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dental hygiene class of 2022

A special note of congratulations to the Dental Hygiene Class of 2022, which celebrated its pinning ceremony last Saturday on campus. The milestone event also included awards, remarks from students and faculty members, senior superlatives, a student video, and more. We will have more opportunities to celebrate the graduates during the upcoming Commencement Weekend in June. Attached is a group picture from the event and more photos are available in the online photo gallery.

It is exciting to see more in-person community outreach events planned as part of the Dugoni School’s commitment to serving the public. Next week, the Union City Dental Care Center, the Southern Alameda County Dental Society and the Dugoni School are partnering on two outreach opportunities. Thanks in advance to all of the volunteers for your great outreach efforts.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month. As dental professionals, we have a unique opportunity to potentially save lives through screenings, early detection, and treatment. About 54,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancers of the mouth, throat, tonsils, and tongue. A few resources to explore include the Top 5 Risk Factors for Oral Cancer from the American Dental Association and Oral Cancer Facts from the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Oral healthcare is critical to overall health and well-being and these are all examples of the important role that we play in diagnosis and prevention as we train outstanding humanistic providers and achieve our purpose of helping people lead healthy lives.

"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." –Coretta Scott King

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, a time to celebrate the work dental hygienists do as part of the oral healthcare team. Many countries around the world do not have formalized training for dental hygiene, but in the United States we are fortunate to have robust educational pathways, including our very strong Dental Hygiene program. This month’s Inside Dental Hygiene magazine features an article, "Shaping the Future", with insights from Professor Lory Laughter about the next generation of leaders in the profession.

In some statewide news, on October 8, Governor Newsom signed a new law that gives dentists permanent authority to administer COVID-19 and influenza vaccines. Also, California-licensed dentists can also now apply for the requisite laboratory licensure to administer rapid COVID-19 tests in the dental office. Read an overview article and the text of the law.

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.