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Dear Dugoni School Family,

Thank you for what you have done this week as we slowly welcomed back students on campus for simulation experiences and completed more of the close-out process for our Class of 2020. It is a bittersweet time, as we are so happy for our graduates, but will miss seeing many of them in person as they move forward in the next steps of their careers and lives.

This week, our faculty have started to see priority clinical cases. Our faculty-led emergency care has continued, our Faculty Dental Practice started seeing patients on Monday, and our Orthodontic Clinic and Oral Surgery Clinic have also started to see patients. There will be great demand in the community for oral healthcare and I am so encouraged that we are able to slowly re-open our clinical services in a safe way to care for our community and then begin to incorporate students and residents in the delivery of oral health care.

Thanks again for all who were part of our successful simulation-based WREB exams last weekend. This first-of-its-kind effort has made some news! Please read a story in Dentistry Today that highlights the Dugoni School’s collaborative approach and quotes some of our students. Read the story here.

A reminder that this Sunday at 2:00 pm, we will be celebrating the Class of 2020 through a Virtual Awards program. The Zoom link has been sent to the Class of 2020 specifically for their use, and other students, residents, faculty, and staff can watch the YouTube Live stream. If you are unable to watch, the program will be recorded and available afterwards.

A variety of awards that are typically presented during the Alumni/Graduate Banquet will be announced. Thanks to the planning team involved in creating this special online event for our graduates. This Sunday would have been our commencement ceremony, but we have postponed our commencement to a future time when we can plan for an in-person gathering, as requested by the graduating class.

I also want to thank and recognize our ASDA Chapter for organizing the Charity Trivia online event this Saturday night at 7:00 pm. This event is open to the Dugoni School family, as well as all dental schools in the District 11 region. Thank you to the ASDA Community Outreach Team for your work on this special social event that will help raise money for a good cause.  Thank you to so many of you who are displaying our value of leadership through all that is going on in our society.  You will help shape and change the world.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Dear Dugoni School Family,

Leadership is one of the Dugoni School’s core values, and I would like to recognize one of our alumni and faculty members for stepping up to be an important voice of the dental profession during California’s economic recovery.

Dr. Natasha Lee ‘00, assistant professor and course director of practice management and jurisprudence, was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to California’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. She is serving on this task force, along with numerous high-profile CEOs and other leaders across all industry sectors. Congratulations Dr. Lee on your involvement in this important initiative, and thank you for reaching out to see how you can support dental education and our practicing dental community.

Leadership will be important at all levels as we work together to adapt to the impacts caused by the pandemic. The Dugoni School is fortunate to have many other leaders in our ranks. Our students, residents, faculty, staff, and alumni are involved in community organizations, dental societies and associations, special interest groups, student organizations, and many other initiatives. I would also like to thank our student leaders and class officers for stepping up to represent your classes. Your input and feedback from the student body is very important to me and our other administrators so we can continue to hear and understand your concerns and work together toward solutions. Open and transparent lines of communication are essential for our continued success.

Thank you for what you all do each day to demonstrate our core value of leadership. Even seemingly small acts of leadership can make a big impact on the people around us and lead to a better world. Thank you all for growing as leaders during these challenging times.

"The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers."
—Ralph Nader  (I like his last name)

Dear Dugoni School Family,

I hope you had a good weekend to relax, recharge, celebrate Mother’s Day, and are ready for a new week ahead.

We are seeing a little more light at the end of the tunnel as California takes steps to turn up the “dimmer” in plans to reopen businesses.

Reopening plans are being directed at the county-by-county level, as part of the state’s regional variance approach and our school is closely tracking developments. As you may know, last Thursday San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced some next steps in plans to reopen businesses in San Francisco, if progress continues in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The city anticipates allowing some businesses to do storefront pickup, as soon as next Monday, May 18. These include bookstores, florists, music and hobby stores, and home furnishings and home goods stores. Please read the complete announcement for more details.

For our San Francisco campus, we plan to continue to extend our campus closure through the end of May, as shared earlier.

Below is a 1918 picture of students from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (the previous name of our school before it affiliated with Pacific). The photo is from one of the attached pages selected from the 1919 “CHIPs” student yearbook mentioning the Spanish flu. It was a tumultuous academic year, as the school was dealing with both the Spanish flu in the Fall of 2018 and the end of World War I.

And below is a photo of students in the World War I Student Army Training Corp Unit, and some volunteers who worked at the San Francisco Hospital during the flu outbreak.

In recent weeks, I have been struck by the sense of history… how our actions and decisions will be seen as a school, university, city, state, and nation. Our school has dealt with many exciting and challenging events since our founding in 1896. As always, we will learn from each experience and re-emerge with strength, resilience, and a renewed commitment to excellence that will serve us well for the future. With all that has been going on, I keep reflecting on the idea that we are writing that future together. Your strength, your ideas, and your resilience is helping us create a new future for the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry family.

Be well and I look forward to seeing the future that we will build together beyond this pandemic.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

This has been a long week, so today’s update is focused on the importance of our families and, in particular, moms around the world.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and I hope you take a moment to connect with your mom, or spend some time reflecting on positive memories of your mom.  Some of you may even be living at home right now with your parents, while others may be far away from them.  No matter where you are, we can all celebrate the people who have influenced us and the importance of the support from our families.

I am so grateful for my mother as she was one of the most influential people in my life that helped shape who I am today.  There is not a Mother’s Day that goes by or, in fact, any day where I do not think of the wonderful example she set for my brother, for me, and for our broader family.

If you are looking for some musical inspiration this weekend, click here for a Mother’s Day playlist with a few mom-related songs.

Have a great Friday, enjoy your weekend, and happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there.