UMSOD Students and Faculty participated in two dental fairs hosted at public libraries in Maryland as part of The NAME Project: A Narrative Dentistry and Medical Education Project.
The NAME project is a transdisciplinary, NIDCR funded project that brings together academics and clinicians in English, journalism and dentistry.
Sheryl Syme, RDH, MS, FADHA, Associate Professor in the Division of Periodontics, Department of Advanced Oral Sciences and Therapeutics, along with PI collaborators from The University of Maryland College Park, Universities at Shady Grove, University of Iowa, Indiana University – Indianapolis and San Francisco State University hosted dental fairs across the U.S. this winter/spring to examine the effectiveness of utilizing public libraries as alternative, neutral, and safe spaces for underserved racial and ethnic minority prospective patients to learn how to navigate access to local dental services and share stories of struggles to receive needed oral health care.
The first Maryland dental fair was held at the Hyattsville Public Library, Hyattsville, MD in Prince George’s County on Saturday March 11, 2023. UMCP English/Journalism, USG faculty, and high school student leaders assisted as translators and worked together in this community event. 141 community members received dental screenings, oral health education and referral to local dental clinics for follow up dental care from the UMSOD faculty and students. Over 60% of the community members screened were Spanish only speakers.
UMSOD’s 15 participants for the March 11 dental fair at the Hyattsville Library included:
Class of 2024 DDS students: Meg Beattie, Akashdeep Bhatthal, Steven Lebowitz, Nicku Keshavarz, Allison Keyes, Anjali Patel, James Moon, Claudia Ngo, Tracy Trieu, and Tori Wallace.
Class of 2023 DH students: Nolwenn Daniels and Tymarin Ward.
Faculty: Dr. Janet Yellowitz, Associate Professor and Director of Geriatric Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; MaryAnn Schneiderman, Dean’s Faculty, Department of Advanced Oral Sciences and Therapeutics; Sheryl Syme, Associate Professor, Division of Periodontics, Dept. of AOST.
The second dental fair was held at the Long Branch Library, Silver Spring, MD in Montgomery County on Saturday April 22, 2023. 202 community members received free oral health screenings, education and referrals for accessing dental care. UMCP English/Journalism, high school students, USG faculty, and librarians assisted as translators as over 80% of the dental fair participants were Spanish only speakers.
UMSOD’s 22 participants for the April 22 dental fair at the Long Branch Library included:
Class of 2024 DDS Students: Danil Dolyn, Alexander Hoang, Alisha Karley, Ashwant Kaur, Mankiran Kaur, Allison Keyes, Nicku Keshavarz, Steven Lebowitz, Ingrid Lee, Kyung Yun Min, James Moon, Christy Ng, and Tracy Trieu.
Class of 2023 DH Students: Nolwenn Daniels, Qian Harasta, Nasrin Kolahdouzan, Jamie Park, and Tymarin Ward
Faculty: Dr. Janet Yellowitz, Associate Professor and Director of Geriatric Dentistry, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; and Dr. Hwan Hee Park, Assistant Professor, Division of Prosthodontics, MaryAnn Schneiderman, Dean’s Faculty, Division of Dental Hygiene; Sheryl Syme, Associate Professor, Division of Periodontics, all of the Department of Advanced Oral Sciences and Therapeutics.