Author Archives: David Jones

Dental Student Government officers assume their roles in 2017-2018

The ECU School of Dental Medicine’s Dental Student Government (DSG) officers have been selected for 2017-2018. The officers include Maria Isabel “Bel” Rego, president; Kiersten Bethea, vice president; Taylor Windley, secretary; Alexis Webb, treasurer; and Briana Hudson, community service chair.

The DSG represents the dental student body and acts as a guide in all academic and social matters. The role of the officers is to develop and implement projects that advance the School of Dental Medicine and the dental profession overall.

When asked what the DSG hopes to accomplish this year, President Bel Rego said, “We want to promote leadership, unity, and integrity while fostering an inclusive environment that values our students’ perspectives, stands by the well-being of all students, and provides an opportunity for all.”

ECU School of Dental Medicine Dental Student Government (DSG) officers for 2017-2018 are (seated left to right) Bel Rego, president; Kiersten Bethea, vice president; (standing left to right) Alexis Webb, treasurer; Taylor Windley, secretary; and Briana Hudson, community service chair.

ECU School of Dental Medicine Dental Student Government (DSG) officers for 2017-2018 are (seated left to right) Bel Rego, president; Kiersten Bethea, vice president; (standing left to right) Alexis Webb, treasurer; Taylor Windley, secretary; and Briana Hudson, community service chair.

Maria Isabel “Bel” Rego, president, is a third-year student from Winston Salem, N.C. She became DSG president after a successful year as DSG treasurer in 2016-2017. She is a graduate of Salem College and has worked with health equity and minority research for several years at Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity. She earned a master’s degree in health education and promotion from ECU in 2014 and is a certified health education specialist (CHES) and a member of the North Carolina Society of Public Health Education.

Kiersten Bethea, vice president, is a third-year student from Greensboro, N.C. She graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 2014 with a major in biology. Prior to dental school, she worked as a dental assistant in an oral surgery practice. In 2016-2017, she served as community service chair for both the DSG and the Student National Dental Association, and she has served on several committees at the dental school. As a North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellow, Kiersten is collaborating with an ECU Brody School of Medicine student in working with community providers to offer oral health care to the homeless.

Taylor Windley, secretary, is a second-year student from Zebulon, N.C. As secretary, she serves as the communication link between the DSG and the student body. She graduated with distinction from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2016, majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and archaeology. She is chair of philanthropy for the school’s DMD student organization. She is especially interested in research in the area of pregnancy and infants; she is a member of the school’s Research Scholarship Committee. Upon graduation from dental school, Taylor hopes to become the third generation of dentists in her family to practice in North Carolina.

Alexis Webb, treasurer, is a second-year student from Durham, N.C. She is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, where she earned a chemistry degree and was a leader on and off the volleyball court and softball field, participarting in community service and mentoring programs. She earned a master’s in medical sciences from Hampton University. As DSG treasurer, Alexis guides student organizations in the appropriate handling and use of funds. Following graduation, she hopes to practice dentistry and engage in community outreach in an underserved area of North Carolina.

Briana Hudson, community service chair, is a second-year student from Greenville, N.C. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she majored in exercise and sports science. She completed a post-baccalaureate degree in pre-health at UNC-Greensboro. She has held several leadership positions at the dental school, including community service chair for the Class of 2020 and for the American Dental Student Association. She has also served as event and networking coordinator for the Student National Dental Association. As DSG community service chair, she helps coordinate the school’s student outreach projects. Upon graduation from dental school, Briana hope to practice dentistry in a rural area of the state.

“We are delighted to have such an excellent group of Dental Student Government leaders as our officers this year. I know they will carry on the tradition of outstanding DSG leadership and build upon the achievements of their predecessors. At the School of Dental Medicine, we are educating dentists AND leaders,” said Dr. Margaret Wilson, the school’s vice dean and associate dean for student affairs.

Acela Martinez Luna, DMD, MS receives Straumann Scholarship for New Periodontists

Acela Martinez Luna, DMD, MS, clinical assistant professor of periodontology at the ECU School of Dental Medicine Department of Surgical Sciences, has been awarded a 2017 Straumann Scholarship for New Periodontists.

Through the generous support of Straumann, the American Academy of Periodontology competitively awarded 17 scholarships to new U.S. and Canadian periodontists. Dr. Martinez Luna received the scholarship award at the recent American Academy of Periodontology Annual Meeting in Boston at the student/new periodontist session titled, “Pearls and Pitfalls: What I Wish I had Known After Residency.”

Acela Martinez Luna, DMD, MS

Acela Martinez Luna, DMD, MS

The scholarship includes a stipend to be used towards Annual Meeting expenses. Dr. Martinez Luna will also be recognized in the December 2017 issue of Periospectives, the magazine of the American Academy of Periodontology.

Dr. Martinez Luna joined the surgical sciences faculty in July 2017. She grew up in Mexico City in a family of dentists. Her mother is a practicing periodontist, and her father is a general dentist. She earned a doctor of dental medicine degree from Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi in Mexico in 2009. Thereafter, she completed certificate training in restorative dentistry at Centro de Estudios Odontologicos de Queretaro in 2011.

Following in the footsteps of her mother, Dr. Martinez Luna pursued specialty training and completed the advanced education program in periodontology at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry (periodontics certificate and master’s degree in 2015). As a postdoctoral student and resident, she investigated the osteogenic activity associated with dental implant placement in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Offenbacher, UNC-Chapel Hill W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor.

Following her specialty training, Dr. Martinez Luna embarked on a one-year fellowship in advanced implant dentistry focused on complex implant treatment planning, bone augmentation, three dimensional imaging and printing uses (e.g., stent fabrication, guided surgery, prosthesis fabrication and delivery), and implant prosthodontics.

Dr. Martinez Luna is also the recipient of a Straumann S.U.P.E.R. Grant (2015), the North Carolina American Association of Dental Research Section Derek T. Turner Student Research Award (2015), and the UNC-Chapel Hill Elsie and Baxter Sapp Fellowship Award (2014).

Prior to joining ECU, Dr. Martinez Luna practiced periodontics and implant dentistry in the city of Queretaro, Mexico. She is a diplomate with the American Board of Periodontology.

According to its website, Straumann is a “global leader in implant, restorative and regenerative dentistry.” Learn more at http://www.straumann.com/.

Research event highlights pulpal regeneration and showcases student work

 Is it possible that root canals could soon become a thing of the past? It’s quite likely according to Kenneth Hargreaves, DDS, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Endodontics, UT Health, San Antonio, Texas.
Dr. Kenneth Hargreaves, DDS, PhD

Dr. Kenneth Hargreaves, DDS, PhD

Dr. Hargreaves’ presentation “Regeneration Endodontics: From Stem Cells to Biologically Based Endodontic Procedures” resonated with faculty, residents, students, and staff attending the School of Dental Medicine’s annual Celebration of Research and Scholarship on August 23.

Hargreaves, a longtime endodontist and researcher, explained the steps involved in contemporary regenerative endodontic procedures designed to replace damaged tooth structures and promote healing within the tooth.

“Although much remains to be done to advance this field, progress has been made in clinical regenerative endodontic procedures, literally saving teeth by regenerating a functional pulp-dentin complex,” Hargreaves said.

Hargreaves, who also maintains a private endodontics practice, has received numerous national awards for his research and has published more than 160 articles, two textbooks, and serves as editor of the Journal of Endodontics.

Dr. Jay Golden, ECU vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement; Dr. Greg Chadwick, dean of the School of Dental Medicine; and Dr. Sharon Gordon, the school’s associate dean for research, welcomed the faculty, staff, residents, and students seated in Ross Hall as well as those at Community Service Learning Centers across the state via teleconference.

Dr. Golden outlined ECU’s plans to double its research expenditures over the next five years. He said interdisciplinary research will be at the forefront. The university will form eight core research clusters bringing faculty and students together from across the campus. Researchers must work together “to provide the next generation of strategies to reduce chronic disease,” said Golden.

The annual celebration calls attention to the school’s research agenda and gives predoctoral students and their faculty mentors a forum for showcasing research with the potential to improve oral health.

Following the keynote address, Dr. V. Wallace McCarlie, clinical assistant professor in the Division of Orthodontics and advisor to the school’s Student Research Group recognized the winners of the day’s poster competition. Winners were selected by a panel of faculty and will represent the school at national conferences over the next year.

Luke Current

Luke Current

Third-year student Luke Current received the American Dental Association/Dentsply Sirona Clinical Research Program Award. Luke will be competing at the dental student research competition known as “SCADA” at the upcoming American Association of Dental Research (AADR) meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in 2018.

Third-year student Matthew Moore presented “Childhood Dental Caries Assessment: A Cross Sectional Study Comparing dmft Index of Fluoridated and Non-Fluoridated Counties in North Carolina.” Matthew will participate in the Hinman Student Research Symposium, a student-focused national meeting featuring presentations by students and graduate trainees from dental schools across North America.

Matthew Moore

Matthew Moore

First-year student Kayla Locklear presented “Geofencing: Mobile Technology as a Health Promotion Tool to Raise Awareness of a Dental Clinic in Rural North Carolina.” She will participate in the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

First-year student James Parker, Jr. presented “Antifungal Effect of Capric Acid Against Candida Albicans in Vitro.” James will compete at the SCADA competition during the American Dental Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in 2019.

First-year student Bryan Yang presented “Antimicrobial Activity of Honokiol Against Periodontal Pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans: An In Vitro Study.” He will participate in the American Dental Association Foundation Colgate Dental Students’ Conference on Research sponsored by the American Dental Association in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

First-year student Tashana Detwiler presented “Prevalence of Elevated Blood Pressure Among Emergency Adult Dental Patients Presenting to an Emergency Dental Clinic.” She will participate in the American Association of Dental Research (AADR) meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.First year students (left to right) Kayla Locklear; James Parker, Jr.; Bryan Yang; and Tashana Detwiler will represent the school at national conferences.

Posters presentations at the Celebration of Research and Scholarship included the following:

Developing a Pre-Clinical Mouse Model of HPV-driven Oral Cancer
A.L. Amelio, M.B. Carper, S. Troutman, K.M. Byrd, E.C. Henry, S.A. Montgomery, S. E. Williams, J. Kissil

The Detrimental Manifestations Surrounding Betel Quid Use:  A Narrative Review
Bryant, E. Qureshi, K. Weiss, A. Hasan

Effects of Expanding the Implementation of the Prenatal Oral Health Program
Davis, L. Karan, G. Crain, K. Gise, S. Smith, R. Spain

Prevalence of Elevated Blood Pressure Among Emergency Adult Dental Patients Presenting to an Emergency Dental Clinic
Detwiler, K. Gise

Risk Factors for Dental Outpatient Anesthesia and Sedation Procedures Derived from Deaths Reported in the Public Domain
R.A. Dionne

Antifungal Properties of Berberine Chloride on Various Species of Candida in vitro
Hasan, J.R. Parker, B. Yang, J. Cope Meyers, L. Ferreira, M. Murata

Geofencing:  Mobile Technology as a Health Promotion Tool to Raise Awareness of a Dental Clinic in Rural North Carolina
B.K. Locklear, A.  Rafferty, M. Tucker-McLaughlin, Winterbauer, W. Wright

Oral Health Literacy Correlated with Oral Health Status in Eastern North Carolina
V.W. McCarlie, S.V. Dave, C. Kennedy, L. Karan, V. Nguyen, E.C. Mehaffey, M.I. Baltar Rego, G.J. Eckert*, K.T. Stewart*

Antifungal Effect of Capric Acid Against Candida Albicans in vitro
J.R. Parker Jr., D. Hasan, L.E.N. Ferreira, J. Cope Meyers, R.M. Murata

Childhood Dental Caries Assessment: A Cross Sectional Study Comparing dmft Index of Fluoridated and Non-Fluoridated Counties in NC
M.I. Rego, A.C. Green, M.R. Moore, P.M. Kriska, E.B.W. Maltba, G. A. Camargo I. Hasan, R. Murata,

Matrix and Cell-Based Study of the Effect of Dietary Fruit Extracts on Bone Healing In Vivo
A.G. Robinson, J.M. Souza, Jr, S.A. Tuin, J.G.O. de Souza, M.A. Bianchini, P.A. Miquez

Antimicrobial Activity of Honokiol Against Periodontal Pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans: An In Vitro Study

New Video Assists Patients

Need a dentist? This new Patient Welcome Video is a quick overview of the oral health services offered by our school in Greenville. Our eight Community Service Learning Centers across North Carolina also offer a full range of services. Learn more about our services by watching this video.

Brianna Chavis-Locklear ’20 receives the Society of American Indian Dentists Proctor and Gamble Scholarship

Brianna Chavis-Locklear, a second-year student at the ECU School of Dental Medicine, has received a scholarship from the Society of American Indian Dentists sponsored by Proctor and Gamble.

Ms. Chavis-Locklear, who is originally from Pembroke, N.C., is a student member of the Society of American Indian Dentists and a member of the Lumbee Tribe. She earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“The scholarship application included an essay section describing how receiving this scholarship would allow me to enhance and advance the dental health of American Indian people,” said Chavis-Locklear. “My main goal is to bring positive change through oral health care to the lives of other American Indians as well as other underserved North Carolinians.”

Brianna Chavis-Locklear ‘20 received a 2017 Society of American Indian Dentists Proctor and Gamble Scholarship. Dean Greg Chadwick and Vice Dean Maggie Wilson presented the scholarship to Brianna.

She also hopes to serve as a role model for American Indians who are considering pursuing dentistry and serving the oral health needs of the underserved, especially American Indians.

Dr. Margaret Wilson, the dental school’s vice dean and associate dean for student affairs, stated, “We are particularly proud of students like Brianna, who plan to use their skills as dentists to meet oral health needs within their own communities. Through such dedication, our graduates fulfill the mission of the ECU School of Dental Medicine.”

Chavis-Locklear serves as class representative to the ECU Student Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. As an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel, she was banquet co-chair for the Carolina Indian Circle; minority advisor for the minority advising program; and service coordinator for the Undergraduate Student National Dental Association.

She attended the 2017 Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, in June and was recognized among dental students from across the country who received SAID scholarships.

During her fourth-year of dental school, she and her classmates will gain hands-on clinical experience treating patients during rotations at the school’s community service learning centers in eight rural and underserved communities across North Carolina, including a center in Robeson County near Pembroke.

The Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) is a national, non-profit organization comprised of oral health professionals and students dedicated to promoting and improving the oral health of the American Indian/Alaskan Native community and providing advocacy for the American Indian/Alaskan Native dental professionals across the US, according to the organization’s website.

 

Dr. Carol F. Anderson is named 2017 Woman of the Year by the National Association of University Women (NAUW) Elizabeth City Branch.

Dr. Carol F. Anderson, faculty director of the ECU School of Dental Medicine Community Service Learning Center-Elizabeth City, was honored recently with the title 2017 Woman of the Year at a banquet hosted by the National Association of University Women (NAUW) Elizabeth City Branch.

Dr. Anderson directs ECU’s dental center in Elizabeth City, N.C., where fourth-year students and residents gain experience caring for patients at reduced fees. The center, which opened in 2013, is one of ECU’s eight centers across the state addressing the shortage of dentists in rural and underserved regions.

“I was delighted to be nominated for the award,” said Dr. Anderson, “especially when I learned that the person who nominated me was one of our patients as well as a member of the National Association of University Women Elizabeth City Branch.”

Dr. Carol F. Anderson was named 2017 Woman of the Year by the National Association of University Women (NAUW) Elizabeth City Branch.

Dr. Anderson received her DDS degree from University of Maryland and holds a master of science in health science administration from Towson University. She completed a certificate in health care administration from ECU in June 2017. Prior to moving to Elizabeth City and joining ECU, she served as a faculty member at the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore, Maryland.

Her interest in dentistry began when a family friend of her parents “let” her work as his dental assistant. As she watched the dentist work she decided, “I can do that!” After dental school, she spent several years in private practice before entering dental education; first, overseeing daily operation of a student clinic and ultimately as the director of a satellite clinic.

Dr. Anderson split her time as faculty member treating HIV+ patients and providing clinical instruction to students working and treating patients with special needs.

She is also a former Harry O. Bruce Legislative Scholar with the American Dental Education Association. As a Bruce Scholar, her focus was researching and lobbying for dental education and continued funding for the Ryan White Care Act.

She believes that a healthy oral environment contributes to a person’s overall health and that prevention is key to achieving health.

Dr. Anderson is originally from Washington, D.C., but spent most of her formative years in suburban Maryland. She is married and has two grown children.

The NAUW banquet also honored Dr. Kiera Gilliam, an Elizabeth City pharmacist; Mrs. Wendy James, a registered nurse at the EC Veterans Center in Elizabeth City; Ms. Pamela Spruill, a registered nurse at Edenton Public Schools; and Mrs. Dianne Winslow, a member of the NAUW Elizabeth City Branch.

The National Association of University Women nationally dates back to 1910. The organization seeks to serve women, youth, and disadvantaged persons in the community and in developing countries by addressing educational issues, advancing the status of women’s issues, and strategically partnering with allied organizations.

Schweitzer Fellows foster partnerships to meet the needs of the underserved

Ten ECU graduate students will spend the next year making health care more accessible to populations that are often overlooked.     

The students — five from the School of Dental Medicine and five from the Brody School of Medicine — have been named North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. They represent nearly half of this year’s Schweitzer class, which comprises 23 students from ECU, Duke University, Wake Forest University, North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Dental students and Schweitzer fellows Kevin Holley, left, and Trevor Staton will deliver oral health education to elementary students in Pitt County. (photo by Cliff Hollis)

The fellows will partner with community-based organizations to implement service projects that address health disparities. At the same time, they will undergo leadership development training so they can inspire the next generation of health care professionals to improve the well-being of those who experience barriers to care.

“Many of our fellows go on to build impressive professional careers. The process of moving their fellowship projects from an initial concept to completion teaches them valuable skills in working with others in allied fields,” said Dr. Bruce Auerbach, chair of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Board of Directors. “As Schweitzer Fellows develop professionally, this skill is critical to their ability to effect larger-scale change among vulnerable populations.”

The five dental medicine fellows are Kiersten Bethea, Kevin Holley, Trevor Staton, Allen Bunch, and Morgan Stroud.

Dental treatment and long-term primary care for the homeless

Third-year dental student Kiersten Bethea and first-year medical student Samantha Forlenza are teaming up to provide no-cost dental treatment and primary care for homeless patients.

Kiersten Bethea

They are establishing a clinic — based in Ledyard E. Ross Hall and supported by the School of Dental Medicine — where dental students will treat patients’ emergency oral health needs. With their dental needs met, patients will then see medical students who will administer an HIV test and perform medical screenings to check basic measures of wellness such as heart rate, blood pressure and blood glucose.

Next, School of Social Work students will conduct depression screenings and connect patients with additional resources such as a food bank or counseling services. The students will refer patients to dental and primary care providers who can provide comprehensive, ongoing care.

“A lot of these patients have never seen a dentist in their life or haven’t had a cleaning in years,” Forlenza said. “Being able to access all of these services at the same time is crucial for this population.”

Forlenza and Bethea plan to launch their clinic in August with the goal of serving at least 75 patients by spring 2018.

Healthy teeth for elementary students

Second-year dental students Kevin Holley and Trevor Staton are picking up where an earlier Schweitzer project left off. In 2014-2015, two other dental students, who were also Schweitzer Fellows, worked with the Greene Access Program (GAP), part of Greene County Health Care, to deliver oral health lessons to over 1,200 elementary school children in Greene County. The fellows helped enroll the children in GAP clinical services, where they received preventive care such as dental sealants to reduce tooth decay.

Holley and Staton hope to expand GAP enrollment within selected Pitt County schools. Using public health data, Greene County Health Care has identified six schools in Pitt County with a high proportion of at-risk elementary students in need of dental services, both preventive and restorative.

An important part of the project is to engage school administrators and parents, after which the dental students hope to present oral health lessons in classrooms, enroll children in the dental sealant program, and assist in a referral program to help children and families establish dental homes.

“Our project aims to address the lack of oral health services for many elementary school students in Pitt County by offering classroom instruction as well as free dental screenings and sealants through partnership with the local federally-qualified health-care center known as Greene County Health Care,” Holley explained.

“Coming from an underserved part of the state, I feel that this project can provide me with good experience and knowledge that I can one day take back to my hometown,” said Staton, a native of Hayesville, N.C.

Tackling toddler oral health

Fourth-year dental student Allen Bunch and third-year dental student Morgan Stroud are expanding ECU’s Prenatal Oral Health Program (pOHP) by focusing on the pediatric population. Their project is modeled after the Baby Oral Health Program (bOHP) at the University of North Carolina’s School of Dentistry.

Allen Bunch

 

Bunch and Stroud are establishing a direct referral system from the ECU Department of Pediatrics to the ECU School of Dental Medicine’s pediatric dentistry clinic. This project will initially center on pediatric patients between the ages of three and five, as this is the age of patients identified at the dental clinic to be most in need of establishing a dental home.

Bunch and Stroud will provide awareness presentations for residents, physicians, and medical students of the ECU Department of Pediatrics about pediatric oral health including information on fluoride varnish, oral hygiene practices, and tools to examine and refer patients for routine dental care, dental urgencies, and dental emergencies.

“The care of pediatric patients offers a unique opportunity to educate both patients and caregivers on the importance of establishing and maintaining optimal oral health. There is no other point in life that the dentist will have the same level of parental concern, attention, and compliance,” said Morgan Stroud.

Morgan Stroud

Morgan Stroud

Addressing unmet health needs — for life

Since 1994, the North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program has supported 425 fellows from many academic disciplines through funding from various foundations, academic institutions and individual donors. This year’s 23 North Carolina fellows join approximately 240 others nationwide.

Fellows all work with mentors at one of 14 program sites across the U.S. and in Lambaréné, Africa, where physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer founded a hospital in 1913. Upon completion of their fellowship year, awardees become Schweitzer Fellows for Life and join a vibrant network of more than 3,400 Schweitzer alumni nationwide who are skilled in – and committed to – improving the health and well-being of underserved people throughout their careers.

BREAKING BARRIERS – Interprofessional event brings health sciences students together

At first glance, it looks like a singles speed-dating event in a reception room in the new ECU Health Sciences Student Center.

You hear “Where are you from?” and “Why did you get into medicine?” But listen closer and you find out the event is focused on future health care workers working together.

“Too often educationally and in practice, we operate in silos, medicine or dental or nursing. The goal of this was really to begin to break down those barriers,” said Dr. Timothy Reeder, an associate professor of emergency medicine at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. He is also the director of ECU’s Leaders in Innovative Care (LINC) Scholars program, which hosted this interprofessional lunch.

The lunch group was made up of 10 medical students, who are all LINC Scholars. They paired off with dental, nursing and physician assistant students and had five minutes to talk about their educational backgrounds and why they decided to get into the field they are studying.

“People from different backgrounds of health care have different opinions of health care and so as a future physician, my opinion is very different from someone else who’s got a dental background or a PA background,” said LINC Scholar Chirag Patel. “So understanding their background and understanding their interest really helps us determine what direction our health care will move in the future.”

ECU Brody School of Medicine student and LINC Scholar, Chirag Patel, said he enjoyed learning about the different backgrounds of his health care peers who he could end up working with in the future

The LINC Scholars track aims to give future physicians greater clinical exposure to a person-centered career that includes leadership and change management skills, and interprofessional team-based care.  LINC Scholar, Ben Mack, summed up the lunch conversations best when he said, “It really takes a village (to care for) for each patient.”

“Just exploring what we’ve done today, if we had a patient, we would be able to take care of their oral health, the health of their body and we would have support staff,” said Mack. “And I think we would be able to all work together in order to effectively communicate and give the best care that we can to our population.”

Physician assistant student Alexis Gomez said, “I think just the understanding of the importance of the other professions. I think by me learning that now, when I get out into the field, I can really reach out to them when I need help.”

ECU dental student, Akeadra Bell, talks with a medical student about their backgrounds and views on health care.

During the debrief of the lunch activity, one student remarked that even though there were future physicians, dentists and nurses taking part, they all were very similar when it came to why they got into health care. First-year dental student, Alexis Webb agrees with that thought.

“Most of us want to be geared towards the mission statement of East Carolina, serve the underserved, rural areas,” Webb said. “But I want to do it in dentistry, and she may want to do it in medicine or nursing.”

Those who took part in the interprofessional activity said they would like to see it happen campus-wide.

“I think that’s one of the benefits of a university. That’s why universities exist, to get people from different backgrounds to share ideas, to share thoughts, have discussions. I think too often on college campuses we’re not doing that, and this is a great opportunity on the health sciences campus and we should be doing this across the university,” Reeder said.

For more information on LINC Scholars, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/medicaleducation/reach/lincScholars.cfm

Mary Bec Keith ’18 receives Pierre Fauchard Academy Foundation Scholarship

Mary Bec Keith, fourth-year student at the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine, has received a 2017 Pierre Fauchard Academy Foundation Dental Student Scholarship.

Ms. Keith, originally from Kinston, N.C., is a Fellow of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Program. In 2015, she and a classmate completed a project as Schweitzer Fellows that raised awareness among dental students, medical students and patients about the importance of oral health care during pregnancy.

Fauchard Scholarship

Mary Bec Keith ’18 received a 2017 Pierre Fauchard Academy Foundation Dental Student Scholarship. Dean Greg Chadwick and Vice Dean Maggie Wilson presented the scholarship to Mary Bec.

Ms. Keith served as vice president for the Dental Student Government during the 2016-2017 academic year and has filled leadership roles in the ECU chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists, Tomorrow’s Professional Planning Committee, and the DMD Social and Service Organization. She was an invited speaker at Kinston High School’s Academic Banquet in 2015. Prior to dental school, she earned a bachelor of science in biology from UNC-Chapel Hill.

“I am sincerely grateful to receive the Pierre Fauchard Academy Foundation scholarship for my final year of dental school,” said Keith, “and I’m honored to have been selected by our faculty. I will strive to uphold the high standards of the Academy.”

“Ms. Keith’s academic achievements and her strong leadership skills make her a good choice as ECU’s Pierre Fauchard Academy Foundation Scholarship recipient for 2017. She is an excellent ambassador for the School of Dental Medicine,” said Dr. Margaret Wilson, vice dean of the dental school.

Keith says her goal is to be a well-rounded general dentist with the skills and knowledge to provide patients with comprehensive patient care. She hopes to practice dentistry in eastern North Carolina in the vicinity of Kinston after graduation.

In the coming year, Keith and her classmates will gain hands-on clinical experience treating patients during 3 nine-week rotations at the school’s community service learning centers in underserved areas across North Carolina.

The Pierre Fauchard Academy is a global organization focusing on professionalism, integrity, and ethics for the advancement of dentistry worldwide. Its Foundation offers scholarships annually to selected dental schools for presentation to students who have demonstrate high leadership characteristics and above average academic qualifications. Scholarship recipients are selected by the dental faculty. Read more about the organization at http://www.fauchard.org/.

Student Research Group announces new officers

The School of Dental Medicine’s Student Research Group (SRG) has elected officers for the 2017-2018 academic year. Officers include Maria Isabel Rego, president; Caitlin Mehaffey, vice president; Luke Current, treasurer; and Jessica Shamberger, secretary. V. Wallace McCarlie, DMD, PhD, clinical assistant professor in the Division of Orthodontics, serves as SRG advisor.

SRO Photo

School of Dental Medicine Student Research Group (SRG) officers for 2017-2018 include, left to right, Luke Current, treasurer; Maria Isabel Bel Rego, president; Caitlin Mehaffey, vice president; and Jessica Shamberger, secretary. Also pictured is Dr. V. Wallace McCarlie, clinical assistant professor in the Division of Orthodontics, who serves as SRG faculty advisor.

The Student Research Group is an organization dedicated to advancing involvement in dental research for students with interest as well as growing appreciation and understanding of evidence-based dentistry. The organization is part of the American Association for Dental Research National Student Research Group, a student-run organization, which fosters research among dental students.

Maria Isabel Bel Rego ‘19 holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Salem College and a master of arts in health education and promotion from ECU. She is a certified health education specialist (CHES) and has been involved in health equity and literacy research with underserved and minority populations since her sophomore year of college. As a dental student, Bel is part of a research study on oral health and orthodontic literacy in eastern North Carolina. She has been interested in oral health literacy research since her master’s work, when she completed a systematic literature review on oral health literacy interventions for an independent study project. The project was recently selected for presentation at the American Public Health Conference in 2017.

Caitlin Mehaffey ‘20 holds a bachelor of science in biology from ECU. During the past year, she has participated with faculty mentors in research projects that include “Determining the Prevalence of Tobacco Use Among Patients at the ECU School of Dental Medicine” and “Oral Health Literacy Correlated with Oral Health Status in Eastern North Carolina.” With the help of faculty mentors and role models, Caitlin has gained experience with developing and presenting research projects. The SRG was the first student organization that she joined in dental school.

Luke Current ’19 earned a bachelor of science in biology from UNC-Chapel Hill. He participated in research projects as an undergraduate and participated in ECU’s Research Scholars Summer Program before starting dental school. Luke has been involved in a series of research projects including Pediatric-Offspring-Dentistry with dental medicine faculty Dr. Christopher Cotterill and Dr. Linda May. He selected the ECU School of Dental Medicine because of the school’s mission to provide oral health care in underserved communities and dedication to research. As treasurer of the SRG, he hopes to continue building excitement about research among dental students.

Jessica Shamberger ’19 earned a bachelor of science in public health from UNC-Greensboro. Like Luke Current, she also participated in ECU’s Research Scholars Summer Program before entering dental school. Recently, her research has focused on “Experience with Dental Emergency Department Visits” with ECU faculty and staff mentors G. Mejia, K. Gise, K. Brewer, H. Luo, G. Camargo, D.  Peaden, J. Friedrich, A. Taha, and S. Gordon. Jessica hopes to combine dentistry, public health, and research after dental school to help improve the oral health of all people, especially North Carolinians. She looks forward to the SRG’s further achievements through leadership, education, advocacy, and teamwork. Jessica believes that the SRG can provide leadership not only at the School of Dental Medicine but also in North Carolina and the nation.

 

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