The Race Is On! Hospital Hill Run Returns as In-person Event June 5

Get ready to hit the pavement!

After adapting to COVID restrictions and holding a virtual race last year, Kansas City’s Hospital Hill Run (HHR) is back as a live, in-person event on June 5. Whether you walk or run, and whether you prefer a 5K, 10K or half-marathon distance, make plans to join the city’s oldest foot race and the first live half-marathon event in the Kansas City Metro this spring. Here’s the official HHR statement:

The Hospital Hill Run has been given the green light to move forward with a live event, as scheduled for 6/5/21, pending any unforeseen circumstances. Health and wellness of our participants is our top priority and all city and state protocols will be followed.

Read more.

Enjoying the Annual Student, Staff, Faculty and Friends Variety Show Virtually

Thursday, February 25, 2021, the Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Student Dental Association (SNDA/HSDA) sponsored the annual Student, Staff, Faculty and Friends Virtual Variety Show. This event, over many years, has proven to be an undeniable favorite for the dental school family. For one moment, students, staff and faculty were able to display their talents and at the same time celebrate the School of Dentistry’s rich diversity. Further, the event is intended to coincide with the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday and the celebration of Black History Month.

Co-hosts for the Variety Show were Rukevwe Erhenede (DDS 2022) President of SNDA/HSDA. Rukevwe was accompanied by Lena Adams, (DDS 2022) Vice President of SNDA/HSDA.
Among the ten participants were future engineer, Riley Cottrell, who played “Fur Elise” by Ludwig van Beethoven, on the piano, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science student, Kaden Hall, played two piano selections “Daydream” by William L. Gullock and “Minuet” by George Philip Tilma and Alena Kirk, 4th Grader at Oak Hill Elementary School, played and sang “Royals” by Lorde. Lindsey Mackey, member UMKC Dental Research Explorer post since 2019, and Drew Baxter, sophomore at Central Christian College of the Bible, played and performed “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. Erin Gilmore, a staff member in BMC and professionally trained performer and instructor, sang “How Could I Ever Know” from the Secret Garden. Taylor Johnson, (DDS 2022) performed magic tricks. Casey Aschinger, (DDS 2023), sang and played “Afterglow” by Ed Sheeran. John L. Cottrell, Director of Minority and Special Programs, gave his rendition of “Dance with My Father” by Luther Vandross. Katherine Hayes and Luke Komotos, (both DDS 2022), performed a dental school parody. Anh Nguyen (DDS 2204), performed a dance routine to “I Can’t Stop Me” by TWICE.

The Student, Staff, Faculty and Friends Virtual Variety Show continues to be a success in a large part because of the support rendered by the School of Dentistry family. Faculty Advisors for SNDA/HSDA are Dr. Derrick Williams, Dr. Tanya Gibson, Dr. Meghan Wendland and John L. Cottrell.

The Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Student Dental Association thanks all who attended and extended their support to the performers.

See screen cap highlights here.

Retirees Receive a Spirited Virtual Sendoff

A combined 146 years of service were celebrated February 24, 2021 at a spring retirement event.   Hosted by Interim Dean Russell Melchert, the virtual event recognized the service and loyalty of four retiring faculty and staff and included many enjoyable anecdotes and memories from their supervisors and coworkers. Honored by colleagues, students, family and friends were: Romualdo (Roy) Abella, Dental Maintenance, for 35 years of service, Sharon Codilla, Advanced Education Program in General Dentistry, 38 years of service, Dr. Gary McReynolds, Department of Restorative Clinical Sciences, 39 years of service, Lynn Prine, Radiology, 8 years of service and Dr. Richard Prine, Department of Restorative Clinical Sciences, for 26 years of service.  Each received a commemorative photo of the school personalized with wishes from their colleagues.

ASDA Chapter and Student Heather Moore Honored

The American Student Dental Association awards chapters the PFM Crown award for excellence in creating innovative and engaging content for their members in 2020. This year, the UMKC ASDA chapter has been selected as a finalist!  Watch the video they created for the district finalists here.

Heather Moore (DDS 2023) has been elected to the American Student Dental Association of the Board of Trustees. She will be serving as District Eight Trustee, which oversees six chapters including University of Iowa, Creighton University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska, A.T. Still University and University of Missouri – Kansas City. Her role will include guiding chapters in our district and acting as the official liaison between the local chapters, the district and national ASDA. During her term, she hopes to champion impactful discussion on a National level to advocate for further diversity within the profession of dentistry!

Congratulations to the chapter and to Heather!

Dr. Carol McArthur Among Researchers Identifying People Testing Positive for HIV But Showing No Signs of Live Virus

Researchers found an “unusually high number of people” in the Democratic Republic of Congo who have tested positive for HIV antibodies but show no signs of the live virus – without the use of treatments and refer to as HIV “elite controllers.

Dr. Carol McArthur, a professor in the Department of oral and craniofacial sciences at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry and director of residency research in pathology at the Truman Medical Center, said every new HIV discovery is “another piece in the evolutionary jigsaw puzzle.”

Dr. McArthur is a researcher and one of the authors of the findings published yesterday in an article, “A high prevalence of potential HIV elite controllers identified over 30 years in Democratic Republic of Congo”, published in EBioMedicine, part of The Lancet family of medical publications.

Read more about the findings and article here and also here.

Shonte’ Reed, First-Year UMKC Dental Student, Featured in News Story About First African American Dentist in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dr. Anne Lambert Johnson is a dentist, mentor, philanthropist and pioneer in Kansas City.

She is the first African American dentist in Kansas City and has been practicing for 47 years.

Her long history reveals the struggles that many African American dentists faced before the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

“I started dental school and never looked back,” Dr. Johnson said as she smiled and talked about the beginning of her career.

Johnson has an undergraduate degree from Virginia Union University. She attended Howard University, a historically Black research university in Washington D.C. where she earned her master’s degree in molecular biology and her dental degree.

Dr. Johnson is focused on the future, caring for her patients and mentoring African American girls, encouraging them to consider becoming a dentist.

“I’ve had four or five women who are now practicing who came and practiced with me for a little time,” Dr. Johnson said, beaming with joy.

Shonte’ Reed, is a first-year dental student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Dr. Johnson is her mentor and hero.

Find the full story from KSHB-TV, Channel 41, here.

Simmer-Beck Appointed Missouri State Champion for 100 Million Mouths

Dr. Melanie Simmer-Beck, Chair & Professor, Department of Dental Public Health and Behavioral Science, for her appointment as the Missouri State Champion for the 100 Million Mouths Campaign to serve as a resource and advocate to promote integration of oral health education in health profession school curriculums.  Missouri was one of six states selected in the U.S. for this project (because the oral health of Missourians is so poor).

Find additional information about the oral health in Missouri here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Answers From the UMKC Health Sciences Deans

Updates on developments and distribution
The three UMKC Health Sciences Campus deans sit masked and distanced. From left to right in the photo: Mary Anne Jackson, dean of the School of Medicine; Joy Roberts, interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies; and Russ Melchert, dean of the School of Pharmacy and interim dean of the School of Dentistry.

UMKC is one of the fortunate few universities in the U.S. to have its health professions schools clustered on one campus, and its medical, nursing, pharmacy and dental faculty and students have been on the front lines fighting this pandemic since the beginning.

This Q & A round table with the UMKC Health Sciences Campus deans will be updated often with the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine, its effects, distribution and developments.

Mary Anne Jackson, dean of the School of Medicine; Russ Melchert, dean of the School of Pharmacy and interim dean of the School of Dentistry; and Joy Roberts, interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, are involved in leading vaccination efforts for our campus and Kansas City area communities.

Find the Q&A here.

Taking Care of You on Toothache Day

Toothaches are no laughing matter. On National Toothache Day, February 9, the UMKC School of Dentistry’s Patient Clinics want you to know they are ready to assist. COVID has understandably forced people to put off some much-needed dental care, but Toothache Day is a timely reminder of the importance of maintaining healthy teeth.

According to Dr. Connie White, who oversees the Dental Clinic at the school, living with untreated dental issues can be debilitating. “It’s like wearing the wrong pair of shoes to the zoo,” she said. “By the end of the day you almost can’t walk. Going through life with a bad tooth is an impediment to so many things: general pain, how you look, what you can eat even.”

When those lingering dental issues become urgent, such patients can seek out the clinic’s emergency services. From root canals to a tooth that has to be pulled, the goal of the clinic is to get people back to some level of comfort.

“The emergency clinic basically serves to get you out of pain,” said White. “Once you’re out of pain, we can move you to a more comprehensive exam and treatment, at a later time.”

UMKC’s emergency dental clinic is open to anyone, whether they are a current patient or not. But for patients without a dental home, White says UMKC’s dental clinic can be the perfect place. After all, when you have a bad toothache, knowing what dental office to call is better than starting to hunt for a dentist.

The school focuses on a team-based approach to providing care. Third- and fourth-year dental students provide a majority of the care at the clinic, but faculty are on-hand to review all recommended and completed procedures. The collaborative focus on care is at the heart of the oral health services provided at the clinic.

“As a general dentist, I often say, one mind is great but four minds are even better,” said White. “Every specialty is represented at the school, and we all work together as a team to come up with the best plan for our patients.”

For prospective patients apprehensive about receiving care from a student, White assures them that the students treating them have honed their craft in the school’s pre-clinic labs. “They perform all the necessary procedures on our simulated models and even learn root canals on actual teeth.”

For current UMKC students across campus, the School of Dentistry offers a special discount program. Students can come to the emergency clinic and receive an Emergency exam, as well as X-rays, for $10. “Even when I started practicing dentistry back in 1981, I never saw prices like that,” said White.

COVID has changed many things in society, and dentistry is no different. The school usually sees about 65,000 patients a year come through its doors, but the dental Clinic has been modified to meet the new safety guidelines.

One major difference for the emergency clinic is that an appointment is now required. Pre-COVID, the school could treat walk-ins but that is no longer the case. To help meet social distancing requirements, the school now keeps a set schedule of who is in the building. On the clinic floor, patients are safely distanced from each other, including in the waiting area. And of course, no one can enter the building without a mask.

With all these safety measures in place, the school can continue its mission of providing crucial oral health care to the Kansas City community.

“The health of your mouth is a window into the health of your entire body,” said White. “It truly is a reflection of how things are working in your body and your overall health.”