Volunteers Screen Hundreds at Special Olympics Special Smiles 2014

Volunteers instruct athletes in proper brushing techniques
Volunteers instruct athletes in proper brushing techniques

Volunteers from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) participated in the 2014 Healthy Athletes® Special Smiles® initiative at the Special Olympics Massachusetts Summer Games at Harvard University’s Athletic Complex on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Approximately 140 volunteers from area dental and hygiene schools participated, including: Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Cape Cod Community College, Harvard University School of Dental Medicine, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Middlesex Community College, and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Volunteers offered oral screenings, nutrition counseling, and proper hygiene instruction to young athletes. All together, they screened 238 athletes.

Augmenting the positive experience for athletes this year was a celebrity volunteer on The Special Smiles® team. Benn Ferriero, Boston born National Hockey League ice hockey center (currently with the St. Louis Blues), talked with and signed autographs for the athletes.

Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter, who also attended as a volunteer, said, “Thank you to all the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine community members who participated in this important event.” He continued, “I also want to express my appreciation for the dedication and hard work of Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving Stacey McNamee in organizing Special Smiles every year.”

Senior Global Clinical Adviser to Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® Special Smiles® Steve Perlman PEDO 76 worked with Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver to start the Special Smiles program in 1993. Dr. Perlman’s passion to eliminate health care disparities for people with disabilities led to founding of the Healthy Athletes program.

Photos are available on Facebook and Flickr.