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I would like to wish everyone a happy Juneteenth, as our country officially celebrates our new federal holiday for the second year. Also, I encourage you to read a guest opinion piece written by Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Vice President for DEI at University of the Pacific, which was published over the weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle.

I have some good news to share as we finish up the week. On Tuesday, the Dugoni School received the Community Excellence Award for Community Engagement from the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District in honor of the many ways we served the neighborhood in 2021. Some of these activities included our clinical services, vaccination efforts, patient emergency care and funding, community outreach, and our public awareness campaign about the importance of oral health.

All of our students, residents, faculty, and staff played a part in making these efforts a success so thank you to each of you. I hope you feel good about your positive impact on the lives of others.

Please learn more in this news story. Also, I had the opportunity to make comments on behalf of the school during a virtual awards presentation you can watch on YouTube below (The school’s section starts at 4:19 and includes pictures of some of our volunteers.)

Our volunteers continue to provide vaccines for our community throughout the week.  This past Saturday we also hosted a COVID-19 vaccine booster clinic for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The Dugoni School has played an important role in providing equitable access to vaccines for this group of individuals. I am so proud of the work that our vaccine clinic volunteers continue to do to serve others. 

Thursday is Veterans Day, an opportunity to honor all those who have served in the armed forces. This year our school is hosting an expanded health event for veterans. From 9:00 am to noon, veterans will be offered a free oral health check, hearing screening, and a COVID-19 booster vaccine for those who are eligible. Thank you to our partners in the audiology program for also joining in this year’s event. The Employee Volunteer Opportunities Committee (EVOC) is spearheading volunteers to help. More details are on the event calendar. Also please feel free to share the Facebook event link to help spread the word. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 415.400.8437. 

National Allied Health Professions Week is being celebrated November 7-13. It provides an opportunity to shine a light on the important role that allied health professionals play as part of today’s interconnected healthcare teams. These professionals are involved with the delivery of health or related services pertaining to the identification, evaluation, and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; rehabilitation and health systems management, among others. Allied health professionals include dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental lab technicians, diagnostic medical sonographers, dietitians, medical technologists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, physical therapists, radiographers, respiratory therapists, and speech language pathologists, to name just a few roles. To learn more, visit the ASAHP website.  

National Radiologic Technology Week is also being celebrated this week. It is an annual awareness event established by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists to celebrate the important role medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals play in patient care and health care safety. Thank you to our radiology technicians and the staff, students, residents, and faculty who are involved in providing radiology services to our patients here at the Dugoni School. To learn more, visit the ASRT website

We appreciate all of our professional colleagues who work across healthcare. Together, we play important roles in helping people lead healthy lives through our own unique talents and contributions.  

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.