ENNEAD volunteers were among the students and dental professionals who provided treatment at the recent Wilmington N.C. Missions of Mercy clinic. The two-day event was sponsored by N.C. Missions of Mercy, the Wilmington Tri-County Dental Society, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church (also the event location), the Wilmington South Rotary and the Cape Fear Memorial Foundation.
ENNEAD, the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s student-run volunteer organization, participated in many forms of community outreach during the 2008-09 academic year – building student leadership and making a positive contribution to North Carolina citizens’ oral health at the same time.
ENNEAD leaders estimate that School of Dentistry students volunteered close to 2,700 hours during the 2008-09 academic year.
The year began with planning for a School of Dentistry-sponsored N.C. Missions of Mercy clinic in Hillsborough, where more than 180 dental assisting, dental hygiene, dental, advanced education and graduate students provided treatment to about 255 patients. School of Dentistry faculty members also provided treatment and assisted students at the October 2008 event.
N.C. Missions of Mercy, a free, portable dental program, is a branch of the Open Door Dental Clinic of Alamance County.
Dental student Savannah Gelesko, project manager for that clinic and an ENNEAD board member, received a 2009 Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award from the University for her Hillsborough Missions of Mercy efforts; this honor recognizes individual UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty and staff who have performed extraordinary public service and/or enabled such service by others.
A more recent Missions of Mercy highlight was a Wilmington clinic in which ENNEAD volunteers joined other students and dental professionals to provide treatment. Organizers estimate that close to 650 patients received treatment at that clinic, held in May 2009.
In addition to participation in Missions of Mercy clinics throughout the year, ENNEAD volunteers distributed oral hygiene supplies and provided oral hygiene education at eight health fairs.
Board member and dental student Tiffany Williams coordinated a School of Dentistry mouthguard effort involving between 30 and 40 dental school and predental volunteers. About 210 mouthguards were made and distributed, ENNEAD organizers report.
ENNEAD board members are dental students Savannah Gelesko, Tiffany Williams, Stephanie Werner, Christian Johnson, Jessica Oliver, Patrick Galloway, Rebecca Glover, Kristen Madden and Radovan Rudik.