USC University of Southern California

Ostrow Student Named 2013-2014 Albert Schweitzer Fellow

Yun-Ju Yoo DDS 2014
Yun-Ju Yoo DDS ’14

By Beth Newcomb

An Ostrow School of Dentistry student is one of 14 USC students named Albert Schweitzer Fellows for 2013-2014.

Yun-Ju Yoo DDS ’14 received one of the prestigious fellowships, which were created in 2002 in honor of physician, humanitarian, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer. The fellowship calls for individuals to partner with a community-based organization to complete a yearlong, 200-hour service project as well as take part in leadership development training on top of their other academic duties.

For her fellowship, Yoo will be working with Ostrow faculty members Roseann Mulligan, Janet Lent, and Linda Brookman to address the oral health needs of older adult residents of the Hollenbeck Palms retirement community in Boyle Heights. In addition to helping residents maintain good oral hygiene, she will also educate nursing assistants and other caregivers about the importance of oral health and its role in general health.

The project addresses the crucial need for caregivers to understand the significance of oral health in older adults, Yoo says. She is excited about the leadership opportunities the fellowship provides.

“I’ve volunteered in several health fair events, but this is the first one that I will actually be planning and formulating,” she says. “This fellowship gives me a chance to develop more leadership skills and actively seek out what the community really needs.”

Following her fellowship and her graduation from dental school, Yoo plans to stay involved with community health outreach

“I definitely want to stay in community health,” she says. “I want to expose myself to more diverse and challenging cases in general dentistry and work as a general dentist at community sites after the program. My ultimate goal is to improve the oral health of underserved populations, especially geriatrics, and also help them to become aware of the significance of oral hygiene.”