News from 2010

BUVSDA Spreads Holiday Cheer at YMCA

December 20, 2010

BUVSDA 12.20.10Members of the Boston University chapter of the Vietnamese Student Dental Association (BUVSDA), lead by chapter president Arnold Nguyen DMD 12 and CHP Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri volunteered at the Annual Holiday Party at the Wang YMCA in Chinatown on Sunday, December 12.

Volunteers set up two tables with oral health activities for the children and information and toothbrushes for both parents and children. In total, nearly 800 people attended the party.

“The holiday party was a terrific occasion for the BUVSDA to be a part of,” said Nguyen. “The kids were very interactive and enthusiastic in learning more about their oral health and I am glad that we were given an opportunity to volunteer in such a great event.”

“I especially want to thank Arnold for all of his help in putting this together,” said Lituri. “This is a really fun event and one that the BUVSDA has participated in often over the last decade.” She continued, “I am confident that each of the volunteers had a positive impact on many of the children as well as their parents.”

Other student volunteers included Ben Pham DMD 12, Tim Ngork DMD 12, and Marcus Ngai DMD 12.

Dr. Michelle Henshaw Named 2011 Recipient of the William J. Gies Award for Innovation

December 13, 2010

The ADEAGies Foundation recently announced it will honor Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Professor & Assistant Dean for Community Partnerships and Extramural Affairs, Dr. Michelle Henshaw, with the 2011 William J. Gies Award for Innovation in the Dental Educator category.Dental Prof. Henshaw @ MED

“Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Henshaw for being selected for this prestigious award,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “She is an excellent choice given that from the onset of her professional career she has been deeply committed to the integration of teaching, research, and service with community engagement. The hallmarks of all her efforts and many successes have been her creativity and innovation in driving institutional change.”

Dr. Henshaw will be presented with the Award at the Gies Awards celebration to be held on March 14, 2011, in San Diego, California, in conjunction with the 2011 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

The Gies Awards, named after dental education pioneer Dr. William J. Gies, honor individuals and organizations exemplifying dedication to the highest standards of vision, innovation, and achievement in dental education, research, and leadership.

Dr. Henshaw was nominated for the award based on her successful integration of teaching, translational research and clinical service, and outreach activities within the GSDM curriculum. She has initiated and successfully fostered partnerships with a myriad of community organizations which have resulted in more than 50 community-based service programs that provide oral health care to underserved populations throughout Massachusetts. The partnerships serve as the foundation for meaningful service learning experiences for students and are integral components of the GSDM dental education curriculum.

“As a result of her innovative leadership, the GSDM administration, faculty, student body, and alumni have internalized the principles of community engagement and her efforts have served to transform the institutional culture of the School,” said Dean Hutter. “This is demonstrated by the fact that 100% of our students now participate in the mandatory service learning curriculum that she designed and whose implementation she led. In addition, faculty involvement in non-curricular community outreach activities has increased by 25% and student involvement has increased by 50%.”

The partnerships she developed have also contributed to research activities, including GSDM’s NIH-supported Northeast Center for Research to Evaluate and Eliminate Dental Disparities (CREED), established in 2001 and funded to 2015. Dr. Henshaw serves as CREEDD’s Co-Director and as the Co-Principal Investigator on the NIH award. She has also collaborated with the Boston Public Health Commission’s Healthy Baby/Healthy Child program on a grant from the Aetna Foundation to develop an oral health promotion intervention that would be delivered as part of a pre- and post-natal home visiting program. This work then led to an R21 award in 2006 from the NIDCR to implement and test the intervention. Dr. Henshaw also received one of only two health policy grants that the Massachusetts Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation awarded in order to determine if there were racial and ethnic disparities in community water fluoridation in Massachusetts.

Dr. Henshaw’s efforts are not limited to GSDM; at the national level she has been a tireless advocate for incorporating service learning and community engagement into dental education. She has written journal articles, a book chapter, and a monograph on these topics. Her efforts have gained her national recognition, as evidenced by her selection as a Fellow of the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health; her selection as a Health Disparities Scholar by the NIH National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities; her roles as Director of the HRSA-funded Community-based Dental Partnership program; her role as the GSDM Co-Director of one of the fifteen Pipeline, Profession and Practice: Community-based Dental Education grants funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; as well as by the numerous invitations to lecture on service learning and community engagement at local and national meetings.

“The ADEAGies Foundation could not have chosen a recipient more deserving of this award than Dr. Michelle Henshaw,” said Professor and Chair of Health Policy & Health Services Research Dr. Raul Garcia. “She is responsible for countless innovative ideas that have resulted in improved oral health for underserved populations and her passion for eliminating oral health disparities is an inspiration. She is truly a role model for students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research and we are all very proud of her.”

GSDM Outreach Focuses on Local Adult Learners

November 22, 2010

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Division of Community Health Programs (CHP) Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri and a team of student volunteers provided outreach to adult learners at the Notre Dame Educational Center (NDEC) in South Boston on November 16.

The outreach efforts involved health promotion, education, screenings, and referrals. The student volunteers were comprised mainly of members of the GSDM Chapters of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) and the Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA). Lituri encouraged all students to participate, but thought the event would be especially relevant to those with an interest in the oral health issues faced by immigrants and other adult learners.

GSDM Outreach 11.22.10GSDM was introduced to the need for oral health education at NDEC by a former teacher at the Center and wife of third-year DMD student Derrick Call. Call brought his wife’s observations to ASDA Community Outreach Co-Chair Courtney Brady DMD 11, and the duo—with the help of Co-Chair Jenny Lorenzo DMD 13 and Dee Gulis DMD 12—served as student organizers for the event.

“The Center is for adult students who are learning English as a second language (ESL),” said Lorenzo. “Derrick’s wife saw a need for dental health education at the Center and she also noticed that most students had MassHealth and weren’t aware that they could come to BU for their dental treatment.”

Lorenzo continued, “We screened 40 students and provided dental health education and toothbrushes and toothpaste. The event was a great success and the Center is looking forward to doing a morning session with BU again sometime in the spring semester.”

Gulis added, “It was new and exciting for an ASDA community outreach event to focus on an adult population. The students and staff at NDEC that we worked with were welcoming, engaging, and appreciative. I think both parties really enjoyed the evening! ”

Adeel Khan DMD 11 Gets Dental School Involved in Day of Dignity Outreach

November 1, 2010Adeel Kahn 11.1.10

Adeel Khan DMD 11 and a team of 15 Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) students, in cooperation with the Division of Community Health Programs, volunteered their time and expertise at the Day of Dignity 2010 on Saturday, October 23. The Day of Dignity was sponsored by Islamic Relief USA, a non-profit organization, and held at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, in Roxbury.

The annual event provides homeless and underserved people in the local community with the opportunity to receive free health screenings, lunch, supplies, and hygiene products. GSDM set up a table where the School provided general dental and oral cancer screenings and handed out free oral hygiene kits. Volunteers screened approximately 70 homeless and underserved patients at the event.

Last year, Khan participated in the event and recognized an opportunity for GSDM to get involved. He said, “I wanted to get involved because I volunteered for the Day of Dignity last year and saw a potential for dental outreach for the population that was being served by the event. So this time around I wanted to get the Dental School involved in providing free oral health care screenings and hygiene instruction to the underprivileged in the Roxbury community.”

GSDM Students Emphasize Oral Health at Rosie’s Place

October 18, 2010

Rosies Place 10.18.10Student volunteers from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) joined forces with Clinical Instructor, Dr. Martha Neely, to teach children at a Rosie’s Place Wellness Fair about the importance of oral health on October 13.  Rosie’s Place is a sanctuary for homeless women located in Boston’s South End. GSDM has been volunteering at Rosie’s Place for several years.

Student volunteers, including Felicia A.E. Smith DMD 14, Pankaj Singhvi DMD 11, Julie King DMD 11, Dhagash Patel DMD 11, Mohamed Al Rawas DMD 12, and Derek Song DMD 12, staffed a table with information on health food, nutrition, consequences of tobacco, and other oral health topics of interest to the children in attendance.  They also passed out complimentary toothbrushes and toothpaste and answered any questions that the children had about oral health.

“It’s wonderful to see our dental students continue to cultivate such a positive relationship with the women and children of Rosie’s place,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter.  “Rosie’s Place has a meaningful mission and I am proud of the School’s continued outreach efforts there, especially since they are neighbors of ours in the South End.”

Veterans Event Draws Student Volunteers With Ties to Armed Forces

September 7, 2010Veterans 9.7.10

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Division of Community Health Programs (CHP) Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri led a team of volunteers at the Massachusetts Stand Down at Clifford Park on August 27 and 28.  The two-day event, presented by the VA Boston Healthcare System in cooperation with Volunteers of America Massachusetts, offers homeless and at-risk veterans in Boston critical benefits and services, such as food, clothing, medical and dental treatment, housing referrals and placement, and career and job counseling.

GSDM provided dental screenings, toothbrushes, toothpaste, denture cleanings, and referrals to the veterans. In total, 30 students and several faculty and staff members from GSDM volunteered their time and efforts to this event. Many of the student volunteers are attending GSDM through the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS), so this event especially resonated with them.

veterans2 9.7.11“I am currently in the HPSP with the US Air Force,” said volunteer Stephanie Trahan DMD 11. “I think it is very important for GSDM to participate in Massachusetts Stand Down because these are people who served our country and helped provide us with our ongoing freedom, who are now left homeless and without proper medical care.  I am saddened by the whole situation but I feel if we can help in any way, it is important to do so.” 

Lituri added, “I want to thank the volunteers for their help with Massachusetts Stand Down. With their contributions, we were able to screen nearly 175 veterans over a two day period.  They are all to be commended for taking time out of their busy schedules to volunteer for this event and it was really nice to see so many HPSP and USPHS scholars there.”

BUSNDA Helps Bridge the Gap Between Elementary and Middle School

September 7, 2010BUSNDA 9.7.10

Boston University Chapter of the Student National Dental Association (BUSNDA) along with staff from the Division of Community Health Programs (CHP) volunteered at the “Middle O!” event at Fenway Park on August 27. “Middle O!” is an event designed to prepare sixth-grade students for their entrance into middle school at Boston Public Schools (BPS). Children were given free backpacks and were able to visit a variety of tables to learn about topics including health, math, and science.

At the event GSDM volunteers provided information on dental careers, mouth guards, sealants, junk food, oral piercing, and bad breath to participants. They also passed out complimentary mouth guards, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dental floss, and provided dental screenings to children.

For the second year in a row BUSNDA took the lead on this outreach effort. “BUSNDA participated in Middle-O last year and enjoyed the experience,” explained BUSNDA President Kandis Smith DMD 12. “One of our many goals is to inform young students early about oral health and dental careers so that if they become interested in a health profession they can be prepared before entering college.”

GSDM Counts Down to Kindergarten With Area Kids

September 7, 2010

Entering kindergarten is an exciting step in a child’s life and Boston Public Schools (BPS) believe that a little preparation for this milestone goes a long way. Which is why for the 11th year in a row they held the Countdown to Kindergarten’s Annual Citywide Kindergarten Celebration on August 31 at the Boston Children’s Museum.

The Celebration is part of a year-long process that helps parents register their child for kindergarten at BPS, and includes connecting parents with resources that help children thrive in school. This is where Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Division of Community Health Programs (CHP) comes in.

Kindergarten 9.7.11Each year CHP and GSDM student volunteers attend the Celebration to provide dental screenings to children, host tooth brushing and arts and crafts stations, and distribute toothbrushes and oral health information to children and parents.

Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri said that this year’s event was particularly great and many GSDM volunteers also had the opportunity to meet Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who stopped by the GSDM stations and congratulated the group on their good work.

Lituri added, “I want to thank each and every volunteer for your help with Countdown to Kindergarten. With your enthusiasm, expertise, and contributions, we were able to screen nearly 150 children and interact with hundreds more at our tooth brushing, arts and crafts, and general information stations. You showed exceptional enthusiasm and professionalism in addressing the oral health needs of young children and the concerns of their parents.”

GSDM Helps Chelsea Students Kick Off New School Year

August 30, 2010GSDM Chelsea 7.30.10

Staff from the School-Based Health Programs at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) attended the 7th Annual Chelsea Back to School Celebration on August 19. This annual event was sponsored by Chelsea Community Organizations and was held at the Williams Middle School.                              

The Celebration featured groups from the community welcoming students back to school with games, prizes, give-aways, and information on a variety of topics. Approximately 1,000 people attended including students and their family members.

Seven GSDM volunteers attended to discuss general oral health with participants and to hand out tooth brushes, toothpaste, and informational materials.

Children at Rosie’s Place Benefit From GSDM and BAHEC Volunteer Efforts

August 9, 2010

The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) Division of Community Health Programs (CHP) Oral Health Promotion Director Kathy Lituri, in collaboration with the GSDM chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD), held a dental health fair for children at Rosie’s Place on August 3. This event is held twice a year: once during February school vacation and again in August. Rosie’s Place is a sanctuary for poor and homeless women located in Boston’s South End. GSDM has been volunteering at Rosie’s Place for several years.

Rosies Place 8.9.10The children could visit six interactive stations and learn something different at each stop, such as healthy vs. unhealthy food choices and good oral hygiene practices. They were given a “dental passport” when they entered and got a sticker at each station. When their passport was all stamped, they got a goody bag. The event also let the children practice dressing like dentists in gloves, gowns, face masks, and goggles.

In addition to the 12 AAWD volunteers and Lituri, there was also a group of 11 Boston Area Health Education Center (BAHEC) high school students volunteering. Each BAHEC volunteer was paired up with a GSDM dental student for the day. The BAHEC volunteers also made posters under the direction of Andrea Lam, a recent Boston University Graduate Medical Sciences graduate. Director of the Dental Public Health Program Dr. Ana Karina Mascarenhas and Program Coordinator John James Macom coordinated the involvement of the BAHEC students. This collaboration provided a great opportunity for the dental students to share their experiences with BAHEC high school students who were interested in the possibility of pursuing a career in dentistry. 

Program White Coat Prepares Local Children for Dental School

August 3, 2010

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) held the sixth annual Program White Coat from July 26 through 30. Program White Coat is a week-long summer program designed to introduce Boston-area children, ages 9 to 11, to dentistry and other related health professions. This year the Program boasted a record number of participants, with 17 children hailing from Boston, Dorchester, Mattapan, Acton, Lowell, and Medford enrolled.White Coat 8.3.10

The program is one of GSDM’s pipeline programs, which aim to increase the chances of underrepresented minorities and economically disadvantaged students being accepted into and succeeding in dental school.

The week was packed with an interactive and fun schedule that focused on oral health. Children participated in role playing activities that included dressing up like a dentist and completing a “patient” chart, taking impressions of their thumbs, conducting experiments, learning what goes on in a dental operatory, and attending a field trip to the Museum of Science. Children also learned about how important nutrition is to good oral health and this theme was emphasized each day when they were served a healthy snack.

Courtney Brady DMD 11 dressed up as Program White Coat superhero Captain Cavity Fighter for the second year in a row. Her red dress, white cape decorated with oral health images, and shiny white boots made her quite a hit with the children and they were able to learn a lot from her throughout the week. On Friday, she revealed her true dental student identity.

“I’d like to offer my sincere gratitude to Dr. Ana Karina Mascarenhas, who along with assistance from Ms. Kathy Held, Onolee Bock, Jason Itzkowitz, and the numerous other dedicated faculty, staff, and students involved, made this week-long event possible,” said Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “Outreach of this nature is an important part of our School’s mission and programs like this are not easy to execute. I know that many, many hours of planning go in to making this event possible and everyone involved should be extremely proud of their efforts.”