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Good Friday morning and I hope you have had a safe and productive week.

This afternoon, we continue one of our long-standing traditions at the Dugoni School. The Asilomar Virtual Conference will be held for the DDS, IDS, and Dental Hygiene Classes of 2021.

We are looking forward to the program, slideshow video, guest speaker Mr. John Beede — Everest climber, global adventurer, entrepreneur, author and humanitarian — and other virtual activities. This will be the 53rd annual Asilomar gathering, and although we could not hold it on the Monterey Peninsula, we are still excited that we can continue the tradition of gathering together.

Thank you to the nearly 170 people who participated in our COVID-19 vaccine clinic on campus yesterday, either by getting the vaccine or by volunteering. We were also able to vaccinate members of dental teams and other health care providers who work in San Francisco referred to us by the San Francisco Dental Society and Department of Public Health.  It was wonderful to see more potentially lifesaving vaccines being administered by members of our Dugoni School family.

You may also have heard that the Moscone Convention Center is opening as a mass vaccination hub for members of the public who qualify for vaccines. Frontline healthcare workers and those age 65 and over who live and work in San Francisco qualify. Learn more and book an appointment.

As our collective fight against this virus continues, it is good to have additional tools at our disposal including the pending review of another vaccine by Johnson and Johnson on February 26 by an independent scientific review board.

Be well and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend, and a remember to stay safe and healthy.

Yesterday, President Callahan sent an update about the fact that undergraduate and graduate programs will remain primarily onlinewhen the new University term starts in January.  I would like to confirm that we continue to stay in touch with our local department of public health, and that the Dugoni School will continue to hold our didactic courses online and provide essential clinical care services in our clinics on site here on campus along with simulation training to prepare students for clinical care.

I would like to call your attention to a webinar taking place today at 9:00 am PT. Closing America's Oral Health Gap is presented by DentaQuest and hosted by Politico. Notable speakers will cover what it will take to improve access and quality of oral health care for Americans, especially for the most vulnerable. Learn more here

I would also like to share some links shared with me yesterday from the COVID-19 Public-Private Partner Dental Coordination Group. I realize this is a lot of information, but there are many developments taking place each day, particularly on the fast-moving topic of vaccine approval and distribution.

FDA Posts the Research Report on the Pfizer Vaccine:  The FDA posted online background material for this week’s upcoming Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) public meeting. The VRBPAC will meet in open session today (December 10), to discuss Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older.

December 10, 2020 – FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) Meeting to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, Inc. (livecast)

December 11, 2020 – Deadline for jurisdictions to tell CDC/OWS where they want their second allocations of vaccine to be delivered.

December 17, 2020 – FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) Meeting to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc. (live-cast)

HHS Publishes COVID-19 Hospital Facility-Level Data: HHS released new hospital COVID-19 capacity data at the facility level. Previously released data about hospital capacity that had been released was aggregated at the state level. This new, more granular data release aggregates daily hospital reports into a "week at a time" picture to protect patient privacy, while providing a view of how COVID-19 is impacting hospitals and local communities across the country. With this data release, how hospitals are impacted by COVID-19 will be shown on a per-hospital basis, allowing researchers, policy makers, and others to have greater insights into local COVID-19 response efforts. This time series data will update weekly, going back to August 1, 2020.

CombatCovid.hhs.gov is New Portal for Volunteers for Clinical Trials and Convalescent Plasma Donation:  How about a one-stop-shop for encouraging people to consider volunteering for prevention and treatment trials?  This is the place to go for those who either (1) have never had COVID-19 and are interested in participating in a prevention trial, or (2) have recovered from COVID-19 and would consider donating convalescent plasma to help others recover.

Study of Healthcare Workers Shows COVID-19 Immunity Lasts Many Months: NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins released a blogpost about a study among healthcare workers that shows COVID-19 immunity lasts many months. New findings from a study of thousands of healthcare workers in England show that those who got COVID-19 and produced antibodies against the virus are highly unlikely to become infected again, at least over the several months that the study was conducted. In the rare instances in which someone with acquired immunity for SARS-CoV-2 subsequently tested positive for the virus within a six month period, they never showed any signs of being ill.

OSAP Webinars: Thank you to Professor Eve Cuny for your involvement in these webinars!  The Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) is holding a four-part COVID-19 Webinar Series providing specific infection prevention and control information for dental settings. These webinars will be recorded for future access and each will be worth 1 CE hour (ADA CERP Credit), provided through OSAP. The next webinar, COVID-19 Guidance for Dental Assistants, will be held on Friday, December 11, at 4:00 pm ET / 1:00 pm PT. Register here

To end this long update about the advancements of science to help overcome the fear around the pandemic, I thought it appropriate to end with this quote.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” ―Marie Curie

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,

I would like to celebrate the members of our Dental Hygiene Class of 2020 as well as Dr. Dalal Hasan, the newest graduate of our International General Dentist Educator Program.

Our Dental Hygiene class was scheduled to have their pinning ceremony this past Saturday. They have already finished their finals since the academic calendar for the Dental Hygiene program runs on a semester basis.

Congratulations to the following members of the DH Class of 2020:

  • Kayla Dinh
  • Lionel Gowans
  • Seerat Kaur
  • Amy Lee
  • Leah Munyiri
  • Jacqueline Palma
  • Ajah Piper
  • Stephanie Suen
  • Steph Tu
  • Penelope Zheng

I would also like to thank Program Director Lory Laughter and all of the faculty and staff who support the program. Together you have created one of the strongest Dental Hygiene programs in California and we are proud of your leadership.

We took this class photo in mid-February (before physical distancing). It was a beautiful opportunity to gather for a moment with the class from a unique vantage point on the top of our building. This class has a bright future ahead of them and we are proud of their achievements.

In addition, I would like to congratulate Dr. Dalal Hasan, our Global Scholar from Kuwait. She is the newest graduate of our International General Dentist Educator Program.

She completed a two-year AEGD experience with us (graduating in 2017), then earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Pacific’s Benerd College. Dalal will return to Kuwait to begin her teaching career there. A special thank you to Dr. Allen Wong for overseeing our resident experience in this program and Dr. Cindy Lyon for her leadership of this collaborative program.

Congratulations to Dalal on this significant achievement!