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Dear Dugoni School Family,

I hope you were able to enjoy some time away from your screens during this beautiful weekend.  I find it hard to believe that it has been five weeks since we were all together in our school home at 155 Fifth Street. We have all adapted with a positive attitude and shifted to teaching, learning, and work from home to keep one another safe. It has not been easy, and I am sure you feel some of the same frustrations that I feel. I miss seeing you in person when I would walk through the building. I miss our celebrations and the warmth of our humanistic culture and environment. I am confident that we will make it through this with the grit and perseverance that I see in so many of you. George Washington said, “perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” Our perseverance and spirit will do wonders in making the Dugoni School family grow and excel through these challenges.

During our Virtual Brown Bag with the Class of 2020 on April 10, some students came up with a very forward-looking and generous idea to support patients in need, once we are able to resume clinical services. We know there will be great need in the community as the financial impacts of the pandemic continue to burden our society.

Students asked whether the funds from the Dr. Henry A. Sutro Oral Rehabilitation Award, for this year only, could be transitioned to our patient care fund to support continuing care for patients who may now be facing economic hardships due to COVID-19. The $100,000 amount would be a significant addition to our fund, which targets chronically underserved individuals in our community.

The funds come from an endowment established by the late Dr. Henry Sutro ’50 and his family. We reached out to the Sutro family last week and they have graciously agreed to this idea. We thank them for their vision and generosity in supporting the change for this year.

As a result, many patients in financial need will be able to have their treatment subsidized. Students, too, will benefit as they will be able to obtain patient experiences that they will need to complete their training, once we are able to resume clinical care.

I also would like to thank the members of the Dugoni School family who pitched in to make a donation to the Dugoni School Student/Patient Emergency Fund. This crowdfunding project has generated nearly $8,000 in donations from 30 people. Thank you for your generosity in helping to grow this fund and help people in need. If you would like to provide support to this critical use, please follow the link here and support the Emergency Fund.

I want to end with gratitude for the incredible generosity of our students in coming up with this idea and our residents, faculty, staff, and alumni.  I cannot say enough about how much you all touch my heart as you continue to live the very best of our values and look for ways to help and support other members of the Dugoni School family and our communities.

Difficult times can bring out the best in people or they can bring out the worst.  This incredibly difficult pandemic has created an opportunity to bring out the very best of the Dugoni School family… I see it bringing out the very best in each of you.

Thank you and be well,

Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD
Dean

Dear Dugoni School Family,

As we continue preparing for our return and the healthcare professions and society take a greater interest in personal protective equipment to create safe environments, I wanted to share a blog post written by researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Two types of devices are most commonly used in the healthcare setting:  N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) and surgical masks (commonly called facemasks). When worn by healthcare professionals, FFRs protect the wearer from inhaling respiratory particles, and surgical masks protect others when the wearer of the mask may have a respiratory infection.

FFRs should have a tight seal between the wearer’s face and the mask, which is the primary difference from a surgical mask.  These are worn when treating patients who have an infectious disease transmitted though airborne particles, such as tuberculosis, measles, and influenza when there is potential for aerosolization of respiratory secretions.  As an interim precaution during the current pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends dental healthcare personnel wear the highest level PPE available, including FFRs when treating dental emergencies, and that providers delay all other dental treatment.  This is currently not a permanent recommendation to wear N95 respirators in dentistry.

Above all, this is a reminder for all of us that we should continue to focus on improving our commitment to the evidence-based protocols that already exist—and strengthening a safety culture. Outbreaks of blood borne diseases in dentistry are closely linked to lack of adherence to current guidelines. As the blog post points out, adherence to infection control recommendations can be bolstered with training, observation, metrics, and reinforcing a safety culture.

On a separate note, I also wanted to share a beautiful performance from Easter Sunday by Andrea Bocelli, who performed at the Duomo cathedral of Milan. His live solo performance was broadcast to a global audience via YouTube and was designed to bring a message of love, healing, and hope to Italy and the world.  I hope you enjoy this beautiful and uplifting performance.

Thank you again for all of your kind words and support.  We will continue to update you with new information and news, and we will certainly make it through this one day at a time with an eye toward a bright future for the entire Dugoni School family.

The national celebration of “Dental Assistants Recognition Week” takes place every March. We would like to thank the many dental assistants we have on our campus, and those we work with regularly at affiliated community sites throughout the Bay Area.

This year’s theme is “A 20/20 Dental Assistant — Looking Toward the Future” and acknowledges the growing importance of dentistry’s role in health care and the responsibilities of dental assistants. Feel free to visit the American Dental Assistants Association website to learn more.

Dental assistants are an essential part of the oral healthcare team and our clinics would not be as successful without their skills. So, be sure to thank our dental assistants as you work with them this week, and throughout the rest of the year.

Dear Dugoni School Family,

As we celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month and National Dental Hygiene Month, I would like to thank our orthodontic and dental hygiene teams for all they do to serve our students, residents, and patients in October and throughout the year.

National Orthodontic Health Month

This year, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is taking a new direction in observing National Orthodontic Health Month, which is also National Bullying Prevention Month. The AAO has teamed up with anti-bullying organization Stand for the Silent and invites members worldwide to help to raise awareness of the effects of bullying. Learn more about the Stand for the Silent initiative.

National Dental Hygiene Month 

Communications are designed this month to promote good oral health in the community and the wonderful work of dental hygienists. There is more information about this year's partnerships on the ADHA website.

Also, feel free to explore resources and information on the California Dental Hygienists' Association website.

Please join me in taking a moment to acknowledge the efforts of our hard working ortho and dental hygiene teams.

Thank you