The Council on Professional Issues is excited to announce the launch of the National Outreach Initiative. Outreach is a crucial component to many chapters in ASDA. Because of its importance, the Council would like to bring attention to community service. Highlighting outreach has become a goal for ASDA and we will be promoting awareness of 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 a Week of Service, featuring social media takeovers that highlight successful outreach events.
Our National Outreach Initiative will promote unity, awareness and lifelong involvement in community service. It further builds the value of community in our profession while increasing awareness of underserved populations. Our platform will also help us align with other associations within organized dentistry like the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA contributes heavily to programs like Mission of Mercy and Give Kids a Smile Day.
Special Population Focus
During the fall of 2017, we will introduce our first special population focus. The population that will be focused on is special needs patients. Specifically, this will include patients with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities. While dental schools have classes discussing special needs patients, there are limited opportunities to treat them. During the population focus, you will hear from students who treat special needs patients.
In the winter we will switch our focus to veterans. Veterans are a population that has limited accesses to medical and dental care after they serve. There are several dental schools that host a “Give Vets a Smile Day.” This event provides veterans with free dental care. We will offer advice on how you can include this population in individual chapter outreach programs.
Week of Service
The last push of our initiative under the 2017-2018 Council on Professional Issues will be ASDA’s Week of Service. The week is scheduled January 15-19 during Martin Luther King Day. This was proposed in the spirit of MLK, who said that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” During this week we will host live Snapchat takeovers during service events hosted by our chapters. We will also have our own “Humans of ASDA” Facebook Series. This series is similar to the “Humans of New York” except people will be interviewed following dental care.
The Council on Professional Issues is looking forward to a successful initiative. We are recruiting chapters to help write blog posts and share successful outreach stories on ASDA’s Facebook page. If either you or your chapter is interested, please email Sara Perrone at firstname.lastname@example.org and the council will be happy to involve you in our initiative.
~Sara Perrone, Buffalo ’18, chair of the Council on Professional Issues
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.