FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla.– March 17, 2014 -
Approximately 325 children were given a reason to smile thanks to volunteer dental students and faculty at Nova Southeastern University (NSU).
Nearly 300 volunteers from the NSU College of Dental Medicine provided limited pro bono dental services valued at more than $100,000 to South Florida children ages 2-18 on Saturday, March 8 as part of Give Kids a Smile Day.
In addition, the more than 1,000 attendees, including the children and their family members, enjoyed a fun carnival atmosphere with Miami Dolphins player Marcus Thigpen and cheerleaders, face painters, a clown, magicians, music, and “Timmy the Tooth.”
“Community service is one of NSU’s core values and we are dedicated to working with our partners to help children and their parents in South Florida and beyond understand the importance of oral health,” said Amanda Buscemi, D.M.D., NSU’s chief pediatric dental resident and Give Kids a Smile program director. “If we can make a difference in a child’s life, we have accomplished our goal.”
Give Kids a Smile events take place annually throughout the United States as part of an initiative started by the American Dental Association to improve access to dental care for children.
“What makes the NSU College of Dental Medicine’s program unique is that it is entirely student organized and run,” said Linda Niessen, D.M.D., M.P.H., M.P.P., dean of the NSU College of Dental Medicine. “This program truly demonstrates our dental students’ commitment to community service.”
NSU faculty members donate their time to this community service event and supervise dental students in this worthwhile project. Sponsors include Henry Schein, American Student Dental Association, and NSU College of Dental Medicine’s Student Government Association.
The U.S. Surgeon General reports that children miss more than 51 million school hours each year to dental-related illness. The Pew Children’s Dental Campaign describes dental care as “the single greatest unmet need for health services among children” in its latest report.
Give Kids a Smile: Each year, approximately 450,000 children benefit from more than 1,500 events. This year is no exception with the number of GKAS sites totaling 1,525. Since 2003, GKAS has provided dental services for nearly 5 million children. More than 16 million children nationwide have tooth decay and NSU’s Give Kids A Smile Day hopes to help combat this epidemic by providing treatment and raising oral health awareness. Give Kids A Smile has become the world’s largest oral health charitable program and an ADA access-to-care endeavor designed to encourage parents, health professionals and policymakers to address the year-round need for oral health care for all children.
About NSU College of Dental Medicine: Students of the college benefit from state-of-the-art educational and clinical facilities, which feature the latest in computer and video technology, and from our distinguished professors, recruited from throughout the United States. The college’s facilities, faculty, and dynamic curriculum have attracted worldwide attention. Students and professionals come from diverse backgrounds to pursue their courses of study at the college. For more information, please visit http://dental.nova.edu/
About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 314 beautiful acres in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at all levels. NSU is a not-for-profit independent institution with 27,000 students. NSU awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields. NSU is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and it is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification. For more information, please visit www.nova.edu. Celebrating 50 years of academic excellence!
Jeremy Katzman, M.B.A. | Office of Public Affairs