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(Boston)–Neelam Shah, a second-year dental student at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) and Milford native, wants women to know how important oral health is during and after pregnancy. To correct the myths that Shah says many women believe to be fact, Shah will help integrate the OB/GYN and Dental Departments at the South End Community Health Center (SECHC) in Boston so that the mothers and soon-to-be-mothers attending the Center have more access to oral health information and treatment.
“I hoped to educate pregnant women and their children on the importance of oral health, reverse the misconception that dental care during pregnancy is unsafe, and encourage mothers to seek treatment for periodontal disease and dental caries for themselves and their children,” Shah said.
Shah received funding for the project from the Paul Ambrose Scholars Program. The Scholarship introduces health professions students to influential public health professionals and prepares students to be leaders in addressing health challenges. The Scholarship pays for students to attend a three-day leadership symposium and conduct a funded community-based health education project, in this case Shah’s integration project at the SECHC.
Shah attended a symposium in Washington, DC, where she learned about health policy, project planning, and healthcare finance and delivery from leaders in the political and academic fields, including Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.
“I was truly inspired and shocked at the impact that a few people can have on their local community when they pull together for a common cause,” Shah says. She sees this project as a jumping off point for her involvement in public health.
GSDM Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter said of Shah, “Being selected for the Paul Ambrose Scholarship Program is a wonderful opportunity. We, as a School, are very proud of Neelam and will continue to provide her with whatever support is needed for her to complete this outstanding project.”
About Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine:
The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine will be the premier academic dental institution promoting excellence in dental education, research, oral health care, and community service to improve the overall health of the global population.
We will provide outstanding service to a diverse group of students, patients, faculty, staff, alumni, and healthcare professionals within our facilities, our community, and the world.
We will shape the future of the profession through scholarship, creating and disseminating new knowledge, developing and using innovative technologies and educational methodologies, and by promoting critical thinking and lifelong learning.
We will do so in an ethical, supportive environment, consistent with our core values of respect, truth, responsibility, fairness, compassion; and our operational values of excellence, service and effective communication in synergy with the strategic plan of Boston University.
We will support this mission using responsible financial policies and philanthropy.