Third-year UNC-Chapel Hill dental students Maggie Fetner and Jessica Oliver have been selected as 2010-11 N.C. Albert Schweitzer Fellows; in the coming year, they will implement a project focused on helping pediatric cancer patients.
Specifically, their program will focus on helping these cancer patients cope with oral manifestations of cancer and its treatment by providing education on oral hygiene, nutrition and preventive measures. They will conduct their program at the N.C. Cancer Hospital.
“We are honored and humbled by this opportunity to support these patients and their families,” said Oliver. “Conditions such as dry mouth, tooth decay and gum disease are often seen in these patients as a result of cancer and/or its treatment. With an emphasis on dental education and prevention, we hope to make a difference for these patients who deal with so much on a day-to-day basis.”
Dr. Carol Haggerty, clinical associate professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s Department of Diagnostic Sciences and General Dentistry, and Sandi Jarr, supportive care nurse consultant with the N.C. Cancer Hospital, will serve as advisers for the project.
The one-year interdisciplinary fellowship program focuses on community service, leadership development and reflection. Fellows receive a stipend of $3,000 for their project; the Dental Foundation of North Carolina provided support for the dental education project. Schweitzer Fellows must spend 200 hours in fulfillment of their project, with 150 hours spent in face-to-face contact with the population they are serving.
The mission of the N.C. Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program is to develop “leaders in service,” individuals who are dedicated and skilled in addressing the health needs of underserved N.C. communities and whose example influences and inspires others.