This year, ASDA focused its efforts on community service and highlighting underserved populations. The first special population we focused on was patients with special needs, which we highlighted over the summer. In addition, we shared posts on ASDA’s Facebook page as well as Mouthing Off. We heard a personal story from an ASDA member with family members who have autism and learned tips on treating patients from an IDD hygienist.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, homeless veterans list dental care among their top three unmet needs, along with housing and child care. Many veterans do receive dental benefits through their VA. Yet in order to qualify, the veteran must be either 100 percent disabled, have been a prisoner of war or have developed a dental condition during their service. This leaves many veterans without dental benefits and thus no dental home.
The Council on Professional Issues is excited to announce the start of the National Outreach Initiative. Outreach is a crucial component to many chapters within ASDA. Because of its importance, the Council on Professional Issues would like to bring attention towards community service. Outreach promotion has become a goal for ASDA and we will be promoting awareness for underserved populations. Promotion will occur through publications, blog posts and chapter spotlights. The goal is to educate students on these at-risk communities. The National Outreach Initiative will also include Service Week, featuring social media takeovers displaying successful outreach events.