Skip to content

April is national Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a time when the health community spotlights a serious disease. As oral healthcare providers we are on the front lines of this issue during April and also during every other month throughout the year. We are in a unique position to perform head and neck exams and oral screenings that can help identify abnormalities in the mouth at the earliest stage — and help save lives.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancers will be newly diagnosed in about 132 individuals each day in the United States alone. The good news is that it can often be found early through a quick and painless head and neck screening. With early detection, survival rates are high and the side effects from treatment are at their lowest. This is why our faculty, students, and residents place great care and emphasis on this screening during the oral diagnosis and treatment planning of each patient in all of our clinics.

The foundation has news, research, and other resources on its website. Additionally the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance has designated April 8 to 15 as Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. Learn more about that initiative here.

Thank you for your dedication to helping people in our community lead healthy lives.

As we recognize the various traditions and cultures of all members of the Dugoni School family, I would like to take a moment to wish you a happy Nowruz — the Persian New Year.

This “new day” is celebrated at the vernal equinox by millions of people around the world in recognition of the beginning of spring. I send you good wishes during this celebration of renewal and new beginnings.

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us for the 119th Annual Alumni meeting March 2-3 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

Throughout the weekend you could hear the voice of the Dugoni School family loud and clear, full of pride and passion for our great people and programs. The event theme of “Dugoni School Giants and Leaders” was brought to life through our CE speakers, alumni and other school and dental community leaders who shared their expertise and insights. Special thanks to our Alumni Association board of directors, including new president Dr. Mary Turoff ’77 and immediate past president Dr. Dan Castagna ’81, as well as all of our staff and volunteers for putting on an impressive event that attracted 1,450 alumni and friends. You can read more about the alumni weekend here.

The school’s 50th annual Legacy Ball (formerly P&S Ball) coincided with the alumni meeting. It was a special opportunity to gather at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel for dinner, dancing, camaraderie and conversation during this annual celebration of philanthropy. Prior to the gala, we held the first-ever gathering of the Dr. Frank A. Brucia Loyalty Society. The society is a new way to recognize donors who have demonstrated their support by giving to the Dugoni School for at least 10 consecutive years, with lifetime giving of $50,000 or more.

The picture below from the Brucia Loyalty Society Reception illustrates one of my favorite moments of the entire weekend. Together, Dr. Frank Brucia (100 years young), Dr. Doc Starin (95) and Dr. Art Dugoni (92) represent 287 years of experience and love for dentistry and our great school. What a moment it was to see these giants together!

As I looked around the alumni weekend and saw faces of classmates, friends and mentors, it occurred to me how many more giants have grown within the Dugoni School family. Look at the success that many of you have enjoyed over the years. You’ve become giants in the dental profession in your own unique way. You are looked up to by your patients, your families, your communities, and your friends. And to all of you “giants” reading this message today, I’m so proud to call you fellow alumni of the Dugoni School of Dentistry. I am grateful for all that you do to keep our legacy strong and our future bright!

collage of photos from the alumni meeting

Dental assistants play an important role both here at the Dugoni School and in the wider healthcare community. Our clinics would not be successful without their varied skills and keen attention to high-quality patient care.

This week we thank our many dental assistants during the national “Dental Assistant Recognition Week” being held March 4 to 10, 2018. This year’s theme is “Advancing the profession through collaboration and leadership,” which acknowledges the growing importance of dentistry's role in health care and the many responsibilities of dental assistants. Visit the American Dental Assistants Association website to learn more.

Please take a moment to express gratitude to our dental assistants this week and at other times throughout the year. We are glad they are part of the Dugoni School family as we strive to fulfill our school’s purpose of helping people lead healthy lives.