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LSUSD Shines at ADA Session

One of the major highlights of 2013 was LSUHSC School of Dentistry (LSUSD) involvement with the American Dental Association (ADA) Annual Session. The outpouring of support from faculty, students, alumni and the dental community at-large was tremendous. For the annual session alone, over 300 of the 365 volunteers required for the session were from Louisiana. The steadfast support of LSUSD students was particularly special. For many, this conference was their first taste of organized dentistry. They served in volunteer roles throughout the session and participated several outreach events, including Mission of Mercy (MOM), one of the largest outreach events in the nation, and Healthy Smiles from the Start. Throughout the session, so many individuals complimented our students’ professionalism and leadership.

Jack Daigrepont, second-year dental student, and Dean Henry Gremillion with a patient at the Mission of Mercy event

MOM, a one-day event, was held in a temporary clinic at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. It offered a full range of dental services—from dental prophylaxis to oral surgery, operative and prosthodontic services. Behind the scenes, volunteers were involved in sterilization, supply distribution and making partial and full dentures. Local volunteers worked alongside national coordinators to ensure services were delivered in a safe and effective manner. Several of the key local volunteers were LSUSD faculty. This was the first MOM held in Louisiana. Dr. Maria Burmaster, an LSUSD alumna, deserves special recognition. As the local chair of the event, she worked tirelessly to ensure its success. Because of the positive response from both volunteers and patients, Dr. Burmaster hopes to duplicate the outreach in other parts of the state. Overall, 1100 volunteers participated and 780 patients were treated.

In conjunction with the ADA Annual Session, the school also partnered with the Alliance of the American Dental Association (AADA) to launch the first Healthy Smiles from the Start initiative at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans. The national program aims to educate pregnant mothers on the importance of dental health as well as provide information on oral health care for their child. Healthy Smiles from the Start, available in both English and Spanish, provides helpful information about how and why healthy oral habits should be a priority for everyone in the family. Volunteers at Touro distributed 750 oral health kits to educate pregnant mothers. AADA members plan to include the program in at least three prenatal classes per state within the next year, increasing to ten per state by the end of 2016. Henry Schein Foundation has committed to a three-year sponsorship of the effort.

In conjunction with the ADA Annual Session, the school also had the opportunity to partner with the Alliance of the American Dental Association (AADA) to launch the first Healthy Smiles from the Start initiative at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans. The national program aims to educate pregnant mothers on the importance of early prenatal intervention in dental health as well as provide information on oral health care for their child. Healthy Smiles from the Start, available in both English and Spanish, is engaging and provides helpful information about how and why healthy mouth habits should be a priority for everyone in the family. Volunteers at Touro distributed 750 oral health kits to educate prenatal mothers. AADA members plan to include the program in at least three prenatal classes per state within the next year, increasing to ten per state by the end of 2016. Henry Schein Foundation has committed to a three-year sponsorship of the effort. LSUSD faculty and students were honored to be part of this program’s inaugural event.

Honoring Service

On hiatus since Hurricane Katrina, LSUSD employee service awards were reinstated this fall. At seven sessions, over 200 full-time LSUSD faculty and staff members received certificates and pins for five to 35 years of service. Suzanne Farrar, director of clinical staff and patient services, compiled the list of staff members and organized the seven events. Those with over 35 years of service are Dr. Sandra Andrieu, Dr. Kavas Thunthy, Dr. Arturo Mendez, Angela Pepin and Geralyn Aucoin.

Group 1
Service pin recipients (from left) Arturo Mendez, Gerald Evans, Angela Pepin, Kathy Martello, Ann Kay, Kavas Thunthy, Shirley Bagwell, Robert Barsley, Geri Waguespack, Brenda Nolan, Sandra Andrieu, Colleen Finley, Terry Durel, Chris Weaver, Linda Veal

Photos of Service Pin Recipients Groups 2 Through 7

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Last Update 12/2013