News Archive


Student Bridges the Gap for Spanish Speaking Patients 

A student at the LSU Health School of Dentistry is working to bridge the language barrier for our Spanish speaking patients. Following the recognition of a lack of adequate resources for Hispanic patients at LSUSD, fourth-year dental student Nadia Khan worked alongside Mexico-native Dr. Jorge Palavicini, clinical professor of prosthodontics, to translate medical and dentistry history questionnaires to better serve these patients. “There is a growing need for Spanish outreach in the healthcare fields; in particular, in the field of dentistry. The demographic of Spanish-speaking patients is steadily increasing, and this occurrence is not just relegated to certain portions of the country. The ability to communicate with patients for health-related care should transcend the use of the English language.In order to run a culturally inclusive practice and to ensure optimal healthcare it is crucial to address any barriers in care, such as language,” says Nadia.  



Nadia’s pursuit progressed into translating pediatric recall texts and working with school administration in the translation of new patient orientation videos. These efforts made little headway in the amount of work that needed to be done. It was determined that the best way to move forward was to approach the problem on a foundational level. This is what led Nadia to inquire about the possibility of offering a selective course that teaches the Basics of Spanish Dental Terminology.

The idea was communicated to Dr. Sandra Andrieu, Interim Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who gave her support and provided direction to make the idea a reality. Dr. Andrieu suggested that it would be prudent to pursue this initiative as part of the Honors in Teaching Program, in which Nadia is enrolled. The Honors in Teaching Program is intended to support the national effort to attract more graduates to a career in health professions education and promote the retention of students as future faculty. Working with faculty mentors offers the student the opportunity to peer into the educator’s role, gain exposure to the experiences of faculty in health professions programs and become aware of career options in education.

Dr. Sandra Andrieu says, “I am incredibly proud of Nadia. I have been fortunate to work with her over the past four years and can attest to her professionalism and passion for oral health and for education. What does it say about the future of health professions education when a fourth-year student in the Program in Dentistry, is serving as a course director and is presenting lectures and developing course material following the same policies and procedures expected of every course director in the school. I believe it says that the future of oral health education is in really good hands!”

As is required for all new courses, Nadia drafted and presented a proposal for the course to the LSUSD curriculum committee for consideration. Following unanimous agreement that the proposal be approved, and the course offered, the plan was set in motion. Nadia developed the course curriculum, defined competencies, and prepared the course syllabus, including session presentations and handouts. The course is for future oral health professionals to learn basic Spanish. In this course, students build foundational knowledge, learn basic key concepts, build upon those concepts conversational and able to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients.

The course is offered over a 4-week period, meeting 3 times a week over the lunch hour. Given the uniqueness of this course, it was decided that, in addition to the enrolled fourth year students, any interested School of Dentistry student, faculty or staff member could attend. The noon hour provided the opportunity for supporting widespread attendance. This class is truly designed to benefit all and give everyone an equal opportunity to be involved.


Advanced Education Hosts Successful Grand Rounds Event

Advanced Education’s Grand Rounds, which was held Friday, September 16th, was a huge success. Residents from OMFS, Pediatric Dentistry, Prosthodontics, Endodontics, General Dentistry, Periodontics, and Orthodontics had an overwhelming turnout for this presentation with over 80 attendees. Thank you to those students, faculty, and staff who made this event one to remember. Be sure to mark your calendars for March 17th, 2024, for Advanced Education’s next Grand Rounds Presentation.


Students Honored During White Coat Ceremonies

(August 6, 2022: DDS Class of 2024, IEDP Class of 2024 and IEDP Class of 2023)

LSU Health School of Dentistry (LSUSD) students were honored in two separate White Coat Ceremonies.  The White Coat Ceremony marks the transition from the classroom into patient care.  During the ceremony, students receive their white coats from selected faculty members and recite the LSUSD Professional Oath. Additionally, students recite a professional honor code that the class composes as first-year students, pledging to conduct themselves ethically and honorably.  

The August 6, 2022 ceremony honored 85 dental students including 75 third-year dental students and 10 students from the Internationally Educated Dentist Program (IEDP). 5 IEDP students are in the third-year dental class and 5 IEDP students are in the fourth-year dental class. The faculty selected for the presentation of the white coats included Drs. Kay Jordan and Tom Lallier. 

The September 30, 2022 ceremony honored 112 second-year students including 2 dental laboratory technology (DLT) students, 37 dental hygiene (DH) students, and 73 dental (DDS) students. The faculty selected for the presentation of the white coats included: Mr. Anthony DiVincenti (DLT), Ms. Tricia Barker (DH), Ms. Diedra Brewer-Hohensee (DH), Dr. Kay Jordan (DDS) and Dr. Mark Winkler (DDS). 

Both ceremonies were held at the UNO University Center Ballroom and hosted by the LSUSD Office of Student Affairs.  Demetrius J. Porche, DNS, PhD, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Nursing at the LSU Health Sciences Center graciously served as the keynote speaker for both events.

A special thanks to the Director of Student Affairs, Heather Allen, RDH, BSDH, MSHCM and the Coordinator of Admissions and Student Services, Mindy Guillotte, for planning both events.  


  (Dr. Demetrius Porche gives keynote address)


  (September 30, 2022: DH Class of 2023)

(September 30, 2022: DLT Class of 2023, Tracy Graham and Saja Hammad) 

(September 30, 2022: DDS Class of 2025)
LSU Health Sciences Center Homepage
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy
© Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.

Last Update 11/2022