STA Hosts Annual March Madness Fundraiser

Cheers and laughter filled the lecture hall 209 on Wednesday, March 22, as Students Take Action (STA) held its annual March Madness fundraiser, featuring a “Minute to Win It” themed competition. Each class nominated a representative to compete for a cookie party and a “surprise” reward. Suggested donations for the event was $5. Catering provided by Chick-Fil-A!

STA extends a special thank you to all the students, staff, and faculty who came and ate lunch, volunteered, cheered and donated money to this awesome cause. All monies raised from the competition, T-shirt sales, and donations, will be given to the Indigent Care Fund. This fund is a blessing to patients at the School who cannot afford the treatment they need. A special thank you to the students behind the scenes who made this event happen. A significant amount of hard work and dedication was put forth to kick off this event. Thanks for all the support!

Minute to Win It Competitors
D1: Fred Drummond
D2: Teresa Nguyen
D3: Paul Riddle
D4: Tess Kornacki
DH: Chelsea Lear
Staff: Faculty- Stormy Huntly

Master of Ceremonies
Drew Link

Overall Winner
Most money raised: D2 Students ($461.72)

Total Money Raised
$2,200 to the Indigent Care Fund!!!!!!

Minute to Win It Games
Game 1 — Cotton Roll Toss
Winner: DH, Faculty, and D3
Game 2 — Biggest Sugar-Free Bubble
Winner: D3
Game 3 — Toothbrush Race
Winner: D3
Game 4 — pulling the most gloves out of the box
Winner: D2

STA Leadership
STA president Anna McKee
STA Vice President Taylor Jordan
STA Treasurer Collin Schlosser
STA Secretary Drew Link
DH representatives Haylee Davis, Mariah Garrett
D2 representative Ronnie Marquez

STA Faculty Sponsors
Dr. McCunniff and Dr. Smith

Students Take Action was founded in 1998 by a group of dental and dental hygiene students dedicated to compassion and camaraderie through community service. Our student volunteers take pride in making a difference in the Kansas City metro area by serving the needs of the community. Students Take Action is regularly involved in volunteer efforts that include Harvester’s Food Pantry, Ronald McDonald House, The JayDoc Free Care Clinic, Shear Madness, Team Smile (Royals, Chiefs, Sporting KC), oral health screenings, community outreach efforts, Adopt-A-Street, and many more activities aimed to help others around us.

Photos from the event.

Two UMKC Orthodontic Faculty Receive Multiple Awards

Vesna Ferrer and Shankar Rengasamy Venugopalan, assistant clinical professors at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, both received 2017 awards from the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation.

Each of these awards provides $20,000 to carry out four developmental plans in the areas of education, teaching skills, clinical skills and research. Ferrer is the recipient of the 2017 Michael Matlof Memorial Orthodontic Faculty Development Fellowship Award and her research project is “Curriculum content in clinical skills development in orthodontics for predoctoral and advanced education programs.” Ferrer is working with Associate Dean Cindy Amyot and Assistant Research Professor Chris Van Ness on this project. Rengasamy Venugopalan is the recipient of the 2017 Robert E. Binder Orthodontic Faculty Development Award and his research project is “Genomic analyses in ameloblastoma.” Rengasamy Venugopalan is working with Professor Craig Whitt on this project.

Dr. Ferrer

Ferrer also was selected for a 2017 scholarship from the American Association of Orthodontists to participate in a two-part Academy of Academic Leadership Program. Ferrer was one of four orthodontic faculty from the U.S. and Canada sponsored this year for this program.

Dr. Venugopalan

Rengasamy Venugopalan also has been selected to participate in the 2017 US Bone & Joint Initiative/Bone & Joint Canada – Young Investigators Initiative – Grant Mentoring and Career Development Program. This will involve two workshops to aid research proposal development leading to a grant application submission. Rengasamy Venugopalan will work with Professor Mark Johnson and other assigned mentors in this enrichment program.

School Honored with UMKC Trustees Community Service Award

Dean Marsha Pyle accepted the UMKC Trustees Community Service Award on the school’s behalf at the UMKC Trustees Awards Ceremony, held March 14, 2017, at the law offices of Gage and Tucker. The award, presented annually, recognizes noteworthy contributions by a UMKC school or organization to the community through innovative services, programs, and/or projects that strengthen the relationship between the University and the community, ensuring that UMKC remains embedded in the fabric of the community.

Providing Continuous Community Engagement to Improve Oral Health

At the heart of heart of the School’s dental and dental hygiene training programs is a clinical component that involves delivering dental care to the community by student providers under the supervision of faculty. Unlike many health professions where students go to established hospitals or pharmacies to learn, School of Dentistry students provide care in the School’s ambulatory clinic, thus bringing the community to UMKC. The clinical training operations serve two primary purposes: first, our facilities and staff provide excellent clinical training for our future dentists, dental hygienists and dental specialists for the state and beyond; second, as an urban institution, the School significantly impacts the oral health in Kansas City by providing comprehensive dental services to our neighbors in the urban core at a fraction of the cost of services provided in the private sector.

Clinical operations within the School annually serve 61,000 patient visits in the School’s primary clinic. That translates to important clinical learning experiences for our students who are learning the professional clinical skills required in their respective professions. Additionally, our clinical students and faculty provide quality dental care to underserved members of the community. The oral health care delivered by the School, either pro bono or fee for service, represents significant contribution to improving oral health in Kansas City and beyond. The School of Dentistry’s clinical operations consistently provide pro bono services that represent a value of at least $450,000 to patients. The School of Dentistry’s clinics also provide emergency care for patients without dentists of record. The School serves approximately 1,000 emergency patients annually. Patients seeking emergent care represent some of the community’s most vulnerable members who often are unable to pay for complicated treatment. The emergency clinic provides basic care to treat pain and infection while providing options for comprehensive care in the main clinics.

To foster the School’s core value of giving back to the community, the School partners with the dental societies of Missouri and Kansas to donate comprehensive examinations and care to school children in the greater Kansas City area through the Give Kids a Smile Program. Each year on a single day in February, the School and its dental professional colleagues donate all the dental care provided, which ranges in value from $30,000 to $50,000. This event helps children who likely would have no other way to access professional dental care. Throughout the year, the School also works with a number of elementary schools in Kansas City to have school children bused weekly to the School to receive dental care. The cost of much of the care delivered by UMKC students to these children is supported by generous giving from alumni and friends of UMKC School of Dentistry. Likewise, as part of our curriculum, students spend two 2-week rotations providing care to underprivileged patients at 30 community health centers across Missouri and Kansas.

Tucked among other giants in health care on Hospital Hill, the UMKC School of Dentistry clinics provide critically needed oral health care to the community and serves as a valuable oral health safety net for individuals without dental benefits or an ability to pay. The UMKC School of Dentistry represents an often overlooked gem of community oral health resources for all citizens of the region in an educational environment that helps to instill in our graduates an appreciation of the value of giving back to the community.

More photos from the event.

Watch the recognition video from the ceremony.

Research Makes Journal’s Top 10 for 2016

The editor of Journal of Dental Education selected an article written by University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry faculty as one of its Top 10 articles in 2016.

Associate Dean Cynthia C. Gadbury-Amyot, Dean Marsha A. Pyle, Assistant Research Professor Christopher J. Van Ness and Associate Dean Pamela R. Overman wrote “Which Way to Lean? A National Study of Women Dental Faculty Members’ Career Aspirations and Choices.” Karen P. West, dean of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine, was co-author.

Editor Nadeem Karimbux, who is also associate dean for academic affairs at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, selected the article based on quality, topic area and design of study. The Journal of Dental Education is a peer-reviewed monthly journal that publishes a wide variety of educational and scientific research in dental, allied dental and advanced dental education. Published since 1936, it is internationally recognized as the premier journal for academic dentistry.

Read more School and University news.

$377K NIH Grant to Study Bone Loss Awarded to School

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry was awarded a National Institutes of Health grant that may lead to the identification of new approaches to prevent bone loss in diseases such as osteoporosis.

The research is relevant to public health because it investigates a newly discovered mechanism by which bone cells might signal — talk — to each other by releasing small membrane-bound particles called vesicles, which are packed with molecules that alter the behavior of a recipient cell that takes up the vesicles.

By gaining a better understanding of how these vesicles work, we will have a better understanding of how bone mass is maintained, said Sarah Dallas, endowed professor at the UMKC School of Dentistry and principal investigator on the $377,312 two-year grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Read more.

Welcome DDS Class of 2021

Incoming dental students were hosted by The Office of Students Programs at its annual Welcome Reception on Friday, March 3, 2017. Members of the Dental Class of 2021, guests, and the UMKC School of Dentistry community had an opportunity to come together and celebrate their acceptance into dental school. It is a pre-orientation to offer information to the students about the path ahead and the financial picture of paying for dental school and student debt management.

Over 85 percent of the incoming students were in attendance at this optional program. The total attendance, including guests, was over 200. The incoming class will return to the School of Dentistry August 18 to begin their first year of dental school. The geographic distribution of the 109 new students includes the following states: MO (68), KS (22), NM (5), HI (4), AR (2), OK (1), IL (3), CT (1), Kuwait (3). The class includes 57 females and 52 males. Their average science GPA is 3.7 and their DAT academic average is 19.3. They all possess extensive dental experience through observation and assisting, as well as extensive community service participation.

See photos from the event.

UMKC Dental Hygiene Attends Annual MDHA Lobby Day

UMKC Dental Hygiene Attends Annual MDHA Lobby Day
Thirty two UMKC SOD Dental Hygiene students and 2 Dental Hygiene faculty traveled to Jefferson City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb 8, 2017, to participate in the annual Missouri Dental Hygienist’s Association (MDHA) Lobby Day.
Their activities included meetings with majority and minority leadership in both legislative chambers, as well as a meeting with the Speaker of the House. The UMKC students, as well as students from other Missouri Dental Hygiene Programs, their faculty members and practicing Missouri hygienists were introduced by fellow hygienist, Donna Lichtenegger in session. The School of Dentistry, the MDHA, the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association (SADHA), and the UMKC Dental Hygiene Alumni Association partnered to support student participation. The UMKC School of Dentistry Dental Hygiene Attendees included:
• 32 members of the Senior Dental Hygiene Class
• Professor Tanya Villalpando Mitchell, Associate Professor Division of Dental Hygiene, and Director Graduate Studies, Division of Dental Hygiene.
• Professor Julie Sutton, Assistant Professor Division of Dental Hygiene, and State Educator Network Representative to Missouri, ADHA.

Dental Students Assist with Score 1 Screenings

UMKC School of Dentistry has been involved with Score 1 since 2000. This year we screened over 13,000 kids in 44 schools in the KCMO, KCKS, Independence, Mo., and Hickman Mills, Mo., school districts. All 109 D-3 students participated in the screenings providing help to the medical students from Kansas City University College of Medicine as they learn how to evaluate oral health in children. This also provides hands-on experience for our Inter-professional Education Collaboration dental students. View photos from the event.

Two Faculty Members Honored

The American Dental Education Association is awarding two University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry faculty members

Tanya Gibson, assistant professor of Oral Pathology, Medicine and Radiology, D.D.S., was accepted as a 2017-18 ADEA Leadership Institute Fellow. Tanya Villalpando Mitchell, associate professor of Dental Hygiene, R.D.H., M.S., was selected as a recipient of the 2017 ADEA/Colgate-Palmolive Co. Allied Dental Educators Fellowship.

Both will receive their awards at the 2017 ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition in March in Long Beach, California. As the sole national organization representing academic dentistry, ADEA is the voice of dental education. Members are more than 21,000 students, faculty, staff and administrators from all of the U.S. and Canadian dental schools, many allied and advanced dental education programs and numerous corporations working in oral health education.

Tanya Gibson, D.D.S.
Tanya Mitchell, R.D.H., M.S.