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Respect and Service

With an emphasis on professionalism, the LSUHSC School of Dentistry (LSUSD) has embraced humanistic culture as a foundation for its educational programs. Although humanism is not a new concept at the dental school, the recently created Humanistic Culture and Environment Committee, chaired by Dr. Janice Townsend, has developed programs that enhance the application of this philosophy to dental education.

One project of the committee was the recent LSUSD Faculty Development Day, which focused on the principles and applications of humanistic culture. As reflected in the vision of the dental school, the humanistic environment encompasses integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect and service.

The program speaker was Craig S. Yarborough, DDS, MBA, associate dean for institutional advancement at the University of the Pacific - Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. Pacific has set the standard for humanistic culture in dental education and Dr. Yarborough believes that his successful career is mainly due to the professional environment he experienced as a dental student under the leadership of Deans Dale Redig and Art Dugoni.

From left, Drs. Paul Fidel, Craig Yarborough, Janice Townsend and Henry Gremillion at Faculty Development Day

In a humanistic culture, the faculty sets high expectations for students, relates to them as colleagues, and assists students in achieving their goals. Because students are treated with respect by their teachers, they develop a positive self-image and the motivation to excel. Patients also benefit from the compassion and respect emanating from this supportive environment.

Another event sponsored by the LSUSD Humanistic Culture and Environment Committee was the holiday Thank-a-Thon. Note cards were provided for faculty, students, and staff to express their appreciation to colleagues for exceptional or noteworthy service. The committee will continue to plan events and programs in its ongoing effort to encourage respect and service, not only for dental students, but throughout the entire LSUSD community.

The Gift of Giving

Benjamin White, third-year dental student, has once again coordinated a holiday fundraiser to benefit needy children around the world. Working with the international relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, Ben has collected shoeboxes filled with gifts to send to Operation Christmas Child. The shoeboxes, filled with items such as small toys, school supplies, hygiene essentials, socks and hard candy, are donated along with $7.00 per box to cover shipping. This year students, faculty and staff contributed 82 shoeboxes and over $500 in cash donations. The dental school also provided toothbrushes and toothpaste for each box.

White said, “This is the third year our class has collected shoeboxes and we are excited to see it grow as more of our fellow students and faculty are getting involved.” Continuing another annual outreach event, the Class of 2015 will visit an elementary school in February to present students with oral health information, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

From left, Adrienne Reviere and Kate Rothermel wrap shoeboxes for
Operation Christmas Child

Student involvement and initiative in outreach projects, during the holiday season as well as throughout the year, shine a light on LSUSD. Emphasized throughout the dental school, community service demonstrates the professionalism and compassion of dental practitioners and the importance of the dental school to the local community and beyond.

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Last Update 12/2013