Awards, Dental Hygiene, Students

Dental Hygiene Students Are Honored for Community Projects

Two UNC-Chapel Hill second-year dental hygiene students recently received national honors for community oral health programs they created and led.

Kristy Williams and Latrice Bruce received Dental Hygiene Student Merit Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dentistry at the 2009 National Oral Health Conference, held April 20-22 in Portland, Ore. The American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) administers the awards, which are sponsored by OMNI Preventive Care, a 3M ESPE Co.

“Both students took the initiative to reach out to the community with outstanding projects,” said Dr. Sally Mauriello, Dental Hygiene Programs director at UNC-Chapel Hill. “Then they went to Portland and did a wonderful job of representing UNC and the School of Dentistry.”

Williams received second-place honors for her project, titled “The Mention Prevention” initiative. This pilot program focused on teaching patients at the N.C. Missions of Mercy clinics the importance of good oral health, Williams said. Mauriello was her project mentor.

Bruce received third-place honors for her project, titled “Dental Hygiene Student Health Action Coalition: Provision of Preventive Dental Care for Underserved Populations.” Charlotte Peterson, clinical associate professor in the Department of Dental Ecology, was her project mentor.

Williams received a $200 cash award, and Bruce received a $100 cash award. Each also received $100 toward the cost of attending the Portland conference, as well as a plaque, a one-year membership in the AAPHD, a one-year subscription to the Journal of Public Health Dentistry and the opportunity to present their projects at the conference’s poster session.