Spearheaded by Josephine Verde DMD 13 of the GSDM chapter of AAWD, the student group launched a monthly community service initiative named, “Women to Women,” that is aimed at improving the oral health of the women of Rosie’s Place. GSDM has volunteered at Rosie’s Place in the past, but this initiative steps the efforts up a notch with a standing monthly commitment.
Verde said that the AAWD came up with the plan for Rosie’s Place after brainstorming ways to get involved with women of the local community and speaking with CHP Oral Health Promotion Director and organizer Kathy Lituri. Said Verde, “I met with Ms. Lituri and she suggested getting involved in the Wellness Fair at Rosie’s Place. In cooperation with CHP, AAWD launched the outreach program in March. We have two upperclassmen scheduled to attend the Wellness Fair each month until June and it’s really been successful so far.” She continued, “It was touching to be able to be there for the women who go to Rosie’s Place. The main goal of the events is to improve the oral health of the women by providing screenings and educational information. In addition, we are there to answer any medically-related questions.”
Thus far, the AAWD has attended Wellness Fairs on March 11 and April 8, and volunteers have screened 18 women, with many more stopping by for information or a toothbrush. An added bonus for the student volunteers has been getting to know some of the other groups volunteering at the Wellness Fair, including a group of nursing students from Regis College, and learning about their perspective on health and oral health.