A few years ago Christina Shin, fourth year dental student at UCSF, participated in a community outreach event at the Janet Pomeroy Center (JPC), a nationally recognized after-school program for children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities. While there, she realized the extent of the need for oral health instruction for this underserved and vulnerable population.
She was accepted into the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, through which she designed a project to provide personalized oral hygiene instuction for 50 students at JPC each week for 8 weeks. She concurrently designed a research project to identify the specific barriers in toothbrushing that these students face.
Oral healthcare equipment manufacturer Sonicare was thrilled with her project, and donated 50 electric toothbrushes.
Each week, Christina dressed up as the Tooth Fairy and led a team of general practice residents and Dr. Sophia Saeed (of UCSF Dentistry's General Practice Residency & Hospital Dentistry program) to provide oral health instruction and collect study data. The Tooth Fairy became an integral part of Wednesday afternoons at the JPC, as her sincerity and compassion became recognized by the students and staff.
Drs. Brent Lin and Sophia Saeed were happy to provide mentorship for her Schweitzer Fellowship and look forward to seeing her publish the results of her study. For her work, Christina was selected for the Student Awards and Recognition Program from the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities and the Special Care Dentistry Association.
The award was presented to her by Dean John D. B. Featherstone and one of her mentors, Dr. Sophia Saeed, Assistant Clinical Professor and Director, General Practice Residency & Hospital Dentistry.
Pictured (left to right): Dr. Saeed, Christina Shin, Dean Featherstone