On April 22, 2015 dental students from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry provided oral screenings to the students at Almansor Academy. Almansor Academy is a school in South Pasadena, CA for students with emotional and intellectual disabilities. Individuals with intellectual disabilities are an underserved population that have historically not received the same standard of care as others. This promoted my selection of Almansor Academy as the location for my 2014-2015 Los Angeles Chapter Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. I designed my own 200 hour service project where I provided oral hygiene instruction to classrooms, and the culmination of my project was to offer students oral screenings. By teaming up with Henry Schein Cares and the USC Mobile Clinic, 79 students were screened. Of those 79 students, 19 students were identified to need immediate dental care, and 27 others were identified to need dental care within the next few weeks. Based on this data, the USC Mobile Clinic has been investigating ways to extend treatment opportunities to the students of Almasor Academy.
All of the students were also given one-on-one oral hygiene instruction. They were each taught how to properly brush and floss, and why it is so important. My Albert Schweitzer Fellowship project was called Own Your Smile, and the importance of personal responsibility in oral healthcare was emphasized with each student. Thanks to Henry Schein Cares, the students were also able to take home a tooth brush, toothpaste and floss of their own. One student stopped me on the way out and said, “Ms. Allison, thank you so much for all of this stuff.” He was holding his oral hygiene bag over his head and he seemed pretty proud and extremely grateful. The principal of the school mentioned that these students don’t often get special things, and she was very appreciative of the dental supplies that we provided for the students. It is hard to describe how incredible it feels to be able to make these students feel special and important, even if it is just for a short time, and we could not have done that without the help of Henry Schein Cares.