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Giving Back

Making a Difference for the “Greatest Generation” in Virginia

Check out this video of dentists in Virginia providing care to residents of a Richmond-area long-term care facility.

The event served as a push to improve access to dental care among that population.

Dentists throughout the country are taking action to improve the nation’s dental health by delivering care now to those already suffering with disease, strengthening the dental safety net, and bringing dental health education and disease prevention into communities.  Find out more at Action for Dental Health.

Come early to ADA 2014 — America’s Dental Meeting for day-long course on volunteering

ADA 2014 logo

Attend the volunteer symposium: The World Outside your Office.

This daylong pre-session symposium will be held Oct. 8 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio during ADA 2014—America’s Dental Meeting.

Presenters Dr. Christopher Holmgren, Dr. Kevin Hardwick and Bella Monse will use interactive learning sessions to demonstrate how to recognize diverse and specific global oral health concerns, understand the importance of appropriate and sustainable volunteer programs and understand how successful programs use science based public health principles.

Cost for the course is $145 and includes breakfast and lunch. The symposium is underwritten by a grant from the Academy of Dentistry Internationals.

The World Outside your Office is just one of the courses offered in the New Dentist Track of CE options at ADA 2014. New dentists (those who graduated from dental school in 2005 or later) receive a 20% discount off of the fee courses that focus on a mixture of business, ergonomic and clinical topics that have been curated by new dentists.

See the entire new dentist track and register for courses here.

ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership — Application Deadline April 30, 2014

Applications for Diversity InstituteThe ADA is seeking applicants for its Institute for Diversity in Leadership — the deadline is April 30, 2014.

Established in 2003 by the ADA, the Institute is designed to enhance the leadership skills of dentists who belong to racial, ethnic and/or gender backgrounds that have been traditionally underrepresented in leadership roles.

As a participant in this tuition-free program, you’ll have opportunities to:

  • Enhance your leadership skills and gain leadership experience
  • Strengthen your professional network and build a lifetime of supportive relationships
  • Set new leadership paths within the profession and communities

To be considered as a candidate for the next Institute class comprised of twelve U.S. dentists you must apply by April 30, 2014. Class members will convene for three sessions held at ADA Headquarters in Chicago on the following dates:

  • September 4-5, 2014
  • December 8-9, 2014
  • September 10-11, 2015

You’ll be reimbursed for travel expenses related to attending three sessions held at ADA Headquarters in Chicago and receive a stipend to help offset any costs related to your leadership project.

Lead by faculty from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, over the course of the year you’ll develop and execute a personal leadership project to address an issue or challenge in your community, organization or the profession.

In addition, you’ll have opportunities to network with ADA leaders, as well as leaders from the program’s corporate sponsors and non-profit organizations, faculty, program alumni and ADA staff.

To learn more about this extraordinary educational experience and submit your application, visit ADA.org/diversityinstitute or call Kristi Gingrich at 312.440.2598.

The ADA thanks Henry Schein Dental and Procter & Gamble for their support of the Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

Celebrate Healthy Smiles during World Oral Health Day on March 20, 2014

World Oral Health Day logoMark your calendar and make plans to join more than 125 countries taking part in World Oral Health Day on March 20. The theme for 2014 is Celebrating Healthy Smiles. Find a toolkit of resources including logos, web banners, and resource guides all in multiple languages.

World Oral Health Day is organized by the FDI World Dental Federation in collaboration with the ADA and sponsors.

Dental Student Loan Repayment and FQHCs

Couple discusses moneyWe’re hard at work on the next issue of ADA New Dentist News, including a piece about FQHCs and dental student loan repayment.

An FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) is part of the dental safety net — these centers serve locations or populations with limited access to care. They may be located in urban or rural areas. An FQHC is often an integrated medical facility, where a patient has a single chart encompassing all care, including medical, dental and behavioral health.

Some dentists work full-time at a FQHC, while others devote part of their schedules to working for one of these centers. Loan repayment is available for a combined commitment that includes both a minimum number of 20 hours per week, and a minimum number of years of service.

Find out more at this link.

Have you worked at an FQHC? Share your experience in the comments.

Have you volunteered outside the United States?

Int'l Volunteer Svc LogoSo many dentists give generously of their time and talents with international volunteer dental organizations. In 2013 the ADA recognized 59 dentists and 26 dental students with the Certificate for International Volunteer Service.

The ADA is currently accepting nominations for the 2014 Certificate for International Volunteer Service — the deadline is April 1, 2014. Eligible candidates must have volunteered at least 14 days within a 24 month period. Find the complete guidelines and nomination forms at ADA.org.

And if you are looking to volunteer overseas, visit the ADA International Volunteer website. Find information about selecting a program and location, preparing for your trip and what to expect upon your return home. You can search over 100 organizations by site location, program type, religious affiliation, and other considerations.

North Carolina Dental Students Making a Difference in Malawi

ADA Foundation logoYesterday we posted about the ADA Foundation Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award which recognizes dental student outreach to vulnerable communities within the U.S.

The ADA Foundation also recognizes one dental school student program each year for demonstrating excellence in providing services to underserved populations outside of the U.S. through the Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award. Established in 2012, the Zwemer Award provides $5,000 to one dental school on behalf of the students’ winning outreach program.

The winner of the 2013 ADAF Zwemer Award is the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry for its Malawi Dental Project.

Why Malawi? As the project’s blog notes, the country of almost 14 million people has fewer than 15 dentists.

Congratulations to these hardworking dental students for making a difference!

Dental Students Making a Difference Close to Home

open mouthThe ADA Foundation has announced the winners of the 2013  Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award. This annual award highlights significant dental student outreach to vulnerable communities within the U.S. The winning programs receive $5,000 to continue their outstanding work in serving the underserved.

The 2013 Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Awards go to:

The ADA Foundation increased the number of awards from one to six after a gift from ADA Business Resources Inc. (ADABEI).

Students at accredited dental schools across the U.S. submitted nomination materials in the fall of 2013. The applications are reviewed and scored, and the winners are selected, by ADA Foundation volunteer leadership with the final decision authority resting with the ADA Foundation Board.

Congratulations to these hardworking dental students for making a difference!

Life as a New Dentist — Community Health Center

Dr. Kari Cunningham

Dr. Kari Cunningham

Life as a New Dentist — Community Health Center

The ADA is made up of individuals — here’s one of them.

Who are you? I’m Dr. Kari Cunningham. I’m a proud member of the Class of 2010 of Case Western Reserve University. I completed a pediatric residency in 2012, and today I am a pediatric dentist in a community health center in Cleveland, OH.

If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? Event planner! I am always planning a social event or fundraiser for the organizations I’m involved in. I have the best time coming up with a theme, creating invitations, promoting the event and seeing it all come together!

Why did you choose this career path? I am a National Health Service Corps scholarship recipient, so I am happy to be fulfilling my service commitment so close to my hometown. I’m passionate about serving the underserved.

Biggest surprise since leaving dental school? I was asked to be an adjunct faculty at dental school! Giving lectures to first year students is encouraging to me — they are so motivated and willing to learn. I just completed University of California, San Diego’s three week faculty development program Addressing the Oral Health Needs of the Underserved.

What’s your schedule like? My job is 8:30 – 5:30. Outside of that I serve on the executive committee of our alumni association, I am active in National Health Service Corps, and being part of a sickle cell family, I have joined the board of the American Sickle Cell Anemia Association. I have learned to better manage my schedule, and I no longer say yes to everything!

What are you doing for fun? I just bought a house, and I’m enjoying the process of turning that into a home. I love spending time with my family and our Cunningham Sunday Fundays. And I’ve got a pediatric dentistry mission trip planned to Kenya that will overlap with my 30th birthday. This will be my second trip to Africa in ten years, and I’m very excited!

Any advice for someone considering your career path? If serving the underserved is your passion, look into the National Health Service Corps and other entities that can assist you in sharing your craft with our nation’s most vulnerable population. For the scholarship, apply early and apply often! Look into loan repayment opportunities as well. Learn about underserved populations and realize how you can play a significant role in improving the lives of many. If you like teaching, find a mentor and volunteer to facilitate small group sessions at your school or serve as a liaison to a pre dental society. Our future colleagues want to learn from you!

What are your plans for the future? Ever since I was a resident I have tracked my immediate, short and long-term goals. Working at this health center as its first and only pediatric dentist is an early part of my plan. Becoming a private-practice owner and teaching in a dental school are my long term goals.

Interested in sharing your experience as a new dentist? If you are fewer than ten years out of dental school we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at newdentist@ada.org.

Interested in Volunteering Outside the U.S.?

Interested in volunteering outside the U.S.?

Interested in volunteering outside the U.S.?

Looking for a volunteer opportunity overseas? Browse more than 100 organizations offering oral health volunteer opportunities outside the U.S. at internationalvolunteer.ada.org. The site is a resource for dental professionals to learn more about what it’s like to volunteer their skills and help populations in need outside the U.S.

If you have volunteered internationally for more than 14 days in a 24 month period, you may be eligible for the Certificate for International Volunteer Service.

And if you’ll be at ADA Annual Session October 31-November 3 in New Orleans, consider attending the free CE course I Do, I Teach, I Volunteer Friday, November 1 from 9:30 a.m. -11 a.m. Course presenters will share strategies to improve oral health in underserved communities through education, training and effective sustainable programs. Remember all courses at ADA Annual Session – even free ones – are ticketed and require advance registration.

Have you volunteered your skills outside the U.S.? Share your stories in the comments.