This past Saturday, the family members and relatives of Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni held a memorial mass in his honor at the St. Pius Catholic Church in Redwood City. I had the opportunity to attend and it was wonderful to see the family and many of our graduates and friends. A recording of the service is available

Also last Saturday, the CDA Presents the Art and Science of Dentistry conference concluded at the Moscone Center. Approximately 3,500 people attended in person with another 1,000 attending online. It made history for the city, given that it was the first major conference held in San Francisco since last year’s closure of the conference facility in March.

While the event was much smaller than in previous years, our school’s commitment to CDA and to the success of the event was as strong as ever. Thank you again to those who participated as speakers, helped staff the school booth, gave tours of the school, or connected with alumni during the Class of 2001 outdoor gathering at the InterContinental. We even had three volunteers from the school available at the event to provide rapid COVID-19 tests and vaccines as well upon request.

On a related note, congratulations to our student Dan Wang, DDS ’22, for being selected as the CDA September Student Spotlight. Read her perspectives about life in and out of dental school

Today kicks off “CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry” taking place from September 9-11 in a hybrid fashion. Educational events will be held in-person at the Moscone Center as well as online in a virtual format. If you have an opportunity to attend in person, stop by the school’s booth (No. 413) to say hello to our staff from admissions, CDE, and the Alumni Association. Volunteers from our school will also be hosting COVID-19 vaccines and testing opportunities on Thursday and Saturday for attendees. Please note that proof of full vaccination and an ID is required to attend the in-person activities inside Moscone. Learn more on the CDA website

We have some good news about grant funding that will support the school. We were recently awarded a Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) that will be administered through the Pacific Center for Equity in Oral Health Care. This $858,000 grant will allow the Dugoni School to establish two faculty tracks: one in pediatric/special care/hospital dentistry and one in geriatrics/AEGD/hospital dentistry for both dental and dental hygiene faculty. Faculty will practice and teach in our Special Care Clinic and Hutto Patterson Pediatric Clinic in San Francisco and the Union City Dental Care Center in the East Bay, in addition to Bay Area community partner hospitals and clinics to enhance their knowledge and skills as part of a larger healthcare team. This award will allow the school to sustain current programs and develop new opportunities, reaching beyond the campus clinics to those most in need while preparing students for an ever-changing and increasingly diverse healthcare landscape.

In addition, we were recently informed that the school will receive a $225,000 grant from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation to support access to care initiatives. The award will support the following projects:

  • Planning phase to increase access to dental hygiene education through a unique mobile education program in the Central Valley
  • Student/Patient Emergency Fund support to provide care for low-income patients at our clinics
  • Dental care for underserved military veterans through a new partnership with Everyone for Veterans

Please look for more updates as these programs move forward. Many thanks to everyone involved in these grant applications! A lot of work goes into the proposals and we are glad that these new resources will be available to support our people and programs.

This week, August 23 – 27, is a global celebration of World Water Week, an annual event on global water issues organized by Stockholm International Water Institute. The week attracts participants from more than 130 countries and consists of a broad array of activities convened by leading international organizations on a broad array of water-related topics, ranging from food security and health, to agriculture, technology, biodiversity, and the climate crisis.

Did you know that water and oral health have a strong connection? The CDC website has an informative write-up on the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation as follows: “Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first US city to fluoridate its public water supply in 1945. Five years later, when the schoolchildren of Grand Rapids were found to have significantly fewer cavities than children from surrounding communities, other Michigan cities also began fluoridating and soon achieved similar results. Within a few years, cities and towns across the United States were fluoridating their water. Since its launch over 75 years ago, community water fluoridation has proved to be one of public health’s greatest success stories, improving the health and wellbeing of people in the United States and around the world.  Although other fluoride-containing products, such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and dietary supplements are available and contribute to the prevention and control of tooth decay, community water fluoridation has been identified as the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all, reducing tooth decay by 25% in children and adults.”

In other news from partners in healthcare, a new statistical brief Emergency Department Visits Involving Dental Conditions, 2018, was just published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This brief updates a similar report from 2009 and provides valuable information about dental-related Emergency Department (ED) visits. A few highlights include:

  • In 2018, there were more than 2 million dental-related ED visits, which represented 615.5 visits per 100,000 population.
  • The highest population rates of dental-related ED visits were among non-Hispanic Black individuals, individuals aged 18–44 years, and those residing in the lowest income communities.
  • Of all dental-related ED visits, nearly 95 percent were treated and released, and 5 percent resulted in admission to the hospital.
  • Among treat-and-release ED visits with a principal diagnosis of a dental condition, three groups of dental conditions accounted for 93 percent of visits—loss of teeth and similar disorders, diseases of pulp and periapical tissues, and dental caries.

Emergency dental services provided in our clinics provide a tremendous benefit to the local community. Thank you to all involved in triaging and caring for the people who come to us each week in pain or discomfort. We were fortunate last spring during the start of the pandemic to be able to continue offering emergency services to the public in order to prevent those individuals from going to hospital emergency rooms. Thank you all for understanding the importance of oral health to overall health and the service you provide for helping our communities live healthy lives.

I will end this note with a quote shared with me this week by Dr. Steven Sadowsky.

“Service is the rent we pay for our room here on earth.” —Muhammad Ali

Be well,

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Thank you to all members of the Dugoni School family who were able to join us live or virtually at the White Coat Ceremonies on Saturday. This was a unique year, with two ceremonies in one day, and I know there was extra coordination to make the events possible. I am grateful we were able to celebrate the achievements of our outstanding students in person during these important milestones. Congratulations to our students!

The morning ceremony (DDS and IDS 2022) livestream is available here

and the afternoon ceremony (DDS and IDS 2023 and DH 2022) livestream is available here.

Congratulations to our colleagues Drs. Audrey Yoon, Linda Phi, Joorok Park, and Heesoo Oh in the Orthodontics Department and to Dr. Allen Wong who published “Clinical Signs of Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children with Disabilities” in Exceptional Parent magazine, the magazine for clinicians, parents, and others in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to Dr. Wong, the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry names “sleep” as a focus of one of the major disparities of health care for people with IDD. It is wonderful to see the growing expertise of our faculty and school in the areas of sleep medicine in collaborations between several of our departments.  Learn more in the article.

In news about vaccines for COVID-19, yesterday the Food and Drug Administration formally approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people age 16 and older. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older.  The vaccine continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain individuals.  This development is expected to usher in new vaccine requirements by hospitals, colleges, corporations, and other organizations around the country.  We are grateful to have almost all members of the Dugoni School family who have taken the important step of being fully vaccinated and look forward to the availability of booster doses later this year.  Learn more here, and listen to the media audio call here.

If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.”–Unknown Author

Be well.