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Back-to-Back Health Fairs Launch New School Year

Friday, November 15, 2013 - 12:25pm

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, staffed and equipped by UTSD, participated in the Texas Children’s Health Plan Back to School Health   Fair.  TCH and UTSD plan to open a clinic with dental services in the Greenspoint area in spring 2014.

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, staffed and equipped by UTSD, participated in the Texas Children’s Health Plan Back-to-School Health Fair. TCH and UTSD plan to open a clinic with dental services in the Greenspoint area in spring 2014. 

The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston participated in two “Back-to-School” health fairs in August:  the Texas Children’s Health Plan event Aug. 10 at Greenspoint Mall, and Congressman Al Green’s Back to School Health Fair Aug. 17 at Westbury High School.

Dental and dental hygiene students, staff and faculty joined forces at both events to provide dental screenings, oral hygiene instructions and nutritional counseling. 

UTSD’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, equipped and staffed by the School of Dentistry, was present at the Texas Children’s Health Plan event. Nearly 200 children got dental screenings. 

Students, residents and staff who participated included Taryn McKinnies, Violeta Ayer, Veronica Cordon, Dr. Megan Miller, Rameez Raja, Loraine Alexander, Adrien Lewis, Jessica Martin, Ruby Armelin, Maria Messing, Dr. Sabrina Sunderji and Dr. Kathy Ko. Supervising faculty were Dr. Tom Servos, Dr. Yasmine Haddad and Community Outreach Director
Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd.

UTSD also used the event as an opportunity to inform participants about an upcoming partnership between the School of Dentistry and Texas Children’s Hospital that will bring dental services to a new TCH clinic Greenspoint area in spring 2014. The dental clinic will be for members of the Texas Children’s Health Plan.

One volunteer, Senior Administrative Coordinator Loraine Alexander, a veteran of many health fairs for adults, said it was the first time she has volunteered for an event with children. “The kids were very excited about sitting in the dental chair and hearing, ‘You don’t have any cavities and your teeth look great!’” she said. “It was also a joy to work with the students, staff and faculty members in giving back to our community.”

For the third consecutive year, UTSD was invited to participate at Congressman Al Green’s Back-to-School Health Fair at Westbury High School. In addition to dental screenings, children and their parents were given information about oral health.

Dental and dental hygiene students, residents and UTSD staff members were among the volunteers, including Melchor, McKinnies, Lewis, Ko, Sunderji, Rebecca Lucero, Jenna Lovette, Sarah Pollitt, Chou Leav, Jessica Wu, Kanwal Maheshwari, Bismah Baqai, Sally Service, Gabriela Pita, Dhara Patel, Marisa McKee, Sivareddy Guvva, Ann Marie Seelbach and Jennifer Griffith.

Other UTSD faculty members participating included Dr. Joe Ontiveros, a Westbury graduate; and Dr. Nikola Angelov, chair of the Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene.

For Angelov, who joined the UTSD faculty in June, it was an introduction to Houston. “It was wonderful to see those dental and dental hygiene students in action, interacting with the patients, having fun and learning important skills,” he said.

 

Congressman Al Green (center left) welcomed volunteers from UT School of Dentistry at his third annual Back to School Health Fair at   Westbury High School in Houston.

Congressman Al Green (center left) welcomed volunteers from UT School of Dentistry at his third annual Back-to-School Health Fair at Westbury High School in Houston.