Henry Schein Cares donated a generous amount of dental supplies to the Volunteers Around the World (UMass Amherst chapter). VAW is a non-governmental organization dedicated to providing medical and dental care to third world countries. My chapter of eight students from The University of Massachusetts Amherst worked with another chapter of eight students from Virginia Tech. We held clinics in two locations within Jarabocoa, Dominican Republic from January 3rd to January 7th, 2015. Jarabacoa is comprised of farmland and its economy is based on agriculture.
Three dental professionals from the Dominican Republic conducted procedures such as cleanings, fillings, and root canals while the students assisted in performing intake and sterilization, and shadowed such procedures. The students also provided demonstrations of proper oral hygiene and care after handing out bags comprised of a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, and dental floss to the patients. From January 3rd to January 5th, 2015, clinics were held in Piedra Blanca, a community in the hills outside of Jarabacoa. After the 3 days of operation we screened a total of 60 patients and saw a total of 45 patients.
On January 6th and January 7th, 2015, we operated a clinic at a school named Colegieo de Los Padres in Don Bosco, Jarabacoa. These clinics were held two days before the spring session began for the students. In attendance, desperate students and families lined the room seeking oral care. A total of 62 patients were screened, and of those, 53 patients were treated at this location.
Many of the people we dealt with were being taught the basics of oral hygiene for their first time. It was rewarding to be able to provide humanitarian aid to people who were truly in need and in pain. Many of the patients showed great gratitude for the group’s willingness to help others. One of the students, Niral Shah, mentioned that, “The opportunity to help others and receive first hand experience of dentistry while engaged in Dominican culture, language, and way of life has proven to be the most wonderful experience in my lifetime. Thank you Henry Schein, for “Helping Health Happen.”