This past spring, Indiana University School of Dentistry’s ASDA chapter was awarded one of the Dentistry in the Community Grants presented by Colgate. Our goal was to create a new event and partnership, targeting our local veteran population.
Veterans are a special population that has unique dental care needs that are not being met. Although veterans receive free medical care for life from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), lifetime dental care is only given to those who are 100% disabled by their service, former prisoners of war or have a dental disability caused in service.
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.
If you are considering pursuing a residency after dental school, you may feel overwhelmed by the options. Residency programs are small, and reliable information can be hard to find. Every one will have its own unique advantages and drawbacks, and it will be up to you to network and find information on the individual programs that interest you. I am currently halfway through my 12-month AEGD residency at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, Texas.
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.
Last week the buzz around school was all about plans for the three-day weekend coming up. Between pool parties, weekend getaways, and lab work, everyone sounded pretty busy. But this holiday also gives us a chance to express appreciation for our armed forces – and a reason to find out more about our fellow students who serve. The Armed Forces – Army, Navy, and Air Force – have health professions scholarships which include dental school. We spoke with four D2s about their plans to serve as military dentists.