Call to action: Reflecting on a year of community service

Caitlin Janusz, Buffalo ’18, discussing oral health with children in Greece in summer 2017.

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.

The next special population we focused on, starting in the fall, was veterans. We heard from a dental school who hosts a yearly Veterans Smile Day, in addition to students who practice dentistry in the military. Earlier this week, we covered dental residencies in the VA and the impact working with veterans can have on your career. We are proud to have started the National Outreach Initiative through these efforts.

During this Week of Service, we are proud to share a few chapters that focused their efforts throughout the year on service. The ASDA chapter at the University of Pittsburgh hosted a breakfast service for the Family House, a local non-profit organization. The organization provides a “home away from home” for patients who are undergoing medical treatment at Pittsburgh-area hospitals and their families.

University of North Carolina’s ASDA chapter continued their DEAH DAY. The event is named Directing Efforts and Honoring Deah and Yusor. It’s designed to be a day where DDS, dental hygiene and dental assisting students go into the local community and spend time giving back in honor of students lost in 2015. These are only two of the many chapters that gave their time this year. We congratulate those chapters and individuals who have made community service a goal in their chapters and personal lives.

Now, I challenge you in 2018 to follow the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” Whether it be volunteering at a soup kitchen, organizing a Smiles Day at your school or simply donating clothes, your actions speak volumes. We have a responsibility as leaders in the community to give back to those who need it.

Sara Perrone, Buffalo ’18, poses with a child during a mission trip to Greece in summer 2017.

Serving as your chair to the Council on Professional Issues this year has been extremely rewarding to me. I have seen the hard work of ASDA members in all aspects of dentistry, and I urge you to keep that passion going throughout your careers.

~Sara Perrone, Buffalo ’18, Chair, Council on Professional Issues

Colgate is the generous sponsor of ASDA’s National Outreach Initiative.

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About Sara Perrone

Sara is a fourth-year student at the University at Buffalo. She is passionate about serving ASDA, previously as the District 2 Trustee and currently as the chair to the Council on Professional Issues. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending a day on a boat and gardening.

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