Roseman dental students provide screenings at Utah Special Olympics.

Author:Yeash, Maria
Position:Student & ALUMNI NEWS - Roseman University College of Dental Medicine'

Part of the mission of Roseman University College of Dental Medicine's Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program is to reach out to people in the community who need oral health care. In keeping with this mission, and the tradition of service and excellence in the DMD program, Roseman student dentists and faculty recently participated in an outreach opportunity with the Special Olympics.

The event was organized as part of the Healthy Athletes[R] initiative, and was held during the Special Olympics Utah Summer Games on June 12 and 13 at Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah.

Special Olympic athletes gather from around the state of Utah to have fun and participate in healthy competition, and to receive donated health care provided by many different kinds of healthcare professionals. This population is often underserved in the community, and can require specific help and attention that makes obtaining necessary care difficult. Outreach programs such as the Special Olympics provide opportunity to receive this care.

The Healthy Athletes[R] initiative was officially launched in 1997 and has become an important part of the Special Olympics, offering exams to people in need in seven different areas:

* Fit Feet (podiatry)

* FUNfitness (physical therapy)

* Heath Promotion (overall health and well-being)

* Healthy Hearing (audiology)

* MedFest (sports physical exam)

* Special Olympics-Lions Club International Opening Eyes (vision care)

* Special Smiles (dental care)

Another benefit of this program is the opportunity to get current healthcare professionals, and students studying in the health professions, to be involved in providing care. After participating in the program, many of these providers return to their communities with increased awareness of the needs of people with intellectual disabilities, and better ability to care for them.

During the Utah event, Roseman student dentists screened each athlete and assessed them for immediate urgent dental needs. Afterward, student dentists recorded any comprehensive oral health needs, screened the patient for oral cancer, and applied a...

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