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UofL dental and dental hygiene students help residents of Somerset and surrounding areas

Dental student James Martineau with patientDuring a two-day Remote Area Medical (RAM) event Sept. 8-9 in Somerset, Ky., nearly 80 University of Louisville dental school faculty & students were part of a team of volunteers that helped treat more than 680 patients with services that included 1352 extractions, 326 fillings, 140 cleaning, 59 exams and dozens of denture realignments and repairs.

RAM is a non-profit organization that serves people in remote areas of the United States and around the world. The Somerset event included dental, medical and vision services.Somerset RAM group

The UofL dental students came equipped with new LED head lamps bought with funds from the American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award. The head lamps improve vision and subsequent quality of the clinical care at RAM events, which serves the Award’s purpose of enhancing student service learning and outreach to underserved populations. The UofL students won the $5,000 award in 2011 for their humanitarian outreach. The dental school started incremental involvement in RAM events in 2005, and became annual participants in the Pikeville, Ky., RAM clinic in 2008. 

The ADA Foundation award was created in 2003 to honor Bud Tarrson, former chief executive officer and owner of the John O. Butler Co. and an oral health philanthropist. His widow, Linda Tarrson and Bud’s son, Rob Tarrson visited Somerset to meet the UofL volunteers.

“Our students are making a difference through their participation in Remote Area Medical events,” said John Sauk, DDS, MS, dean, UofL School of Dentistry. “The Tarrson family had a great experience witnessing the impact of our student outreach for America’s underserved.”Southwestern High School in Somerset, Ky.

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