August 16, 2010
Students at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry have joined together to form the Humanitarian Dentistry Organization (known around campus as HuDen) to celebrate humanitarian dentistry, serve as a resource for current humanitarian dentistry groups and publicize ongoing volunteer and service projects. As of May 2010, the group has become an officially sanctioned organization at the school, with 13 dedicated officers and one dedicated faculty advisor.
Through a handful of international humanitarian mission trips, Dugoni School students travel to remote locations throughout the Caribbean, South America and Asia to provide free dental treatment to people in need. The Humanitarian Dentistry Organization promotes these trips to inspire students to participate.
The group has also established the Henry Schein Humanitarian Faculty Award, which honors one faculty member per year for time dedicated to providing free dental service. This year, the club voted to award $1,000 to faculty member Dr. Allen Wong, director of the Special Care Clinic at the dental school, who helped provide dental care during a volunteer trip to Fiji.
"Humanitarian service projects are a fulfilling and important part of being a dentist or dental student, but are often not a priority," said Cedric Papa, Class of 2012 student and president of the Humanitarian Dentistry Organization. "We formed the Humanitarian Dentistry Organization to encourage participation among students and faculty."
The Humanitarian Dentistry Organization is the brainchild of Papa, who, in addition to his studies, participates in a variety of humanitarian dentistry efforts. While he's busy promoting international mission trips and local outreach projects now, Papa also hopes to one day spearhead an alumni reunion week - with humanitarian dentistry as the focus.
Category Type: Community Outreach
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