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The latest headlines in Dentistry news from around the world.

Students Humbled and Inspired by Jamaica Dental Mission Trip

6:01 PM | Aug 11, 2015

By Southern Illinois

2015 Jamaica Dental Mission Trip Volunteers Tiffany Krimminger and Yasmyn KnightIn the span of one week, more than 1,000 underserved and underprivileged kids and adults in Jamaica received much-needed dental care and medical consultation from future dental and pharmacy professionals. Students from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SDM) and the SIUE School of Pharmacy (SOP) provided the care during the 16th annual Jamaica Dental Mission trip July 18-25.

“The days were long and sweating was extensive, but the reward in treating these people was priceless,” reflected Brandon Crivello, Year IV SIU SDM student. “I was overwhelmed several times by the amount of gratitude and appreciation that the patients expressed.”

Approximately 70 student and professional volunteers provided care at three Jamaican clinics daily. Year III and IV SDM students, under dentist supervision, offered basic oral hygiene education and performed comprehensive dental examinations, preventative and restorative treatment and extractions.

Under the supervision of pharmacists, SOP students provided services to patients before, and sometimes after, their dental work. They completed patient histories and blood pressure and blood glucose screenings.

2015 Jamaica Dental Mission Trip VolunteersDr. Poonam Jain, professor and director of the SIU SDM’s Community and Preventative Dentistry Program has volunteered with the mission for seven years. She says of the experience, “Nothing can compare with the feeling of fulfillment that working for the underprivileged provides. I am greatly inspired by the Jamaican locals who volunteer every single year and work long hours with us, helping greatly with the logistics and clinical care.  Once you go on this mission, it pulls you back year after year.”  

SOP student participant Yasmyn Knight returned home from the trip with a reignited sense of purpose. According to Knight, she is now looking at other national and international opportunities to assist communities through the profession of pharmacy.

“I appreciated the opportunity to combine my love for pharmacy and my desire to serve underserved communities, while working with other healthcare professions,” said Knight, Year III SOP student. “I can say without a doubt that I was thoroughly blessed by being a part of this great mission. I can only hope that the Jamaican community feels the same.”

Students from Howard University and Creighton University also took part in the mission trip. The Rotary Club of Montego Bay provided support for the trip. All participants were volunteers and paid for their flight, accommodations and food.

Photos: Tiffany Krimminger, Year III SIU SDM student (L) and Yasmyn Knight, Year III SOP student (R) smile with a young girl from Jamaica.

Brandon Crivello, Year IV SIU SDM student (third from R) poses with a group of volunteers.