Give Kids A Smile Provides Help for Those Who Need It

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Sat, Feb 13, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

60006-D72-6395-lg.jpgSince its inception in 2002, the Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) program, launched by the American Dental Association (ADA), has given more than 5 million underserved children free oral health care. Today, Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) is the ADA's premier access-to-care program, with events taking place nationwide in all 50 states the first Friday of every February. What started off as a mere 15 dentist chairs (tailoring 400 children) in a run-down St. Louis clinic, has developed into one of the most consistent grassroots programs to date. Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, FL has hosted the national kickoff, which is expected to include over 1,500 other events across the country. These events range from big schools welcoming in hundreds of children, to individual pro-bono services to a handful of children under the GKAS banner.

Give Kids A Smile's (GKAS) main philosophy is devoting regular treatment for children who do not have the means to dental care, as well as raising awareness on the troubling lack of accessible dental care for the underprivileged. Unfortunately, this problem still persists for many communities. 

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 children under the age of five has tooth decay. The percentages for older children and teenagers are even more staggering, revealing 53% for those ages six to eight and 84% for those 17 and older. Tooth decay is not only a serious health concern for growing adolescents, but effects to self-esteem result in over 52 million lost school hours. Dental health care is a major concern for many, especially those who cannot receive it on a regular basis.

Due in part to nearly half a million volunteers, children from all walks of life are able to receive and learn more about oral health care. While volunteers have been able to serve their community and better educate children, the most important factor is lending a hand in the fight against the suffering that many of these kids face. Schools such as the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine have all joined in the fun! 

Sponsors, who have generously provided many resources and donations over the years, are also responsible for much of GKAS's success. Companies such as Henry Schein, Colgate, and DEXIS have led the charge, and continue to do so. Henry Schein, operating as the chief product sponsor for the program, has donated nearly $1.3 million dollars worth of services for over a decade. Since 2008, Colgate has provided over $700,000 worth of aid, including toothpaste and toothbrushes. Finally, DEXIS has contributed x-ray screenings and staff expertise since GKAS first opened its doors.

60006-D72-6403-lg.jpgThe ADA does exceptional work year after year for GKAS, but there's no time to wait in order to join the cause. Now is the time to get involved and give out more smiles! To get started, visit the Program Planning Toolbox and Register for your own event today!

Have you given a child a smile recently? If you were one of the 10,000 dentists or 30,000 dental team members, societies, or volunteers on hand for the annual Give Kids A Smile event, we would love to hear from you! THE NEXTDDS has been covering the cause through our magazine, podcasts, and on social media (Facebook and Twitter) for the past two years. Send us your pictures, stories, and blog posts, and share your experience with THE NEXTDDS!

To learn more, visit the ADA website, or check out the Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) official homepage.

Tags: ada, Henry Schein, GKAS, give kids a smile

The Tree of Peace Installed at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine

Posted by Christina Ferraro on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 @ 04:13 PM

A symbol of the holistic, of the lush and bountiful, of knowledge, of youth and old age—a tree stands and bends and sheds and buds. It represents the steady strength and unwavering nature of a peace that is integrated among and across a culture. And so, on the school’s 150th anniversary, Harvard University erected on June 16, 2014 a bronze tree to represent the partnership of medical and dental education and its enduring dream of peace in the global community.

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Pictured: Mr. Steve Kess, Mr. Gerard Meuchner, and Mr. Stanley Bergman of Henry Schein, Inc., artist Ms. Hedva Ser, and Dr. Adam Stabholtz (Former Dean, Hadassah School of Dental Medicine), Dr. Jack Dillenberg (Dean, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health), Dr. Walter Guralnick, Dr. Bruce Donoff (Dean, Harvard School of Dental Medicine), Dr. Marc Rothman (Chairman, Alpha Omega Foundation), and assembled dignitaries.


Created by sculptor Hedva Ser, the Tree of Peace is dedicated to Dr. Bruce Donoff, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, and Dr. Walter C. Guralnick, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Emeritus. Dr. Donoff and Dr. Guralnick are commemorated in this meaningful manner for their contributions to dentistry and to Harvard University School of Dental Medicine. 

The Tree of Peace installment was made possible by the charitable partnership between the Harvard Dental Alumni Association, Harvard Odontological Society, Alpha Omega Boston Alumni and Student Chapters, Alpha Omega Foundation of the United States and Henry Schein Cares. In addition, the Tree of Peace is the symbol of philanthropy for the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity. The Tree of Peace is also currently displayed at the Hebrew University’s Hadassah campus and Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, AT Still University in Mesa, Arizona, and Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The partnership between Harvard and Alpha Omega in this initiative to celebrate Dr. Donoff’s and Dr. Guralnick’s dedication and commitment to the dental sciences is just one small part of a greater enterprise of giving. Social responsibility is seen on a larger scale in efforts such as Alpha Omega’s Global Oral Health Initiative (GOHI) and Henry Schein Cares, which advance dental medicine by providing global access to care for at-risk and underserved populations. The installments of the Tree of Peace on these dental campuses should remind their students of the responsibility bestowed upon them as future clinicians and global citizens.

Tags: education, dental education, Harvard, underserved, fraternity, Henry Schein, Alpha Omega, philanthropy, Tree of Peace, global

Henry Schein & THE NEXTDDS Extend Support to Local ASDA Chapters

Posted by John Papa on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 @ 02:38 PM

In conjunction with Henry Schein, the launch of the “Student Ambassador Scholarship Program”, and the continuation of our “Grass-Roots” campaign, THE NEXTDDS has attended chapter-sponsored ASDA events at Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, and SUNY Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine. These opportunities allowed THE NEXTDDS representatives to interface with dental students, exchange insights, and build a more personal relationship with those in attendance.

Throughout these events, we were equally encouraged by speaking directly with some of the 11,000 enrolled members of THE NEXTDDS, as well as students who had not yet been introduced to the program but were eager to join the community once informed.

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Henry Schein school store managers, Pat Monaghan (Temple), Brande Daniels (VCU), and John Sloane (Stony Brook) were instrumental in facilitating our participation and introducing us to some key student leaders.

While these events represent one facet of the program’s long-term outreach initiative, we believe in the mission of THE NEXTDDS as striving to provide relevant tools and resources for all of tomorrow’s practitioners, and will continue our grassroots engagement efforts throughout 2014 and beyond.

Tags: THE NEXTDDS, VCU, Temple, Grass-roots, Henry Schein, Stony Brook

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