Dentistry expands its outreach to southeastern Kentucky
Some 40 University of Louisville dental and dental hygiene students helped provide free dental care Sept. 17-18 to nearly 500 people in and around Somerset, Ky., through Remote Area Medical (RAM), a nonprofit organization that serves people in remote areas of the United States and around the world.
This was the last RAM trip for seniors Trey Parker, Caroline Curtis, Farzan Pouranfar, Brooke Fukuoka, Paul Miazan and Amy Boeckermann, founders of a UofL School of Dentistry RAM student chapter to help raise support for and interest in RAM.
Students and faculty helped perform 862 extractions, 233 fillings, 104 cleanings and 14 exams on the 497 people seeking dental care at the Somerset RAM clinic. The total value of care for the entire two-day clinic ─ including dental, medical and vision services was almost $300,000.
This is the second major commitment by the UofL dental school to offer assistance at a RAM clinic in Kentucky. For each of the past four years, the school’s faculty and students have provided free dental care at the Pikeville RAM clinic. In June of this year, they helped nearly 400 patients ─ performing 974 extractions, 348 fillings and 164 cleanings over a two-day period.
Beyond the school sponsored RAM events, a core group of six dental students have traveled to several rural areas of Kentucky and Tennessee to offer free dental care through RAM under the guidance of dental school alumnus Bill Collins. These six students, Trey Parker, Caroline Curtis, Farzan Pouranfar, Brooke Fukuoka, Paul Miazan and Amy Boeckermann formed the UofL School of Dentistry (ULSD) student chapter of RAM to help raise support and garner more student interest.
“The dental school is making a difference throughout the state as we fulfill our mission of community engagement,” said Dean John Sauk. “The students gain so much from these RAM experiences – including an understanding of barriers to oral health care.”