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Outreach to First Responders

At the LSUHSC School of Dentistry, the weekend of August 7-9 was designated for commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It began on Friday, when 80 students participated in a Thank-A-Thon, writing letters to contributors to thank them for their generous financial support of the school.

On Sunday morning, students honored police officers and firefighters for their tireless work and service during and since the storm. The students showed their gratitude to the first responders by cooking jambalaya and delivering over 250 plate lunches, boxes of dental supplies, ice chests, and thank-you signs to twelve police and fire stations in New Orleans. LSUHSC police officers were also honored for their service.

(l)-r Kaleigh Redhead, Kramer Sherman, an Dominic Calato display students; posters

Organized by Student Government Association officers and the service chairs and presidents of each dental and dental hygiene class, the Sunday morning event was funded by the dental school student body. Over 200 students and faculty members turned out to prepare and deliver the care packages to the police and fire stations.

Promoted as the Katrina Memorial Service TGIF, the event featured breakfast, music, and games for the students as they waited for the jambalaya to be cooked, drew thank-you posters, and organized the care packages. An amazingly efficient serving line of 200 people helped serve and fill the box lunches. Television coverage of the event appeared on WWL and WGNO.

Jonathan Doucet, vice-president of the Student Government Association and project coordinator, explained, "We're not here just to learn how to be dentists. We're here to live a life of service. That's the call we've taken, and that's what we're here doing."

The dental school project was part of an LSUHSC-wide initiative, which included participation by other schools in community projects such as feeding the homeless, building homes, cleaning up City Park, and working at the local food bank.

First-year dental student John Daigle fills a lunch box for a first responder


Students pack care packages to delivery to police and fire stations


Second Line to Health

On August 29, a team from LSUSD participated in "Second Line to Health", sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The day-long health and wellness fair, held at the Sanchez Community Center in the Lower Ninth Ward, offered services from over 50 organizations.

(l-r) Lindsey Richard, Dr. Fancher, Dr. Lee, Ms. Hew, bus driver Robert Chambliss, Dr. Townsend

Janice Townsend, DDS, MS, associate professor and chair of pediatric dentistry; Jenni Hew, RDH, MSHCM, associate professor and program coordinator for the General Practice Residency; Drs. Beth Fancher and Janelle Lee, pediatric dentistry residents; and Lindsey Richard, fourth-year dental student, performed dental and oral cancer screenings for over 100 attendees. The team also referred patients to the dental school clinic when further dental care was determined to be necessary.

Dr. Townsend and Ms. Hew pose with New Orleans Councilmember James Gray


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