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Today, I have some news and pictures that were shared with me by our Alumni Association. It is always great to learn more about the paths that our graduates are taking in their careers. We are so proud of the service of our alumni and the impact they are making in their communities.

In September, Naval Dental Officers of the 1st Dental Battalion/Naval Dental Center Camp Pendleton and alumni of the Dugoni School posed for a picture to celebrate Dr. Jerome Ragadio's promotion to Captain. Here are some of our alumni (pictured left to right):  LT Adam Gluskin (Class of 2017), CDR Sherry Caraveo (Class of 2004), CAPT Jerome Ragadio (Class of 2003), LT Michael Lawrence (Class of 2016), LCDR Eric Frederiksen (Class of 2011). Not pictured is LCDR Michael DeFazio (Class of 2013).

One month later, Sherry Caraveo was also promoted to Captain. Here is a picture of her with CAPT Jerome Ragadio.

CAPT Caraveo currently serves as the Executive Officer and CAPT Ragadio serves as the Director for Dental Services. The 1st Dental Battalion/Naval Dental Center Camp Pendleton is composed of 10 dental clinics on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and five others throughout Southern California and Arizona. It services over 50,000 Marines and Sailors.

In his message sent to the Alumni Association, CAPT Ragadio remarked that Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni's and the Dugoni School's model of humanistic leadership, service, inspiration, and excellence spreads and thrives in the military setting. What a wonderful testimonial about the impact of Dr. Dugoni and the impact that each of you make on the lives of our graduates and the people who they serve in their communities and in this case the individuals they serve in our military.

This news reminds me that Fleet Week in San Francisco is just about to start. It has always been a well-attended experience for the community, however this year the events have gone virtual due to the pandemic. You can experience the virtual events on the San Francisco Fleet Week website between October 9 to 11. To learn more, visit the Fleet Week website here.

To stay with the theme of the message today, I will end with a quote from General Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. Army.

''The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.''

Be well, and thank you for continuing to do the right things every day.

Dean Nadershahi wrote this message to the school on Sept. 24. A memorial website has been set up here.

This morning I would like to dedicate today’s daily message in honor of Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni.

Yesterday was a difficult day for us as we learned that Dr. Dugoni passed away peacefully in the early morning.  I am still reflecting on the impact he made on his beautiful family, the Dugoni School family, on our profession, and on our communities over the decades. He inspired us to pursue excellence and greatness. He made our lives better through his humanistic touch, his words of encouragement, and his actions large and small that spoke volumes.  There is not a day that passes when I do not reflect on the example that he has set for me as a mentor, friend, and father figure.

After I sent out the announcement yesterday about his passing, I have heard so many kind words of reflection from you, our alumni family, and friends. He certainly touched many lives.

We are planning more opportunities for remembrance of Dr. Dugoni. As those details come together and there are any further updates from the family, we will share them with you so we can celebrate the impact he made on us all.

It would be appropriate to end with one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni.

At Pacific, we grow people and along the way they become doctors [or dental hygienists].”

Be well, and my deepest sympathies to the Dugoni and Dugoni School families.

Arthur Dugoni

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Thank you to those of you who have been providing care in our clinics and providing essential campus services over this break week. I know that our patients appreciate having the opportunity to continue their care. There has been a lot of work in the simulation clinic to install our new electric handpiece controllers.  I hope you all enjoy a restful weekend as we gear up for the start of our Fall quarter on Monday.

October marks “National Dental Hygiene Month,” and there are a variety of promotional efforts taking place online. The ADHA has created a theme of “Faces of Courage” to call attention to dental hygienists as an important part of the health care provider community. The promotions celebrate courage in the face of adversity and also help promote good oral health in our communities. Learn more here.

Also this month the California Dental Hygienists’ Association will be holding special activities such as its Fall Scientific Symposium on October 24. To learn more, visit the CDHA website here.

I will close today’s update and our student break week with a reflection.  As we have seen in the news, COVID-19 does not discriminate and can affect anyone. I hope that everyone stays safe and healthy.  Hope is the one thing that is always stronger than fear.  With a dose of realism, let us hope for the continued mitigation of the spread of this virus, as we continue to practice the good habits outlined by our public health experts and work toward safe vaccines and treatments.

Be well and have a restful weekend.

Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD 

This is a week of good progress for the Dugoni School. We are off and running with the start of our new quarter and new academic year. Yesterday was the first day of a fuller resumption of clinical care following the clinic orientations that were held Monday. On Tuesday, we treated 177 patients in our clinics. We will be increasing the patient flow slowly as we move through July and into next month according to the health and safety guidelines.

I had the opportunity to observe our clinics yesterday and was able to see many of our students, residents, staff, and faculty, including some people who had not been back on campus for many weeks. It was wonderful to see your faces — even behind your masks. Thank you to everyone for working together, as we provide care to our patients and learning experiences for our students and residents.  Our patients were excited to be continuing their care.  There is a large pent-up need for oral health care in our community.

Speaking of working together, two members of the Dugoni School family have been recognized for outstanding service to others.

Congratulations to Emilio Fastidio, Sergeant in the Department of Public Safety, for being selected as the Employee of the Quarter for the Spring Quarter. We had the opportunity to thank him on Monday (see pictures attached). During the shelter-in-place, Emilio and the entire team worked tirelessly to ensure that the essential campus operations could continue in a safe manner, while helping to prepare us for the eventual resumption of operations. Just one example is his work with the Emergency Clinic staff and Building Operations team to prepare the clinic entrance to safely receive emergency patients, setting up the proper protocols with Eve Cuny, and posting the latest information from the SFDPH. Emilio is continually thinking and taking action on ways to further the school’s humanistic approach and values. His devotion to our campus is extraordinary.

According to John Feeney, director of the department: “Emilio is a rock and many here lean on him for so many things outside of his job description. Our team would not be as strong as it is without Emilio’s commitment to our mission and his attention to detail.”  Congratulations Emilio!

In another accolade, Dr. Craig Yarborough, Associate Dean for Institutional Advancement and Director of our Center for Success, was recently honored by the American Dental Education Association. Dr. Yarborough received a Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors citation during a virtual event on July 10. The award is presented to leaders who have demonstrated exceptional service to the Association and the dental education community. Dr. Yarborough has made such an impact on the lives of thousands of our students and residents. We are very proud to see this recognition!

Also, back in May, I had communicated about the Dugoni School’s ADEA Chapter, which was selected for a Bronze Level Chapter Designation by the ADEA Council of Students, Residents, and Fellows (CoSRF). This designation is determined by several factors, including the number of active chapter members, the number of events hosted by the chapter, and representation of attendees at national events. Congratulations again to our student leaders for your involvement in the chapter.

You can learn more about the award for Dr. Yarborough and our student chapter designation on the ADEA website.

It is amazing what we can accomplish by working together, living our values, and supporting each other, especially during times of change and uncertainty.

Be well and continue practicing safe habits.