Six UNC School of Dentistry D.D.S. students have been awarded with 2014-15 North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellowships.
The North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program is a one-year program in which students focus on health-related community service to underserved populations. During the application process, students identify an underserved population and design a community service project that provides direct service to that population. Once selected, students deliver a minimum of 200 service hours to the selected underserved population via their project. The fellowships, given annually, provide selected students with a $3,000 stipend to fund the projects.
“We’re so proud to have six outstanding students involved in the Schweitzer Fellowship program,” said Dr. Janet Guthmiller, associate dean for academic affairs. “Our school and students share a strong commitment to community service and we look forward to seeing the results of their projects.”
Omar AbdelBaky and Chris Walker, both D.D.S. Candidates 2016, are addressing oral care specific to diabetic patients. They plan to collaborate with both the UNC School of Dentistry and the Gillings School of Global Public Health to develop personalized counseling, oral health education and dental treatment for patients with diabetes. The program will cover care for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. This project is a BCBSNC Foundation Fellowship, and Walker and AbdelBaky will be mentored by Dr. Lewis Lampiris and Dr. Ed Swift.
Eleni Boukas and Mackenzie Hatfield, both D.D.S. Candidates 2016, will focus their project on disabled adults. Working with Residential Services Incorporated, a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities, Boukas and Hatfield plan to provide oral health education to adults with both intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program will also offer education to the caregivers of those adults. The efforts will be centered at group homes in Orange County. Boukas and Hatfield will be mentored by Dr. Frank Thomas McIver and Sarah Hartsook.
Gentry Lasater and Veronica Matthews, both D.D.S. Candidates 2015, plan to expand upon the 2012-13 Schweitzer Fellowship project done by recent graduates Dr. Amanda Kerns and Dr. Jeff Jackson which focused on oral care for pregnant women. In the 2013-14 efforts, Lasater and Matthews plan to improve oral health care access for Medicaid and uninsured patients at UNC and public health OBGYN clinics. They’ll continue to work interprofessionally with the UNC School of Dentistry, the UNC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and local OBGYN clinics. Their mentors for this project are Dr. Rocio Quinonez and Dr. Alice Chuang.
Since 1994, the N.C. Albert Schweitzer Fellows Program has supported more than 370 fellows who’ve delivered more than 55,000 hours in community service to the state. Nationally, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program has provided nearly 500,000 hours of service to those in need.