Posted September 7, 2007
When the Idaho State University Dental Hygiene student chapter of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (SADHA) began their small community service project in 2005, they never counted on receiving national recognition – which is exactly what they landed this past summer.
The group recently received the SADHA Community Service Award for the second time in three years for their work treating underserved children in Pocatello.
When the community project idea was born, dental hygiene students offered cavity screenings, fluoride treatments, sealants and oral hygiene instructions as a free service to local children. The ISU Dental Hygiene faculty was so impressed with the success of the students’ project they submitted it for recognition to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.
To the surprise of the group, ADHA selected the students for the 2005 SADHA Community Service Award and presented them with a $5,000 contribution to the program sponsored by Tom’s of Maine, a natural personal care company.
As a result of the monetary gift, the program transformed the initial project into $25,000 worth of services to the underserved children of Pocatello. As the original project volunteers graduated, the new cohort of dental hygiene students took the reins and engaged the local dental society to recruit volunteers, published local newspaper articles and organized television coverage of the event. Students forged corporate partnerships with manufacturers who were willing to donate material and supplies for the project. In all 47 students, 22 dentists, 22 dental hygienists, and 14 auxiliaries and staff worked together to treat 122 children in one day.
Tom’s of Maine and ADHA were pleased to announce ISU’s group the winner of the 2007 SADHA award and said of the group, “they truly exemplify the idea of doing good for goodness’ sake.”
For more information on the award, visit the ADHA Web site, www.adha.org.