri, 29 volunteers donated their time throughout the day.
For the GSDM volunteers, the day consisted of promoting oral health by providing screenings, denture cleaning, and labeling. Packets with information, brochures, and visuals were available to any veteran who needed more information. Attendance was high and the veterans were extremely grateful for the efforts of GSDM’s volunteers. According to Lituri, they screened about 75 people and interacted with many more.
Lituri told the volunteers afterwards: “Each of you played a significant role in not only promoting oral health and providing screenings, but I really want to call attention to your fabulous listening skills and ability to make the patients feel comfortable and well cared for.”
“The success of the School’s outreach programs relies on individuals like you who volunteer their time and expertise,” she continued. “It was a pleasure to work with each and every one of you.”
GSDM volunteers at Stand Down were: Ahmad Al Najjar DMD 16, Nicholas Capezio DMD 18, Jasmine Chopra AS 15, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Matthew Garcia DMD 15, Siavash Golaby Sanajany DMD 15, Johnny Gonzalez DMD 15, Delaney Jorgensen DMD 18, Sloane Kaminski-Ditzel DMD 18, Israel Korobkin DMD 16, Andrea Lam DMD 16, Grace Lee DMD 15, Charles Lewis DMD 18, Sasha Manchanda DMD 18, Vrushali Mirajkar AS 16, Carol Patel DMD 16, Shivani Patel DMD 16, Sooyeon Shim DMD 15, Casey Smauder DMD 16, Lyle Smith DMD 15, Zachary Snider DMD 18, Megan Sullivan DMD 18, Guarev Swarup AS 15, Kevin Treger DMD 16, and Idin Zhalehdoust DMD 16. In addition, Lituri was joined by faculty volunteers Clinical Instructor Dr. Gladys Carrasco, Director of Global Initiatives Kathy Held, Clinical Assistant Professor and Practice Leader Dr. Michael McQueen, and Assistant Dean for Faculty Development and Director of the Center for Clinical Research Dr. Judith Jones.
GSDM Volunteers Help Kids Prepare for Kindergarten
On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 34 members of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) community volunteered their time at the 15th Annual Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration. Countdown to Kindergarten is an annual event at the Children’s Museum in Boston for families to learn about all things kindergarten. This was GSDM’s ninth year participating in the event.
Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri organized GSDM’s participation in the event. Volunteers provided dental screenings and led oral health activities for parents and kids in attendance, including instructing the children on brushing techniques with stuffed animals and teaching about oral health through arts and crafts. Parents also had the opportunity to talk to the volunteers and ask questions while their children were learning.
The evening was a huge success for Countdown to Kindergarten and GSDM. After three hours, GSDM volunteers had performed 97 dental screenings and interacted with hundreds of families.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for volunteering at the 15th annual Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration,” Lituri said to the volunteers after the event. “Events like this are only successful because of volunteers like you. Thank you for your time and your professionalism.”
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I am extremely proud of our students and faculty who volunteered for this important event. Countdown to Kindergarten is significant to the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, as it helps the families in our Boston community. The time our volunteers gave to Countdown to Kindergarten helped make our participation in the event a success. Thank you to all who came out and helped.”
Student volunteers included: Heidi Borenstein DMD 17, Margi Chan DMD 16, Keerthy Chilakamarry (pre-dental), Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Michelle Dube DMD 15, Cassandra Fevelo DMD 15, Chiraag Gohel (pre-dental), Tony Hong DMD 18, Navtej Kang AS 16, Justine Karanian DMD 15, Ana Keohane AS 16, Courtney Knapnik DMD 16, Jae Kwak DMD 16, Andrea Lam DMD 16, Lana Le DMD 16, Jena Lee DMD 18, Brian Leibtog DMD 15, Matt Mara DMD 16, Mohammad Mourad (pre-dental), Mona Najafi DMD 16, Sara Najafi DMD 17, Nora Nakshabendi DMD 16, Alex Nguyen DMD 17, Divya Reddy (pre-dental), Rafaella Sampaio DMD 18, Kali Stewart DMD 15, Megan Sullivan DMD 18, Farnaz Tartibi DMD 16, and Jame Waller DMD 18. Faculty volunteers included Group Practice Leader Dr. Maria Angela Cancado, Clinical Instructor in the Department of General Dentistry Dr. Caroline Clerisme, and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research Dee Devlin.
GSDM Volunteers Lend a Helping Hand at the MassCARE Health and Fitness Fair
On August 16, 2014, members of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) community volunteered at the MassCARE Health and Fitness Fair at the Fesseden School in Newton, Massachusetts. The Health and Fitness Fair serves HIV positive women, children, youth, and their families with a day of fun activities, as well as health and wellness screenings and information.
Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri organized GSDM’s participation in the event. Lituri, along with 16 student and faculty volunteers, spent the morning and afternoon providing dental screenings and giving a 20 minute presentation on oral health to roughly 100 guests at the fair. In addition, attendees could stop by the GSDM booth to pick up health and wellness information and pamphlets promoting oral health. Dental-related activities and games for children were also a big hit at the booth. The day provided an opportunity for students to share their expertise as oral health professionals, as well as learn more about oral health issues affecting women living with HIV.
The volunteers were invited to stay for the rest of the fair after they completed their service activities in the early afternoon. Volunteers enjoyed a barbecue, as well as swimming, games, and sports.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions to the MassCARE event,” Lituri said to the volunteers after the event. “You were poised, professional, and made a positive impact on both the children and adults you encountered and interacted with. It is because of volunteers like yourselves that we are able to successfully participate in these events.”
Student volunteers for the MassCARE Health and Fitness Fair were: William Alvarez AS 16, Margi Chan DMD 16, Delaney Jorgensen DMD 18, Ana Keohane AS 16, Mira Khouzam AS 16, Jeongyun Kim AS 15, Sandip Ladani AS 16, Jena Lee DMD 18, Mike Mayr DMD 16, Alyssa Mazzoli DMD 16, Mohammed Mourad (pre-dental), Olga Spivak AS 16, Jamie Waller DMD 18, Ellen Yang (pre-dental), and Stanley Ye DMD 17. Faculty volunteers included: Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research and Director of School-based Programs Dr. Corinna Culler and Research Dental Assistant Justin Escobar.
GSDM Volunteers Provide Oral Health Education and Care at Dominican Health Fair
On Friday, August 8, 2014, Dr. Corinna Culler, Director of School-Based Programs within the Division of Community Health Programs along with eight Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) student and staff volunteers promoted oral health awareness and GSDM’s dental services at the Dominican Festival Health Fair at Mozart Park in Jamaica Plain.
The Dominican Health Fair is an annual outdoor event open to the public, and this year marked the first time GSDM participated in the community event. It turned out to be a great success due to the large number of attendees who took time to visit the many tables staffed by various health related organizations.
On this beautiful summer day, GSDM volunteers manned three tables—one for registration, one for screenings, and another for children’s activities. They provided information on proper brushing, flossing, diet, and prevention (fluoride, mouth guards, sealants, etc.) to better educate families about the importance of oral health. In addition to providing a wide variety of pamphlets on oral health conditions and handing out toothbrushes and paste for both adults and students, the volunteers provided dental screenings as well as fun and interactive age appropriate activities, such as creating tooth necklaces with the children.
“I had a great experience at the Dominican Festival Health Fair,” said Margi Chan DMD 16. “To be able to engage a child in her very first lesson on flossing and to see the children’s faces light up when they understand something new about teeth is exactly why I find dentistry so rewarding. It’s the incredible connection we as dentists can make with people from all cultures, backgrounds, and walks of life.”
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I commend the faculty, students, and staff who volunteered their time at the Dominican Festival Health Fair.” He continued, “These individuals truly represent the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine’s culture and mission to educate and provide much needed awareness about the importance of oral health in our local communities.”
The volunteers included: Margi Chan DMD 16, Dr. Corinna Culler, Yanling Liu AS 15, Alyssa Mazzoli DMD 16, Research Dental Assistant Nikou Noworouzi, Ashish Papneja DMD 15, Keenan Sandouk (intern from Sargent College), Vanessa Thai DMD 16, and Ellen Yang (a summer intern with the Academic Internship Council Boston University Summer Study Internship Program).
BU Interprofessional Team to Develop Critical Thinking Course with Seed Grant
“Health professional students come from a background where there’s always a right and wrong answer; it’s always “a,” “b,” “c,” or “d—they are experts at being right,” says Dr. Neal Fleisher, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of General Dentistry and Director of Pre-doctoral Periodontology at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM). “But your patient doesn’t walk in the door wearing four letters, from which you pick what’s wrong with them.”
A foundational skill for students of all health professions is the ability to perceive and analyze complexity and ambiguity in patient diagnosis—to learn to think critically. Recognizing the importance of critical thinking, Dr. Fleisher—with the assistance of Associate Dean for Global & Population Health, Dr. Michelle Henshaw—teamed up with three other faculty members representing all Boston University health professional schools to propose a curriculum module titled “Critical Thinking Strategies for the Health Care Provider” for first year students of GSDM, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), and Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College (Sargent).
The other members of the faculty team are Dr. Mary Palaima, Clinical Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Sargent; Dr. Matthew Russell, Assistant Professor of Medicine at BUSM; and Dr. Suzanne Safarty, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at BUSM.
In August 2014, the group was awarded a $5,000 Interdisciplinary Course Development Seed Grant from the Boston University Office of the Provost and the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching. With this funding, Drs. Fleisher, Palaima, Russell, and Safarty will recruit one student from each of the schools to work together to develop course goals, objectives, and content for a more detailed course proposal. They will also engage consultants from the Critical Thinking Community and Arts Practica. With further funding, the team aims to create a fully developed course to be offered for the first time in September 2015.
Critical Thinking Strategies for the Health Care Provider will teach students to systematically apply critical thinking concepts throughout their educational and professional careers. The first year dental, medical, physician assistant, and allied health students will collaborate in the learning process via small group discussions, electronic discussion boards, as well as online didactic activities. The visual component of critical thinking, which has already been successfully taught to GSDM and BUSM students as Visual Thinking Strategies for first year students, will be a component of the new Critical Thinking Strategies module.
This course is part of a larger initiative to incorporate interprofessional collaboration into the curricula for all health professional students. At GSDM, Dr. Henshaw has been working to create programs that will rigorously prepare trainees for collaborative practice and interprofessional care as part of her role as Associate Dean for Global & Population Health, which she took on in February 2013.
Dr. Fleisher explains the value of this type of collaboration: “A physician and a physical therapist may look at the same problem from a different perspective; and not just in terms of how they have to deal with it, but just in terms of the overall importance of the problem itself.” He continues, “Health professionals can improve patient diagnosis and treatment by understanding and combining these various perspectives.”
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I commend the efforts of Drs. Fleisher and Henshaw to develop and showcase the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine’s position as a world leader in interprofessional care initiatives.” He continued, “I am confident that enhancing interprofessional training on critical thinking skills in the School’s curriculum will greatly benefit both our students and our patients.”
GSDM Volunteers Provide Oral Health Education and Care to Homeless Preschoolers
Volunteers from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Global & Population Health office made three visits to Health Horizons for Homeless Children preschool program in Dorchester in May and July 2014.
On May 20 and 21, Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri and Keenan Sandouk, Spring 2014 intern from Sargent College, visited five classrooms, where they provided age-appropriate oral health education, dental screenings, and fluoride varnish application to children in five classrooms.
On July 10, Margi Chan DMD 16 and Ellen Yang, a summer intern with the Academic Internship Council Boston University Summer Study Internship Program, joined Lituri to provide education, screening, and fluoride applications in two preschool classrooms.
Every child received a goody bag with oral health care items and a sticker. The teachers and administrative assistant also received goody bags.
On two of the days, the volunteers also hosted a display table with information on oral health for infants and toddlers, staffed during drop-off time to reach parents and guardians.
Coffee Drinkers—Your Gums May Thank You
That is the question researchers at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine explored in a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Periodontology.
Lead author and 2014 DMD graduate Nathan Ng said, “We found that coffee consumption did not have an adverse effect on periodontal health, and, instead, may have protective effects against periodontal disease.”
Additional study authors were Drs. Raul Garcia and Elizabeth Kaye. Dr. Garcia is Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research and Director of the Northeast Center for Research to Evaluate and Eliminate Dental Disparities. Dr. Kaye is a Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research.
Coffee consumption was associated with a small but statistically significant reduction in number of teeth with periodontal bone loss. Researchers concluded that coffee consumption may be protective against periodontal bone loss in adult males—the group examined in the study.
“This is the first long-term study of its kind that has investigated the association between coffee consumption and periodontal disease in humans,” Ng added.
Researchers looked at data collected from 1,152 men in the US Department of Veterans Affairs Dental Longitudinal Study (DLS) during triennial dental visits between 1968 and 1998. The DLS is a prospective study of the oral health of medically healthy male veterans that began in 1968. The men were 98% non-Hispanic white males ages 26 to 84 at the start.
Information on coffee intake was self-reported by the participants. Researchers controlled for risk factors such as alcohol consumption, education, diabetes status, body mass index, smoking, frequency of brushing and flossing, and recent periodontal treatment or dental cleanings.
Researchers suggest exploring their findings in a more diverse study population in the future.
Three GSDM Researchers Awarded CTSI Pilot Grants
GSDM researchers Drs. Srinivas Ayilavarapu, Manish Bais, and Brenda Heaton have been awarded $20,000 each inCTSI pilot funding. The pilot grant competition, led by the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and financially supported by the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, funds innovative translational research intended to obtain preliminary data to apply for federal funding. A number of outstanding proposals were submitted and were reviewed by a panel of faculty members. The researchers will use the $20,000 award to work on their pilot projects.
Dr. Srinivas Ayilavarapu, Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry, received funding for his project, “B cells promote chronic periodontitis in type 2 diabetes.” This project is a collaborative effort with Dr. Barbara Nikolajczyk, Associate Professor of Microbiology at BU School of Medicine, to explore the activation of immune cells in obese diabetics with periodontal disease. The project will involve the extraction of gingival tissue from enrolled research subjects, followed by the isolation of cells for analysis. The aim of this project is to identify the molecular mechanisms that can lead to periodontal disease and to identify potential therapeutic targets. Dr. Ayilavarapu believes that this grant will help to generate important preliminary data for larger federally-funded projects.
Dr. Manish Bais, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, received funding for his project, “Patient-derived tumors orthotopic oral cancer mouse model.” The goal of this study is to establish a novel orthotopic oral cancer nude mouse model using patient-derived tumor cells and to determine if these pre-clinical studies can provide insights about predictors of tumor growth and metastasis. This project is developed from Dr. Bias’ participation in GSDM’s Oral Cancer Research Initiative. Dr. Bais is very excited about the CTSI funding and the significant impact this project may have on our understanding of oral cancer etiology and progression.
“This study will establish a new oral cancer mouse model, determine personalized differences in oral cancers, and provide an innovative approach for future mechanistic and translational studies, which could repeat clinical oral cancer progression in mouse models,” said Dr. Bais about his project.
Dr. Brenda Heaton, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research, received funding for her project “Preparations for studies of oral health and illness in black women: validation of self-reported oral health measures in the Black Women’s Health Study.” This pilot grant will support a new collaboration between GSDM and the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. The funds will be used to assess the feasibility of validating oral health measures in the subject population of the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) who reside within the greater Boston area. TheBWHS is an ongoing longitudinal study of 59,000 U.S. black women since 1995. The project will administer a series of self-reported oral health measures to willing participants. Participants will then travel to the GSDM Center for Clinical Research where they will receive clinical oral exams. This new collaboration will help to facilitate the future study of oral health outcomes among a national population with demonstrated health disparities.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to the recipients of CTSI pilot funding,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “The success of our faculty strongly reflects the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine’s commitment to research excellence.” He added, “While only three projects could be selected, all submissions from GSDM were outstanding and compared favorably with other Schools on the Medical Campus.”
Scholars from Shanghai Visit GSDM in Cultural and Academic Exchange
Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) hosted three scholars from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Stomatology (SJTUSS) from June 4 through June 18, 2014. The scholars were Dr. Jian Sun, Associate Professor and Postgraduate Supervisor in the Department of Prosthodontics at SJTUSS, and two SJTUSS Orthodontics residents, Drs. Xin Hua and Xiyang Liu.
The visit was part of a Global & Population Health academic and cultural exchange with two institutions in China that began in October 2013 when four DMD students vis
ited SJTUSS in Shanghai and the Fourth Military Medical University School of Stomatology (FMMUSS) in Xi’an. As part of the exchange agreement, GSDM also accepts an equal number of students and scholars from FMMUSS and SJTUSS to our home site for an equal period of clinical observation and/or research experience.
During their stay, Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu resided at the 10 Buick Street BU student housing. Their itineraries were packed with academic, social, and sight-seeing activities.
On June 5, Dean and Mrs. Hutter welcomed Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu into their home for a dinner with GSDM department chairs, program directors, faculty and staff.
The GSDM chapter of the Asian Dental Student Organization hosted a lunch for the visiting scholars on June 6, during which the visitors had an opportunity to get to know some of the DMD students. That afternoon, Dr. Louis Brown, Assistant Professor in the Department of General Dentistry, gave the visitors a tour of the School’s Simulation Learning Center.
Over their stay, Drs. Hua and Liu had the opportunity to observe Orthodontic residents at work in the Post-doctoral Orthodontics Patient Treatment Center and to sit in on some classes. Dr. Sun observed in the Prosthodontics clinic and also attended some classes and seminars
On June 13, Dr. Sun made a presentation to GSDM faculty and students, titled “Computer Aided Design and Rapid Manufacture for Facial Prosthesis.” Dr. Sun also reviewed the structure of dental education in China, comparing and contrasting it to programs in the United States.
Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu met with BU Medical Campus Provost Dr. Karen H. Antman on June 16.
Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu were even able to meet a fellow graduate of SJTUSS during their visit. Na Wei AS 15, an SJTUSS alum, was happy to be able to talk with them about her experiences at GSDM, and they discussed some of the differences between the education models of China and the United States.
The visitors also had some time to take in several Boston area historical and cultural sites. They toured other Boston educational institutions, specifically Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; visited Plimouth Plantation and the Mayflower; enjoyed a wide range of shopping experiences including Fanueil Hall, Newbury Street, and the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets; spent a day on Cape Cod; and enjoyed many local restaurants. New England clam chowder and spaghetti and meatballs were just a couple of the local dishes they enjoyed.
Dr. Michelle Henshaw, Associate Dean for Global & Population Health, said, “Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu’s visit was another step toward enhancing GSDM’s partnership with SJTUSS and building stronger connections with the SJTUSS students and faculty.” She continued, “The visiting scholars learned about the U.S. dental education system and philosophy, observed new clinical approaches, made contacts for future joint research endeavors, and experienced U.S. culture and New England sites. Similarly, GSDM students and faculty gained insights into the Chinese education system, culture, and rich history. Global exchange programs such as this provide participants with the skills and understanding necessary to be both competent and empathetic health care providers and engaged global citizens.”
Dr. Laisheng Chou, Professor of Restorative Sciences & Biomaterials, Consultant to the Dean on Programs and Initiatives Involving the Far East, and the Exchange Program Leader for GSDM said, “Boston University is committed to some key attributes defining BU as a global university. In order to fulfill the mission of Global Higher Education, GSDM has extended its international dental externship program initiatives to include this exchange with two prestigious institutions in China.”
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I am glad to see this important cultural and academic exchange occurring at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.” He continued, “It was a pleasure to get to know Drs. Sun, Hua, and Liu, and I look forward to our continued collaboration with the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Stomatology.”
Neighboring Schools Visit GSDM
During May and June, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine Global & Population Health welcomed four local elementary schools to explore the field of dentistry. Hundreds of students learned—in GSDM classrooms and the Simulation Learning Center—what it is like to be a dentist.
Students heard presentations on oral health and nutrition, took in a lesson on mouth guards, and engaged in interactive activities in the Simulation Learning Center. There, they learned about sealants and dental impressions, dressed up as dental students, and made thumbprints using an alginate impression and dental stone.
GSDM staff and students were on hand to instruct the children and answer questions about being a dental student and a dental professional. The young students were also honored with the presence of Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter—who discussed what it’s like to run a dental school—and dental superheroes Captain Cavity Fighter and Lieutenant Fluoride.
“The field trips provide interactive health education for children and an opportunity for Boston University dental students to inspire young children to pursue a higher education and possibly a career in dentistry,” said Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri.
On Friday, May 23, 2014, members of the BU Chapter of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) welcomed 90 second graders from Orchard Gardens School in Roxbury. SNDA volunteers included: Abdul-Rahman Addas AS 15, Alexandra Fili DMD 17, Dave Lane DMD 16, Luri Lee DMD 16, Alyssa Mazzoli DMD 16, Daniella Rizzo DMD 16, and Quentin Shabani DMD 16. Also participating were: Margi Chan DMD 16, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Andrea Lam DMD 16, Matt Mara DMD 16, Amrita Patel DMD 15, and Faraz Tartibi DMD 16.
On Friday, May 30, 2014, 92 third graders from Blackstone School in the South End visited for the 15thannual field trip to GSDM. Student volunteers included: Assal Abdossalehi DMD 16, Sarah Al Aaraji AS 14, Roua Al Timimi AS 15, Margi Chan DMD 16, Jasmine Chopra AS 15, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Alexandra Fili DMD 17, Saif Hanna AS 15, Izzy Korobkin DMD 16, Andrea Lam DMD 16, Derek Leung DMD 15, Matt Mara DMD 16, Alyssa Mazzoli DMD 16, pre-dental student Yanelis Mestre, pre-dental student Mohammad Mourad, Richa Rashmi AS 15, pre-dental student Rhea Reen, pre-dental student Keenan Sandouk, Oren Sudai DMD 16, Kevin Treger DMD 16, pre-dental student Jake Ward, Oras Younis AS 15, and Yitzi Zisblatt DMD 16.
On Friday, June 6, 2014, 70 third graders from the Edward Brooke Charter School in Roslindale joined us. Volunteers included: Assal Abdossalehi DMD 16, Sarah Al Aaraji AS 14, Swati Agnihotri DMD 17, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Alexandra Fili DMD 17, Rana Gorgis AS 14, Ana Komnatnaya DMD 1 6, Andrea Lam DMD 16, Matt Mara DMD 16, Mike Mayr DMD 16, Alyssa Mazzoli DMD 16, pre-dental student Yanelis Mestre, pre-dental student Mohammad Mourad, pre-dental student Rhea Reen, and pre-dental student Keenan Sandouk.
On Thursday, June 19, 2014, 45 third graders from the Tynan School in South Boston visited, completing the month of school visits. Volunteering were: Erwin Apaza, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Charles DiCosimo DMD 15, Rana Gorgis AS 14, pre-dental student Mohammad Mourad, Dan Moynihan DMD 15, Marium Qureshi AS 15, Ramdeep Samra DMD 15, Keenan Sandouk, Kali Stewart DMD 15, and pre-dental student Jake Ward.
GSDM Serves around the Globe in the Month of April
Throughout April 2014, Boston University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their families and friends participated inGlobal Days of Service, an initiative offering service opportunities to Boston University friends worldwide. At GSDM, Global & Population Health (GPH)and Alumni Relations offered several volunteer opportunities designed specifically for our GSDM family.
“I am very pleased to see how many of our community members consistently participate in Global Days of Service,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “The volunteer opportunities are a great way to get together as a team and make a positive impact on the community.”
“Global Days of Service 2014 was a huge success!” said Associate Dean for Global & Population Health Dr. Michelle Henshaw in a School-wide email. “The events organized by GSDM were fully staffed and the donations for the collection drives have already made a difference in the lives of the populations or groups for which they were intended.”
Clothing (and more) drives
Each week in April, GPH organized collections for local organizations, including Pine Street Inn (April 1–4), the Boston Living Center (April 7-11), Greater Boston Food Bank (April 14-18), Cradles to Crayons (April 22-26), and Orchard Gardens School (April 28-30).
Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Stacey McNamee, Program Administrator Sheree Norquist, and Clinical Instructor and Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri helped organize the collections.
For the Pine Street Inn, volunteers collected personal hygiene and toiletry items, umbrellas, new socks, gift cards, and other seasonal items.
For the Boston Living Center, bedding, household items, art supplies, and gift cards were collected.
On week three, the volunteers collected non-perishable food items for the GBFB.
For Cradles to Crayons and Orchard Gardens School, GSDM volunteers collected clothes and shoes for children newborn to age 12.
Pine Street Inn Learn and Serve
On April 1, GSDM participated in Lunch and Serve at the Pine Street Inn, a half-day opportunity that combined hands-on service with an educational tour of the Inn. The event provided volunteers with a deeper understanding of the issues of homelessness, poverty, and Boston’s lack of affordable housing. Boston University volunteers worked in the kitchen to assist in preparing some of the more than 2000 meals prepared at the Pine Street Inn each day.
Volunteers included: Clinical Instructor Cynthia Cadoret; Clinical Instructor Dee Devlin; Intern Shennell Howard; Professor Elizaeth Kaye; Clinical Instructor Ana Keohane; Clinical Instructor and Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri; Program Administrator Sheree Norquist; Research Clinical Examiner Maria Nunez Bibby; Instructor Thayer Scott; Andrew Soule-Hinds DMD 15; and Clinical Instructor Martin Ugarte-Chavez.
Relay for Life, Boston University
The Boston University Relay for Life took place at the Track and Tennis Center on the Charles River Campus beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, and running until 6 a.m. Sunday. This is GSDM’s sixth year participating in the 12-hour, overnight event, where GSDM students, faculty, staff, and friends walk the track to honor cancer survivors, remember people who died of cancer, and raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The team members were: Dalal Alhaji DMD 14; Ingy Alhelawe DMD 15; Assistant Dean of Students Joseph Calabrese and his sons Joey and Tommy; Julian Camestra DMD 15; Clinical Instructor Gladys Carrasco; Christopher Chan DMD 15; Margi Chan DMD 16; Michelle DaRocha DMD 15; Richard Flynn DMD 17; Tina Giannacopoulos DMD 15; Siavash Golaby Sanajany Golaby DMD 15; Johnny Gonzalez DMD 15; Shruti Handa AS 15; Gregory Hein DMD 14; Assistant Director of Pre-doctoral Research Afaf Hourani; Dean Jeffrey and Mrs. Kathy Hutter; Clinical Instructor Ana Keohane and her daughters Emma and Sophia; Professor Thomas Kilgore; Dave Lane DMD 16; Amal Lattouf DMD 15; Lana Le DMD 16; Clinical Instructor and Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri; Antonio Maceda-Johnson DMD 15; Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Stacey McNamee; Matt Mara DMD 16; Keely Matheson DMD 15; Jessica Metcalf DMD 15; Kaushel Patel AS 15; Carol Patel DMD 16; Shivani Patel DMD 16; Marium Qureshi AS 15; Clinical Assistant Professor Kadambari Rawal; Fernando San Juan Jr. DMD 14; Neelam Shah DMD 14; Shivani Shirgavi AS 15; Casey Smauder DMD 16; Jonathan Solomon DMD 16; Clinical Assistant Professor Tina Valades and her husband Ralph Tullberg; and Garrett Wingrove DMD 17.
Greater Boston Food Bank
On both April 16 and April 23, GSDM staff and faculty met at the GBFB to sort, pack, and inspect food and groceries for people in need. The GBFB is the largest hunger relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the United States. Last year GBFB distributed almost 41 million pounds of food, enough to provide healthy meals to as many as 545,000 people. The organization is committed to increasing its food distribution to provide at least one meal per day to every person in need in eastern Massachusetts.
Volunteers included: Administrator Elizabeth Anatori; Clinical Instructor Lina Benslimane; Director of Facilities & Operations Andrew Burke; Registrar Beth Bouhmadouche; Administrative Manager Sharon Boyle; Research Project Assistant Jobina Cabrera; Alumni Coordinator Leslie Caiola; Administrative Assistant Diane Dougherty; Registrar Coordinator Annie Duong; Research Project Coordinator Begona Fernandez; Director, Global Initiatives Kathleen Held; Research Project Assistant Yvrose Joseph; Research Project Assistant Ramona Lara; Clinical Instructor and Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri; Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Stacey McNamee; Program Administrator Hector Mendoza; Administrative Assistant Kelsey Mussler; Administrative Coordinator Annie Nash; Clinical Assistant Professor Kadambari Rawal; Oral Health Advocate Marisela Soriano; Administrative Coordinator Joseph Swan; and Oral Health Advocate Vicky Thomas.
Cradles to Crayons, Brighton
Members of the School’s Asian Dental Student Organization (ADSO) led one of the two volunteer sessions at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton on Wednesday, April 8 and April 25. Voted 2012 best local charity by Boston A-list, the organization provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive, free of charge.
Volunteers for the two Cradles to Crayons events included: Sana Banday AS 14; Assistant Professor Corinna Culler; Daniel Galvez DMD 15; Shruti Handa AS 15; Dental Assistant Chelsea Johnson; Nancy Kang DMD 17; Epidemiologist Judith Kelly; Shireen Khan AS 14; Jeongyun Kim AS 15; Jonathan Kuang DMD 17; Michael Lee DMD 15; Stephani Leung DMD 15; Stephani Leung DMD 15; Antonio Macedo-Johnson DMD 15; Tom Mosley DMD 15; Alex Nguyen DMD 17; Danny Nguyen DMD 17; Andrew Pham DMD 15; School Based Program Coordinator Paula Pina; Kenia Rodriguez DMD 15; and Clinical Instructor Martin Ugarte-Chavez.
GSDM Helps Somerville Children Start Kindergarten with a Healthy Smile
Volunteers from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) offered support to approximately 400 families with children preparing for kindergarten at the Countdown to Kindergarten Somerville event at Boston Children’s Museum on May 16, 2014. This event is an off-shoot of Countdown to Kindergarten Boston, a non-profit collaborative that engages families, educators, and community members to celebrate and provide support to children at the significant educational and developmental milestone of entering kindergarten.
Faculty sponsors Dr. Martin Ugarte-Chavez and Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri led the following team of student volunteers: Alexandra Fili (former DMD student), Jing Guo DMD 17, Hyunji Kim DMD 15, Lana Le DMD 16, Derek Leung DMD 15, Adam Robbins DMD 15, and Kali Stewart DMD 15.
The GSDM volunteers promoted oral health to the families and children with hands-on activities, oral health information relevant to the age group, and dental screenings to 25 children.
Lituri said to the volunteers, “It was so nice to see all of you totally engaged with the children and families.” She continued, “I am confident that you had a positive influence on all the people you encountered at this event.”
Dental and Medical Students Team Up to Improve Health in East Boston
July 1, 2014
Fifteen volunteers from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) joined together with twelve volunteers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) to provide health care services to children and their families at the second annual Interprofessional Spring Wellness Fair at the East Boston YMCA for Healthy Kids Day on April 26, 2014.
Oral Health Promotion Kathy Lituri and Farhan Khan AS 15 organized GSDM participation in the wellness fair. The GSDM faculty sponsors were Drs. Ana Keohane and Gladys Carrasco. The GSDM student volunteers were: William Alvarez (pre-dental), Michelle DaRocha DMD 15, David Garazi DMD 15, Siavash Golaby Sanajany DMD 15, Farhan Khan AS 15, Jeongyun Kim AS 15, Andrea Lugo (pre-dental), Reefat Malhotra AS 15, Ashish Papneja DMD 15, Abdul Rahman Addas AS 14, Richa Rashmi AS 15, Neeha Sood AS 15, and Bernadette Therriault AS 15. Dr. Suzanne Sarfaty served as the BUSM faculty liaison and Samih Nassif MED 17 was team leader for the medical students.
Despite a rainy day, volunteers were in high spirits and worked efficiently. The GSDM students promoted oral health by offering oral screenings as well as information on oral health topics, such as good oral hygiene practices, healthy eating, prevention of cavities and gum disease, dry mouth, denture care, smoking cessation, and the prevention of oral cancer. GSDM had five tables set up. They provided 26 screenings to children and adults.
The BUSM students offered screenings for blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol and measured body mass index. They also provided individualized nutrition information.
Co-organizer Farhan Khan said, “In exchange for a Saturday morning, we believe that we were able to raise awareness and help those individuals make positive health and wellness choices.” Khan continued, “Moreover, we had an excellent opportunity to be active and responsible members in our neighboring community.”
Khan noted that, in addition to giving back to the community, a secondary focus of the wellness fair was to strengthen inter-professional communication between medical and dental students. Their aim is to build a foundation of collaboration, which will be essential in a future of team-based and patient-centered health care.
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said, “I am very pleased to see members of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine community joining together for a common cause.” He continued, “Thank you to the volunteers who contributed to the success of this community outreach event.”
Initiative Offering More Pediatric Experience Benefits Students and Community
Since October, Global & Population Health (GPH) has been leading an initiative to offer Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) students greater experience in pediatric dentistry. GPH has been giving third-year DMD and first-year AS students opportunities to treat children in some of the office’s existing Preschool-Based Oral Health Programs that had been previously run by faculty only.
Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri has been accompanied by a GSDM student volunteer on seven visits to the Crispus Attucks Children’s Center in Dorchester since October, where they provided dental screenings, fluoride varnish applications, and oral health education to children. In November, similar faculty-student teams made two visits to Nurtury (formerly Associated Early Care and Education Centers) at Sunnyside. They visited Nurtury at Castle Square three times in March and, in May, volunteers provided care over four visits at Nurtury’s Ruggles/Gilday location. More visits like these are planned.
The following DMD 15 students have benefited from this supplemental experience in pediatric dentistry: Sonal Chhanabhai, Michelle Darocha, Adrian De Vincenzo, Siavash Sanajany Golaby, Chul Won Lee, Stephanie Leung, Linda Linsinbigler, Keely Matheson, Jessica Metcalf, Melissa Parsa, Amrita Patel, Andrew Pham, Sarah Procknik, Ramandeep Samra, Samita Sandhu, Sara Sarema, Cara Seidel, Kali Stewart, Isha Suri, and Anne Tran. Pre-dental students Shennel Howard and Jake Ward also volunteered.
Kathy Lituri said, “This is a great way for dental students to gain valuable pediatric experience.” She continued, “It’s also a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about oral health needs in the community.”
“Thank you to the volunteers who gave their time to provide dental care to these children,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “I am very pleased to see this successful initiative provide more pediatric dentistry experience to our students while also contributing to better oral health in the community.”
Service Recognition Events Celebrate Our Dedicated Employees
Each year, Boston University holds service recognition events to honor employees who have reached milestone markers in their careers at BU. Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) employees were honored at both the University Retirement Dinner on March 18, 2014, at the Arthur G.B. Metcalf Trustee Center and the Service Recognition Luncheon on Monday, March 24, 2014, in Metcalf Hall, George Sherman Union. Dean Hutter was represented by Dr. John Guarente at the Service Recognition Luncheon and by Ms. Kelly Marcinkewich at the Retirement Dinner.
This year, our School saw five longtime employees retire. This year’s retirees are: Ms. Patricia Alfred, Ms. Sally Baldwin, Dr. George Keleher, Ms. Carole Loughran, and Dr. Deborah Redden-Tyler.
“On behalf of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, congratulations to these five faculty and staff members for their dedication and service to our School and to Boston University,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “I wish them a long and enjoyable retirement.”
A number of GSDM employees celebrating either 10 years or 25 years of service were recognized at the Service Recognition Luncheon.
Celebrating 10 years: Dr. Louay Abrass, Dr. Hussam Batal, Mr. George Boquet, Dr. Francis Harrington, Dr. Brenda Heaton, Mr. Daniel Hyacinthe, Dr. Sok-Ja Janket, Dr. Bing Liu, Ms. Hongfang Mao, Ms. Eden Mogos, Dr. Mani Moulazadeh, Ms. Mimoza Panariti, Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, Mr. Gerardo Torres, Dr. Wanda Wright, Dr. James Wu, and Ms. Beverly Wyman-Stratton.
Celebrating 25 years: Dr. John Ictech-Cassis, Dr. Steven Morgano, and Dr. Tina Valades.
“Congratulations to these dedicated employees of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “I am grateful for your hard work and many years of commitment to our School.”
Give Kids a Smile Returns in a Big Way
This year’s Give Kids a Smile held on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, was a huge success thanks to Global and Population Health (GPH), Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri, and the ASDA Leadership Group. In addition to a large pool of volunteers, the School brought along a record three cavity-fighting superheroes: Captain Cavity Fighter and two Lieutenant Fluorides!
Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) is a program started by the American Dental Association in 2003 as a way for dentists to provide services to underserved children. Originally a one-day event in February, the program now includes events throughout the year.
GSDM returned to the Yawkey Club of Boston—where the School has a longstanding relationship—for its 2014 GKAS event. The Yawkey Club is a Boys & Girls Club—a nonprofit whose mission is to help young people build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders.
“This is a great opportunity to not only interact with children of all ages, but to also share your experiences and expertise, especially with oral health matters,” said Lituri in an email to students. “It’s a great opportunity to serve as a role model and encourage kids to do well in school and seek a higher education.”
Volunteers used the School’s popular Passport to a Healthy Smile concept. Small groups of children visited six stations that focused on different oral health topics, including: brushing and flossing, healthy eating, consequences of tobacco and oral piercing, tooth protectors (mouth guards, fluoride, sealants), dental careers, and the importance of teeth. Passports are stamped at each station and each child with a full passport receives a goody bag of a pencil, stickers, handouts, and, of course, a toothbrush and toothpaste!
There was also a story circle, arts and crafts, and a music stage for children to enjoy.
Students Ingy Alhelawe DMD 15 and Neelam Shah DMD 14 helped Lituri plan the event.
Also volunteering were: Sana Banday AS 15, Richa Bhatt AS 15, Christopher Chan DMD 15, Shelby Curtis DMD 16, Rushil Dang AS 15, Sara Elashaal DMD 17, Destinee Ingrao DMD 15, Golnaz Kavand AS 15, Anna Komnatnaya DMD 16, Israel Korobkin DMD 16, Hedieh Kousesghi AS 15, Andrea Lam DMD 16, Reefat Malhotra AS 15, Mike Mayr DMD 16, Mona Najafi DMD 16, Nora Nakshabendi DMD 16, Amrita Patel DMD 15, Siavash Golaby Sanjany DMD 15, Sara Saremi DMD 15, Cara Seidel DMD 15, Shivani Shirgavi AS 15, pre-dental student Albert Song, Isha Suri DMD 15, Vanessa Thai DMD 16, Bernadette Therriault AS 15, Mike Whitcomb DMD 17, and Garrett Wingrove DMD 17.
Students Share Unique China Externship Experiences
February 18, 2014
On January 17, 2014, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) DMD 14 students Alena Mehtani, Erica Weinberg, Erik Harriman, and Grant Murray gave a presentation to a packed classroom G-301 on their two-week international externship to two world-renowned institutions for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) located in China.
The October 2013 trip commenced an expansion of GSDM’s Global Elective Externship program to include an exchange program with two institutions in China: Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Stomatology (SJUSS), located in Shanghai, and the Fourth Military Medical University School of Stomatology (FMMUSS), located in Xi’an.
Professor and Director of the Division of Oral Medicine Dr. Laisheng Chou serves as the GSDM program leader. Professor in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research and Associate Dean for Global & Population Health Dr. Michelle Henshaw accompanied the students on the externship.
For their presentation, the students, in turn, described all aspects of their unforgettable trip, including clinical, social, and cultural experiences. Murray stressed the uniqueness of their clinical environment. He spoke with awe of being in a hospital with four floors for OMFS. Weinberg talked about the experience in terms of her interest in pediatric dentistry, noting that the trip is valuable even to those interested in specialties outside of OMFS. She illustrated this with a photo from the trip of herself carrying a baby who’d just had a cleft palate surgery. Harriman and Mehtani presented some of the fascinating cases of rare conditions they saw and learned about on the trip.
The students also reflected on the influence of culture on the overall nature of treatment in China. They witnessed a robust sense of camaraderie between all levels of staff in the operating room. They also noted the systematic nature of treatment.
Mehtani, Weinberg, Harriman, and Murray fielded questions from the audience regarding the procedures they observed, the prevalence of certain conditions, and about clinical culture they experienced, among other topics.
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter, who attended the students’ presentation, said, “It was a pleasure to hear about Alena, Erica, Erik, and Grant’s unforgettable trip.” He continued, “I am very proud that students from our School were able to have this truly unique clinical and cultural experience as we expand the global presence of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.”
In conclusion, the students gave glowing recommendations of the trip and welcomed anyone with interest in the externship to contact them. Students interested in international externships can also contact Elizabeth Anatori of Global & Population Health at email@example.com or 617-638-4674.
ADSO’s Holiday Wish for Happy, Healthy Smiles in Chinatown
January 14, 2014
The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Asian Dental Student Organization (ADSO), in collaboration with Global & Population Health (GPH), sustained a holiday tradition by participating in the Wang YMCA Holiday Party in Chinatown on December 8, 2013.
More than 700 members of the community attended the holiday party, which was held in the Wang YMCA gymnasium—transformed for the day into a winter wonderland with holiday decorations, wrapped gifts, balloons, and a Christmas tree. ADSO Community Outreach Chair Stephanie Leung DMD 15, with GPH faculty sponsor and Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri, helped organize and prepare for GSDM’s involvement at the event. The volunteers offered a variety of entertaining and interactive oral health activities along with information and gifts of toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“This is an excellent opportunity to serve as role models while promoting oral health and dental careers,” said Lituri.
Leung is enthusiastic about the annual outreach tradition: “The Wang YMCA Holiday Party is one of ADSO’s favorite yearly community outreach events. We are grateful to be able to work with GPH to take part in the holiday festivities in Chinatown. We had much enthusiasm from volunteers from every DMD class this year and we all had a wonderful time.”
Leung continued, “As dental students, we are strong oral health advocates and so it is always our goal in events such as this Holiday Party, to provide a fun and interactive way for parents and their children, together, to learn the importance of good oral hygiene and healthy diets in preventing oral disease. In the spirit of this winter’s joys and laughter, we wish for everyone to have happy and healthy smiles.”
Thank you to the GSDM volunteers: Erwin Apaza DMD 17, Amanda Brogly DMD 15, Lucy Dang DMD 17, Daniel Galvez DMD 15, Jonathan Kuang DMD 17, Lana Le DMD 16, Michael Lee DMD 15, Derek Leung DMD 15, Stephanie Leung DMD 15, Jason Pan DMD 14, Andrew Pham DMD 15, Researcher Sawako Takeuchi, Khanti Tjiang DMD 17, John Xu DMD 16, and Joey Yu DMD 16.