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The Dugoni School will also have a contingent of volunteers providing dental screenings at the 26th Annual Chinatown Community Health Fair this Saturday, October 16. Thank you to Dr. Bonnie Jue, Associate Professor Christine Miller, and our students who are volunteering. This year’s event is hybrid, with health screenings provided on site and virtual workshops on Zoom. It is wonderful to see these community health events reborn in new ways. A flyer is attached and more details are on the fair’s Facebook page.

We have good news about a new $225,000 grant the school recently received from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation. People across Northern California who face challenges accessing oral health care will benefit. The gift will help our Student/Patient Emergency Fund assist low-income patients impacted who need assistance in paying for out-of-pocket costs to continue their treatment. It will also help fund care for military veterans through a new partnership with the nonprofit Everyone for Veterans. The grant will also fund the planning stage for a unique mobile education program to train dental hygienists in the Central Valley. Read more about the grant here.

There is a lot of excitement in the air with the SF Giants and LA Dodgers playoff game tonight. In other community news, this Sunday, October 17, is Sunday Streets “Phoenix Day.” It marks the return of San Francisco’s Sunday Streets with a bigger-than-ever program taking place across the City, featuring open streets, pop-ups, and dozens of neighbor-hosted block parties citywide.

I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start. Yesterday was a time of observance of both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day. Columbus Day was proclaimed a national holiday in 1934, while the celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day took root more recently. Read a brief overview of both days here.

As we look toward the future, please take a minute to reflect on where we have been. Our newly published 2020-2021 Academic Year in Review highlights some of the stories, metrics, and milestones of our last academic year. We compile this publication each year to showcase the important work done by School family. You may see your own projects highlighted among the pages. Thank you to our team members in the Marketing and Communications and Design and Photo departments for your work on the issue. The publication is available online and we will also have a limited number of printed copies available upon request.

This week marks Sterile Processing Week (formerly International Central Service Week), celebrated October 10 - 16, 2021. Please thank the members of the Central Sterilization and Dispensing Department for the important work they do each day. They are on the front lines of patient and provider safety here at the Dugoni School, as they are responsible for cleaning, decontaminating, sterilization, assembling, testing, and otherwise managing the instruments and equipment used to care for our patients. Our clinics could not function safely or successfully without their important contributions.

Welcome back and I hope you enjoyed the break. We are looking forward to a fruitful quarter full of learning and growth.

Our Alumni Association board met on September 24th, and I had the opportunity to share some updates about all of your wonderful efforts.  We have so much to be proud of and that has been possible because of what you do to lift and pull one another up.  Thank you for your incredible efforts.

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength.  One is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” –Booker T. Washington

Congratulations to our three endodontics residents who will mark the completion of their 27-month program tonight with a celebratory gathering with the department. What an amazing accomplishment for these talented professionals. We wish them the best as they move forward in their careers.

We are looking forward to our Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting taking place tomorrow. We are fortunate to have such a supportive group of alumni volunteers who care deeply about the success of our students and residents.

A couple of other updates to pass along:

The Dugoni School was in the news this week as Dentistry Today covered the renaming of the Pacific Center for Special Care as the Pacific Center for Equity in Oral Health Care, along with some other updates about the center’s expanded focus. Thank you Dr. Elisa Chavez for assuming your new leadership role with the center along with many colleagues here at the Dugoni School and elsewhere in our profession. Read the Dentistry Today story and visit the Pacific Center for Equity in Oral Health Care website.

At the national level, much activity is underway in the U.S. Congress about adding dental, vision, and hearing benefits to the Medicare program. A Sept. 20, 2021 communication from the California Dental Association offers some background and context.

The US Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday it would grant emergency use authorization for a booster dose of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine in people 65 and older, people at high risk of severe disease, and people whose jobs put them at risk of infection.  See the full story here.  The CDC will make its final recommendations soon.