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I would like to call your attention to research published late last week with evidence that novel coronavirus infects the mouth’s cells. The potential of the virus to infect multiple areas of the body might help explain the wide-ranging symptoms experienced by COVID-19 patients, including oral symptoms such as taste loss, dry mouth, and blistering. You will find other insights from the article “SARS-CoV-2 Infection of the Oral Cavity and Saliva” published in Nature Medicine.

It is encouraging that researchers around the world are continuing to uncover the mysteries of SARS-CoV-2 and its connection to the oral cavity and the rest of the body.  This work reminds us of the importance of scholarship in enhancing the art and science of our profession and expanding our knowledge and understanding of health.  I had the opportunity to participate in a program with Brazilian physicist and astronomer Marcelo Gleiser and I am reminded of another of my favorite quotes.

As the island of Knowledge grows, so do the shores of our ignorance – the boundary between the known and the unknown. Learning more about the world doesn’t lead to a point closer to a final destination but to more questions and mysteries.” –Marcelo Gleiser

Be well and stay curious.

The recent increase of violence toward the Asian community has created an unmistakable heaviness felt around Atlanta, Georgia, the nation, and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  We would like to add our support to President Christopher Callahan’s statement addressing the attacks on Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, released on Friday, March 19, 2021.  Here at the Dugoni School, we also denounce any violence and all acts and expressions of racism toward the AAPI community.  To our AAPI students, faculty, staff, alumni, patients, and friends, I stand with you and am here to support you in every way possible.

As the Dugoni School Family, I ask that you stand with me in solidarity alongside our Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander communities against the ongoing acts of hate, bias, and racism.

Today, and every day, we affirm our commitment to continue our work toward a safer and more humanistic educational environment. We understand that at the root of these violent acts is a system that must be reimagined and built to lift everyone up, which can be accomplished by continuing conversations about ignorance and intolerance while we continue to build each other up. In collaboration with University President Callahan; Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, incoming Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and diversity committees, we are committed to expanding our curriculum, educational programming and other opportunities that support diversity, equity, and inclusion within our four walls and within the community. However, we cannot do this without each of you.

I hope that together, we can establish Access, Belonging, and Compassion as the ABCs of our next normal in oral health education and society.

The Office of Student Services is coordinating a round table discussion for our San Francisco Campus, which will be a safe space for support, conversation, and reflection.  Please be on the lookout for more information.  In the meantime, I urge you to check in with your classmates, students, colleagues, patients, and loved ones.

Additional links

I will end this statement of support with a quote by social activist, Grace Lee Boggs:

“Ive come to believe that you cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it.”

Be well and stay safe,

During our upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Saturday, February 13, we are now able to open appointments to people living in San Francisco who are age 65+. If you have family members or friends who meet this criteria, they can make an appointment here.

Yesterday, the CDC released some updated guidance about face coverings and masks. With concern over the new COVID-19 variants, there is an increasing emphasis on ensuring masks and face coverings are as protective as possible.

Wearing a mask — any mask — reduces the risk of infection with the coronavirus, but wearing a more tightly fitted surgical mask, or layering a cloth mask atop a surgical mask, can increase protections to the wearer and others. Learn more on the CDC website.

On Saturday, February 13, we are providing COVID-19 vaccines to first responders, public health workers, and individuals age 75+ who are residents of San Francisco. 

As we are continuing to roll out COVID-19 vaccines to help protect our communities and answer questions from friends, family members and patients, please remember to reference trusted sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control. Here are a few links that may be helpful.

Be well, stay informed, and stay safe.

This Saturday, February 13, we are pleased to be able to offer COVID-19 vaccines to San Francisco Fire Department first responders and public health workers with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. It is a privilege to provide this wonderful service to our community.

Also, if you have friends, family, or neighbors who work as first responders (police, fire and EMTs), a reminder that our Orthodontic Clinic is offering a 20% discount on orthodontic treatment for first responders and their family members. Learn more by emailing or calling 415.929.6555.

We have enjoyed nearly 125 years of service to our community and I am proud to see the University of the Pacific, Dugoni School continuing as a strong partner in health and wellness.