GSDM Volunteers Provide Oral Health Education and Care to Homeless Preschoolers

September 24, 2014


Margi Chan DMD 16 (left) and Ellen Yang demonstrate proper brushing techniques to 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

September 3, 2014

iStock_000014500466Small-200Coffee contains antioxidants. Antioxidants fight gum disease. Does coffee, then, help fight gum disease?

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

August 5, 2014



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

July 29, 2014



(l-r) Dr. Xin Hua, Dr. Michelle Henshaw, Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter, Dr. Jian Sun, and Dr. Xiyang Liu


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

July 22, 2014

Tynan School students LaZiyah M. and Janayah C.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

Global-200Throughout 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

July 15, 2014

CTK-Somervile-replacement-200Volunteers 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

wellness_fair-200Fifteen 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

May 20, 2014

Preschoolers practice brushing with Sara Procknik DMD 15

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

April 29, 2014


President Brown speaks at the Service Recognition Luncheon

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

April 15, 2014


Captain Cavity Fighter with a child

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.

Photos are available on Facebook and Flickr.

Students Share Unique China Externship Experiences

February 18, 2014

(l-r) Dr. Laisheng Chou, Erik Harriman, Alena Mehtani, Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter, Erica Weinberg, Grant Murray, and Dr. Michelle Henshaw

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 or 617-638-4674.

Photos from the trip are available on Facebook and Flickr.

ADSO’s Holiday Wish for Happy, Healthy Smiles in Chinatown

January 14, 2014

John Xu (front, helping child) and Joey Yu, both DMD 16

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.

Photos are available on Facebook and Flickr.