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Students and Faculty Provide Free Dental Screenings to Underserved at PHC Family Connect

Dental student and faculty volunteers at Family Connect.

July  31, 2012

Volunteer students and faculty from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently participated in Family Connect, an event hosted by Project Homeless Connect (PHC) on July 27. Throughout the day Dugoni School volunteers worked to provide free dental screenings and basic care to underserved and homeless families.

Family Connect was held at the Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theater, Joseph Lee Recreation Center and Mendell Plaza in the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco.

PHC is a city-supported program which takes place at various locations in San Francisco several times each year. Homeless San Franciscans are offered medical and dental care, housing assistance, haircuts, employment, legal counseling, food and a variety of other services. Family Connect focuses specifically on families and, in addition to various health and wellness services, also offers entertainment and arts and crafts activities for children.

At the Family Connect event, five student volunteers and two faculty volunteers screened approximately 50 event attendees. Those attendees needing immediate complex care — such as extractions — were treated at Bayview's Southeast Health Center.

"The attendees we saw at Family Connect were very grateful, and in many cases we were met with tears of joy," said Karen Doan, DDS Class of 2013 and one of the Family Connect volunteers. "To know that time volunteering for community health is genuinely appreciated is worth its weight in gold to me."

During PHC's events, participants are able to accomplish in one day what might normally take eight months. Numerous corporations, nonprofits, schools and government agencies provide PHC and its clients with services. In response to the changing needs of the homeless and low-income population, PHC has continued to reshape its outreach strategy and improve and expand its services, hosting events specifically designed for veterans, families and children.

The Dugoni School of Dentistry has participated in Project Homeless Connect events since 2007. PHC has two more events scheduled for the 2012 calendar year  on October 24 and December 5. To learn more and to see a list of community partners involved, visit http://www.projecthomelessconnect.com/home/partners.

Category Type: Community Outreach

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu