On Saturday, October 28, 2017, Nick Capezio DMD 18 presented at the Schweitzer “Fellows for Life” Leadership Conference, held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Capezio was on hand to discuss the fluoride varnishing program he currently runs in Nicaragua with Dr. Michelle Henshaw, Professor and Associate Dean for Global & Population Health.
In Nicaragua, the fluoride varnish program is designed to stop oral health problems before they begin, by providing consistent fluoride varnish treatment to young children. The program is different than those found in the United States because the people who have been trained to apply the fluoride varnish are not health professionals; they are teachers.
When in Nicaragua, Capezio and Dr. Henshaw instruct the teachers how to apply the fluoride varnish to a child. They then observe the teachers applying the varnish to their students. After ensuring that the teachers could apply the fluoride varnish well and that they understood all the adequate infection control protocols, Capezio and Dr. Henshaw present the teachers with a certificate of competency, declaring them able to apply fluoride varnish alone to the children in the schools.
Today, through the work of the Schweitzer Fellows, The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) extends their influence on community and clinical health in the United States and across the globe, thereby perpetuating the legacy and philosophy of famed physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer.