GSDM’s Community-Based Programs

Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Early Head Start (EHS) Teacher Workshops: Held at the EHS Child Care Centers located in Charlestown, East Boston, and Dorchester, staff and the ABCD health manager participated in an informative PowerPoint presentation and engaging discussion regarding information and guidance on oral health issues specific to preschool children.

American Student Dental Association (ASDA) Winter Clothing & Oral Health Kit Drive: Members of GSDM’s ASDA Community Outreach Committee held a winter clothing and oral health kit drive to benefit Boston’s homeless and underserved. Donations included winter clothing, blankets, socks and oral health supplies. These were given to Rosie’s Place and to the BU Medical School for distribution through its Outreach Van.

Boston Medical Center Diabetes Group Oral Health Presentation: A GSDM student and faculty member led a workshop on oral health recommendations for diabetes management for a group of people with diabetes who meet monthly for support.

Boston Medical Center (BMC) Preventive Food Pantry Drive: In February, three DMD students representing GSDM’s chapter of the American Student Dental Association delivered 592 food items to the BMC Preventive Food Pantry, items which were donated by students, residents, faculty, and staff of GSDM. The Food Pantry distributes food to referred patients from all BMC clinics, feeding approximately 80 families per day.

East Boston High School Presentation, Promoting Dentistry as a Career: As a part of Passport to College, a Program for urban youth to improve access to higher education, a GSDM Advanced Standing student spoke to 100 students at East Boston High School about the importance of finishing high school and aiming for a career in the dental field.

Elementary School Field Trips to GSDM: Each year GSDM invites local elementary school second and third grade children to visit our school for a full day of oral health activities, including presentations on oral health and nutrition, a lesson on mouth guards, and interactive activities in the Simulation Learning Center in which they learn about sealants and dental impressions. These field trips provide both interactive health education for children as well as an opportunity for Boston University dental students to inspire young children to pursue a higher education and possibly a career in dentistry. This year the following schools participated: Orchard Gardens School Field Trip: 69 second grade children; Blackstone School 17th Annual Field Trip: 106 third grade children.

Framingham South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) Head Start Parents Night: As part of the Framingham School-based Oral Health Program, two oral health information sessions were presented to 70 SMOC staff and parents of enrolled children, providing an opportunity to educate both staff and parents about oral health and to increase parents’ awareness of the many community services available to them in the Framingham area.

Healthy Smile, Healthy You: GSDM’s Muslim Student Association, in collaboration with the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Boston and Al Huda Society in Chelsea organized two Healthy Smile, Healthy You events for their local communities. At the two events, 49 GSDM students, faculty, and volunteers provided a wide range of oral health promotion activities, including 109 screenings and referrals.

McGlynn Elementary Kindergarten Oral Health Presentation: Classroom dental education was provided to kindergarten children enrolled at McGlynn Elementary School in Medford. The children enjoyed interactive activities such as counting and brushing the teeth of a dental puppet, and goodie bags were distributed at completion of the program.

Notre Dame Educational Center (NDEC) Oral Health Promotion: GSDM faculty and students from the BU chapter of the American Student Dental Association served at the annual Notre Dame Educational Center Dental Health Fair, where they conducted dental screenings and promoted oral health. The volunteers gave one-on-one oral health instructions, demonstrated flossing, and had visitors practice on a model. Since NDEC students are also eligible to enroll in the Boston University GSDM student dental health plan, the benefits of enrollment in the plan were explained.

Samaritan’s Purse and Compassion International Donations of Oral Hygiene Products: GSDM donated 24 dozen toothbrushes and 12 dozen toothpastes to two organizations for distribution to families in Haiti and El Salvador.

St. Catherine of Siena School 4th Grade Classroom Education: GSDM students visited a fourth grade classroom at St. Catherine of Siena School in Norwood to talk with the children about oral health. A variety of interactive educational materials were used and goodie bags were handed out at the conclusion of the program.

Susan S. Bailis Assisted Living Oral Health Presentation: Two events were held at the Susan S Bailis Assisted Living Home in Boston. GSDM students gave a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation and question-answer session focusing on the importance of oral health and oral hygiene techniques. Volunteers and residents played BINGO, and toothbrushes and toothpaste were given out as prizes. One of the two events was held in the spring for BU Global Days of Service and was planned by the ASDA Diversity and Inclusion Committee in collaboration with Global and Population Health.

Work Inc. Oral Health Workshops: Twice in the spring GSDM volunteers visited Work, Inc., a nationally recognized community-based program for individuals with disabilities. The first workshop targeted the adults receiving support from Work Inc. while the second workshop was for the caregivers at the agency. Each session provided an opportunity for attendees to receive oral hygiene and dental health recommendations and interact with GSDM faculty and students.

Yawkey Club of Roxbury Passport to a Healthy Smile Dental Health Fair: The GSDM chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) participated in two events for children who attend the Yawkey Club of Roxbury, a Boys and Girls Club of Boston. During the first event, student volunteers prepared the educational materials and games for the Yawkey Club Health Fair and for the second event, the students engaged the 200 children at the fair with the interactive educational activities they had prepared and gave out the goodie bags they had assembled. The GSDM chapter of ASDA works with Global and Population Health to host this event each year as part of Give Kids a Smile, a nationwide initiative co-sponsored by the American Dental Association. At this annual event, children visit five dental themed tables to learn about proper brushing and flossing; healthy eating; tooth protection such as mouth guards, fluoride, and sealants; smoking and oral piercing; and careers in dental medicine. In addition, on two separate occasions in August of 2015, GSDM students served at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury during GSDM orientation.