Dental and Medical Students Team Up to Improve Health in East Boston
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
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.”