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CDA Cares with patient

“One of the most amazing experiences I’ll remember from my time at dental school,” is how Michelle Hsiao, DDS Class of 2016, described her recent experience caring for the underserved at Project Homeless Connect (PHC) in San Francisco.

Michelle was just one of the many volunteer students, faculty and staff who donated their time and skills over spring break to care for people in need. Their efforts make an impressive display of philanthropy, humanism, leadership, collaboration and other core values we hold high at the Dugoni School.

For a decade, our school has been a lead dental provider at Project Homeless Connect. On March 23, more than 25 school volunteers and alumni conducted free dental screenings, provided basic oral healthcare, and shared oral health information to nearly 150 working poor and homeless individuals. Thirty people were brought back to the dental school’s Oral Surgery clinic for additional same-day care provided by a team of volunteers. Michelle is right – it’s an amazing experience for all involved. Read more and see pictures here.

Our community involvement over spring break spanned all the way to Fiji. During four days in Moala Village, 22 students, seven dentists, and an additional spouse/volunteer cared for more than 300 individuals, treated and/or restored almost 1,100 tooth surfaces, extracted 259 teeth, performed one root canal, instructed hundreds of people in brushing and flossing, and educated Fijians on caries management by risk assessment (CAMBRA). Students creatively raised their own funds to help pay for the trip by selling baked goods, Dugoni School bow-ties, hot dogs and snacks during lunchtime fundraisers.

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Looking ahead, many of our alumni in Southern California will be joining the contingent of Dugoni School volunteers at the California Dental Association’s “CDA Cares” event in Ventura, April 16-17. We look forward to another opportunity to partner with the CDA on these events that make a difference in the lives of so many people in local communities. Click here to learn more about volunteering.

Thank you to all of the members of the Dugoni School family, including many of you, who give of your time, talents and other resources. This spirit of community involvement and our impact on thousands of underserved people each year makes the Dugoni School a remarkable force for good in the world. If you’re ever interested in joining or financially supporting one of our volunteer “expeditions” in a local community, or around the world, please stay in touch!

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Thanks to all of the alumni and guests who joined us in San Francisco for the 117th Annual Alumni Meeting! We hope you enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with classmates and learn some lessons that will help you go from “Good to Great” in your practice. What a wonderful and warm gathering of the Dugoni School family. Special thanks to our Alumni Association board members, staff and volunteers who really shined in putting together the event, held for the first time at the InterContinental Hotel. The team is already working hard on the program for next year, so we hope you will put March 3-4, 2017 in your calendar.

Congratulations to Dr. Steven Dugoni and Drs. Gabby and Gary Thodas who were honored with the association’s highest honor, the Medallion of Distinction, at the recognition luncheon. We also are extremely thankful to the reunion class members who contributed so generously to their class gifts, and to everyone who was able to join us for the Legacy Ball, our signature event to celebrate our core value of philanthropy. Special thanks to our Foundation board members and Development team for hosting this wonderful night.

As I mentioned in my luncheon remarks, it is an exciting time to serve as interim dean as we look for ways to refocus on our future. We are relentlessly focused on excellence in our programs. We are investing in people, our most valuable asset. We are also committed to addressing the challenge of the rising cost of higher education by supporting our students and programs through philanthropy. These are ambitious goals, but together the Dugoni School family will accomplish them and build an even brighter future.

In other celebrations among soon-to-be alumni, our DDS and IDS graduating classes recently enjoyed their retreat to the Asilomar conference center. In just two years, we will be marking the 50th anniversary of the first Asilomar weekend. Since 1968, this well-loved tradition has given our graduating students the opportunity to gather as a class one last time.

These two events exemplify the strong bonds that the Dugoni School creates among students and alumni. Thank you for staying involved in your dental school family. You were a dental student once, but you are an alumnus of your school for life. We look forward to seeing you at future events and staying in touch in other ways.

 

We have exciting news to share about a major philanthropic gift that will support our students for decades to come.

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently received a $3,000,000 irrevocable Charitable Remainder Trust from Mary Henriques, the widow of Dr. Jesse Henriques, who was Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni’s dental partner from decades ago. After graduating from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1950, Dr. Henriques practiced dentistry in South San Francisco for 50 years. This gesture to support our students is a testament to the lifelong professional bonds and personal friendships between the Henriques and the Dugoni family. We are greatly appreciative to Mary and the entire Henriques family for this inspiring gift.

Thanks to the Powell Match Program at University of the Pacific, we are also pleased to announce that the gift has qualified for an additional $1.5 million in matching funds from the Powell gift to support student scholarships at the Dugoni School.

This total gift of $4,500,000 is the second-largest individual contribution in the history of our dental school. It will move us closer to our goal of growing our student scholarships to offset the rising costs of dental education and associated student debt.

It is exciting to see this support of the next generation of Dugoni School students, especially when a gift is maximized for even greater impact through matching funds. Thank you to the dental school’s Development team and our University colleagues who collaborated together to steward the gift. Gifts of this magnitude involve many people playing key roles. In addition to Art Dugoni’s caring cultivation for many years, Vice President for University Development and Alumni Relations Burnie Atterbury, as well as Jonelle Beck and Jim Dugoni in the Office of Gift Planning have worked closely with Jeff Rhode, our Associate Dean of Development at the Dugoni School, to receive this truly transformative gift.

If you would like to get involved in opportunities to support student scholarships or other aspects of the Dugoni School, I encourage you to contact Jeff Rhode at 415.749.3349 or jrhode@pacific.edu to learn more. We will reach our goals with your help.

A belated welcome back from the holiday break. I hope you are still energized by the opportunity you had to relax, recharge, and spend time with family, friends, and others who are important in your lives.

As we start the New Year, it is a good opportunity for us to reflect and refocus on the educational experience we offer to our students. We will continue to provide an environment in which our students will become the best oral healthcare providers in the world, with a strong foundation in scientifically based practice. We will continue to align our academic and clinical programs to lead the future of oral health care. Together, the Dugoni School family will deliver excellence in dental education. We have an exciting year ahead.

One of the ways we will refocus is by reviewing our academic curriculum in order to look for ways to enhance it. Our integrated Helix Curriculum provides an effective framework for contemporary dental education. It is inspiring to see the Personalized Instructional Program (PIP) roll out as one of our last strands to be implemented. We have started to look for ways to refine the Helix Curriculum so we can continue to meet the needs of future oral healthcare providers. We will need your input as we reflect on our educational competencies to ensure that we are prepared for that future. I will share more information about the first step in this process during the upcoming week.

Our Facilities Project Committees and Strategic Planning Oversight Committee will also keep working on ways to enhance our school’s facilities, programs, and overall operations. Thank you to everyone who has provided input to these groups over the last few months. Your ideas will allow us to improve our school over both the short and long term. In my upcoming brown bags, you will learn more about changes we are making in response to your feedback.

We will continue to find ways for the Dugoni School family to gather in support of our humanistic culture. Please feel free to stop by the next “Coffee with the Cabinet” on Tuesday, February 16 between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on the first floor. It is always an enjoyable opportunity to connect with fellow students, faculty, and staff in a casual way. I will also be instituting designated Open Office Hours for faculty, staff, and students. Further information about that will be forthcoming.

This week the Dugoni School welcomed Joanne Fox on her official first day as the new Director of the Alumni Association. We are excited she will be serving our alumni in this important role. Thank you to the alumni director search committee chair Bill van Dyk, and members Artie Adkins, Dan Castagna, Art Dugoni, Kimberly LaRocca, Bruce Toy, Mary Turoff and Andrea Woodson.

Thank you for everything you do to ensure that we remain focused on excellence in the educational experience we offer to our students. Here’s looking ahead to a year filled with growth and inspiration.