The Oral Health Committee seeks to provide information, guidance, and instruction for various populations around Los Angeles. It is divided into four subcommittees:
The Oral Health: Pediatrics/Teens Committee members hope to provide information pertaining to nutrition and drug use in some kind of take home pamphlet that we can hand to middle and high school students. We cannot wait to start recruiting members for this committee, and start visiting schools quarterly. The Oral Health: Pediatrics/Teens Committee will be looking for members who are passionate about teaching middle and high school students about the importance of oral health!
The Oral Health: Geriatrics/Special Needs Committee focuses on community service for the geriatric and special needs populations. We plan to hit the ground running in the fall with events to improve the oral health of the elderly and increase awareness of healthcare workers in long term care facilities. We have plans to hold at lunch and learns spanning a variety of subjects related to special needs patients and the issue of access to dental care in this country.
The Oral Health: HIV Education Committee assists the many communities around Los Angeles that seek oral health education. We have the opportunity to network with such centers and educate HIV positive patients about oral health and oral manifestations of HIV. Furthermore, the UCLA dental clinic serves a great number of the HIV positive patients, a number which continues growing. It is important for student dentists to be comfortable and aware of how to approach and treat such patients on a daily basis. Our goal is to organize visits to HIV community centers in the Greater Los Angeles Area for presentations on recognizing oral lesions often seen in HIV patients, maintaining oral health, and accessing care. Working in this committee is an amazing opportunity to reach out to the HIV positive community as well as to encourage awareness of and sensitivity towards the subject for students.
The Oral Health: Oral Cancer Committee educates the general public about the consequences and prevention of oral cancer, especially in lower income communities. Events such as high school visits, health fairs, and lunch lectures are highly effective, while also providing opportunities for students to expand their experiences, both didactically and clinically. At these events, we hope to provide patients with oral cancer screenings and referrals, when appropriate. The ultimate vision is to bring proper light to this silent cancer and reduce the number of lives lost to it.
The Pediatrics/Teens Committee’s goals for this year include:
- Organizing OHI events directed toward the teen population, open to the whole school each quarter. We hope to organize at least one teen OHI event per quarter. We hope to gather all our committee members to meet and discuss prospective schools for events at the beginning of the year. We can then assign each committee member to plan one event such that the responsibilities are shared between all members.
- Holding regular committee meetings twice per quarter. We will explain each member’s responsibilities for planning their respective events and twice a quarter we will have an official meeting to sort out all the details.
- OHI and data collection from three different community centers catered to pregnant women, new parents, and children in the Inglewood area to understand specific caries risk factors for that population. We hope to do this at at least three places, twice this year. With surveys and an institutional review board in place, we just need to coordinate with centers to launch our data collection!
The Geriatrics/Special Needs Committee’s goals for this year include:
- Holding at least one lunch and learn event per quarter. We’d like to have the committee members split up into 2 groups and responsible for organizing one lunch and learn per quarter. We plan to have at least 2 special needs and 1 geriatric lunch and learn throughout the year. We’re open to any topic as long as it is intriguing and informative for the dental students. We plan to provide lunch or snacks at each event!
- Hosting nursing home visits to provide OHI. We plan to host a visit to a nursing home during winter quarter where we provide OHI to the geriatric population and their caretakers.
- We would like to make a school visit to special needs schools/camps to provide a fun educational presentation on OHI. We would have hands-on demonstrations and try to take more dental students so that we can form small groups to make learning more effective and exciting for students!
The HIV Education Committee’s goals for this year include:
- Holding at least one event per quarter!
- Expanding the focus of the committee beyond the oral component of HIV by getting professors to speak on different HIV topics.
- Getting an HIV testing truck on campus so students can more readily and easily access testing.
- Getting involved with other groups on campus, such as the LGBT center, and seeing what events such groups are hosting in regards to HIV education and awareness. We’d be interested in co-coordinating an event with them!
The Oral Cancer Committee’s goals for this year include:
- Hosting at least one event per quarter.
- Hosting Relay for Life: Spring 2018, in which we will provide oral cancer screenings and teach OHI.
- Hosting an event in which we teach health care workers attending to patients with cancer about proper OHI, in collaboration with other Oral Health subcommittees.
- Hosting lunch and learns about oral cancer!
- Encouraging proactive committee members who are willing to take leadership roles while in the committee and facilitate the overall goals of the committee.
- Collaborating more among the Oral Health subcommittees. We would like to have at least one collaborative event with the other subcommittees. We would support each other by creating events together, providing suggestions for collaboration, and attending each other’s events!