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Two leading dental publications are taking an in-depth look at diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) and the roles that educators and practitioners can play in enhancing our profession and improving care for all.

I had the pleasure to co-edit the October issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association, which focuses on the theme “DEIB: Looking to a Future of Equity and Excellence.”  I encourage you to explore the full issue here. It also includes articles from Dr. Mary J. Lomax-Ghirarduzzi, Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, at University of the Pacific, and Dr. Elisa Chávez, professor at the Dugoni School and Director of our Pacific Center for Equity in Oral Health Care.

The September issue of the American Dental Education Association’s Journal of Dental Education also focuses on ways that the dental education community can strengthen its dedication to DEIB and commitment to health equity.

Explore the full issue here. Along with our last two ADEA principal officers, I was invited to co-author a piece about “HURE Leadership Pathways: A New Landscape of Value, Intentionality, and Belief.” In addition, Dugoni School faculty member Dr. Michelle Brady co-authored two of the articles available here and here.

Also we are proud that one of our students, Aishu Ravivarapu, has been recognized as the 2022 AAOMS Best Poster Award Winner during the recent Annual Meeting and Scientific Session of the association.  Congratulations to student Dr. Ravivarapu and her mentor Dr. Fatima Mashkoor.

The American Dental Education Association has announced a call for Programs, Posters and TechExpo presentations for next year’s ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition, scheduled for March 11-14, 2023, in Portland, OR. Please take a look at the entry details and consider a submission so we can have a strong showing from the Dugoni School at the event. The Annual Session will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the organization. Submission details are available here.

Thank you to our CDA student leaders for stepping up to organize the recent CDA Contacts networking event last week and also to those who participated in the CDA Grassroots Advocacy Days. Our first-year student Kenza Schreiber was recently spotlighted in the CDA article “California dental students advocate for dentistry, patients during Grassroots Advocacy Days.”

We recently received some good news about an alumnus, Dr. Dan Hammer, who was selected as the HJF Hero of Military Medicine Navy Honoree. The HMM awards recognize outstanding contributions by senior leaders, medical professionals, and civilians who distinguished themselves through excellence and dedication to advancing military medicine and enhancing the lives and health of our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured service members, veterans, their families, and civilians. Read about Dr. Hammer’s path in the profession and service to others.

Today, March 8, is the celebration of International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. March is also Women’s History Month and there are a variety of events and activities being held locally and across University of the Pacific to mark the occasion.

Thank you to the women who are part of the Dugoni School family for what you do each day for the school, our communities, families, friends, and others in your lives.

We are fortunate to have many inspiring women leaders here at the Dugoni School and across the profession. Thank you to our American Association of Women Dentists Student Chapter for elevating and supporting each other through various initiatives and activities over the last  five years. Our DEI Committee also brings a spotlight to women during this month and throughout the year. At the local, state, and national level, we have seen Dugoni School women leaders rise and take key roles in many organizations, including the CDA, ADEA, and ADA. Thank you for serving the profession and inspiring the next generation of women dental professionals.

Over recent years, the percentage of dentists who are women is growing. The Dugoni School is part of that trend, and in recent years we have generally had a 50-50 gender split among our incoming DDS classes. Learn more about the trends in women in dentistry in this ADA article

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” –Maya Angelou

I am grateful for all of you who help strengthen our humanistic educational environment and sense of belonging so everyone who walks into our building is supported and empowered to be their very best.

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.)