Third-year UCSF dental student Kaitlin Jennison has received the American Public Health Association's Pre-Professional Jong Award, recognizing "an outstanding community-based research or service project of an oral health nature".
"My project is to institute midday toothbrushing programs at preschools in the SF Bay Area which serve needy children" says Jennison.
"This program ensures that children brush their teeth at least once per day. I have been working in collaboration with the San Francisco Department of Health, as a public health nurse has been assigned to each of these preschools. At our visits, we teach the children how to brush their teeth using oral hygiene puppets and different skits. We also show the teachers how to perform the daily toothbrushing routine with all of their children seated at the lunch tables after lunch. Finally, we install toothbrush racks in the schools for proper storage. Throughout the year we offer an oral hygiene curriculum, should the schools choose to participate. We also supply them with all of the supplies they need at no cost."
Continues Jennison: "This Spring I got together a group of UCSF dental students tudents to help me sustain this program, including Cai Zhang, Ava Chung, Amir Dagar-Yeganeh, Antonio Diaz, Todor Stavrev, Jeff Youngberg, and Sarah Forbes. With my entrance to clinic, these students will be able to help keep the program going, as I will have less time to travel to the schools. I will continue this program until graduation, and then transfer it to someone else."
The award includes a cash award, a one-year membership in the APHA's Oral Health Section, and registration at the APHA's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC from October 29 to November 2, 2011, at which Jennison will be presented with the award.
Margaret Fisher of the San Francisco Department of Health and volunteer faculty at UCSF Dentistry in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, as well as Lisa Chung, Division of Oral Epidemiology & Dental Public Health, helped mentor/advise Jennison on her project and award.
Pictured: Kaitlin Jennison
Link: American Public Health Association