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With the recent launch of a redesigned website  — — and a new brochure for UT Dentists, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry is working to increase awareness of its faculty practice within the Texas Medical Center, and especially on the UTHealth campus. 

Web Developers Terence Tang and Subigya Shakya of the Medical School’s Office of Communications designed the brochure and website, respectively, using content provided by a School of Dentistry team comprised of UT Dentists Executive Director Diana Mosenge, Communications Manager Rhonda Whitmeyer and Senior Graphic Designer Brian Schnupp, in consultation with Senior Communications Specialist Zen Zheng of the Office of Public Affairs.  Freelance photographer Nash Baker also contributed to the project. UT Dentists is staffed by dental professionals who also teach at the school. Their expertise and experience, along with state-of-the-art facilities and technology, make choosing UT Dentists for dental care an easy decision, especially for those who work in the TMC or live nearby.  Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 713-486-4444

Volunteers and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston participated in the 10th Annual Texas Children’s Health Plan Back-to-School Fair on Aug. 2.

At the event, children were given backpacks with school supplies, and volunteers administered vaccines, health screenings and haircuts.  UTSD provided oral screenings, oral hygiene instructions and dental/patient information about The Center for Children and Women at Greenspoint and a new clinic coming soon at Southwest Corporate Center at the corner of Highway 59 and Bissonnet.

Student members of the Pediatric Education Dental Society (P.E.D.S. Club) from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston volunteered at the Back-to-School Teen Health Summit hosted by Worthing High School Aug. 16 in the Sunnyside neighborhood.Under the leadership of UTSD Pediatric Resident Dr. Derek Steinbring, 17 undergraduate dental students volunteered to provide oral health screenings to more than 40 children and teens, and to deliver oral hygiene instruction and products to more than 150 children, teens, and other family members. The emphasis was on preventing childhood caries through routine brushing, limiting dietary sugar, and getting regular dental check-ups.

A University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston faculty member won a major award, and four dental students presented two abstracts at the 101st National Dental Association Annual Convention in New Orleans in July. The 2014 NDAF/Colgate-Palmolive Faculty Recognition Award went to Community Outreach Director Margo Y. Melchor, RDH, MEd, in honor of “demonstrated excellence in professional development and a willingness to support and help others in their quest for knowledge and advancement.” The award includes a $750 cash prize from the sponsor, Colgate-Palmolive Co. UTSD dental students Brian Anyanwu, Terrall Thurman, Krystle Chidolue, Shola Anifowose and Nicholas Ayoade prepared the abstracts, and all but Anifowose went to New Orleans to present them and represent the school at the convention. Mentors included Professor C. D. Johnson, DDS, MS; Associate Professor Lincoln Edwards, PhD, DDS, and Assistant Professor Ezinne Ogbureke, DMD.Details about the abstracts include:

Distinguished Teaching Professor Catherine M. Flaitz, DDS, MS, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry was one of nine UTHealth faculty members chosen to receive a UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, recognizing those who deliver the highest quality of instruction in the classroom, laboratory, field or online. A former dean of UTHealth School of Dentistry, Flaitz was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the new dental school building.  She is a tenured professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences, where her research is centered on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and novel management of oral diseases in children and immunocompromised individuals.

Steven R. Nagel, the NASA astronaut featured in a display at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, has died at age 67 after a long illness. Nagel was a veteran astronaut who flew four space shuttle missions, including a June 17-24, 1985 mission on Space Shuttle Discovery.  On that flight, he carried a commemorative coin created by Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs Phil Pierpont, DDS, a Class of 1977 alumnus of the school. Today, that coin and a U.S. flag patch that also went into space are on display near the bookstore on the second floor of the School of Dentistry. A member of Nagel’s family was a dental student at UTSD at the time of the shuttle mission. “That’s where the school connection came from,” Pierpont explained.

The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston hosted white coat ceremonies for 100 new dental students Aug. 10 in the Denton A. Cooley, MD and Ralph C. Cooley, DDS University Life Center, where the school’s 40 new dental hygiene students were honored in a separate ceremony Aug. 8. Houston dentist W. Kenneth Horwitz, DDS, of the Class of 1961 was the keynote speaker for the DDS ceremony, focusing on ethics and the professionalism expected of those who wear the white coats of health care.  Karen Novak, DDS, PhD, was the featured speaker for the dental hygiene students. Novak is associate dean for professional development and faculty affairs at the School of Dentistry, but she began her career as a dental hygienist.