School of Dentistry Community Outreach Recognized by Los Angeles City Council
On January 30, the USC School of Dentistry, along with the Los Angeles Dental Society and Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND), was honored by Los Angeles City Councilmember Richard Alarcón for the community service the school provides, especially for the city’s underprivileged kids.
Alarcón introduced a resolution announcing February 6 as Give Kids a Smile Day and named the month of February as Children’s Dental Health Month. He said that all of the organizations provide valuable dental services to people throughout Los Angeles, and noted that the USC School of Dentistry plans to offer education, screenings and treatment to students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary on Give Kids a Smile Day.
“A cornerstone of the USC School of Dentistry’s mission is addressing the glaring disparities in the oral health of Americans, including for children,” Alarcón said. “The school is also engaged in a variety of programs designed to raise awareness regarding oral health disparities and to encourage young students from under represented minorities to consider careers in the oral health professions.”
Roseann Mulligan, associate dean for Community Health Programs, represented the School of Dentistry and spoke about the devastating effects of a lack of children’s oral health care as well as the need to protect safety net programs from California’s budget problems. Assistant professor Julie Jenks and DDS 2010 student Ray Klein accompanied her as she addressed the council.
“We desperately need more attention focused on children’s oral health. As many as one third of low income kids in California have untreated oral decay,” Mulligan said. “This budget crisis has put children’s oral health in danger.”