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The Jamaica Experience

March 7, 2013

jamaica group 2013For the past 8 years, a group of dental students and faculty have gone on a week-long outreach trip to various communities in Jamaica to provide dental care.  This year, unlike previous years,  a large collaborative effort was put forth into fundraising. We organized the first talent show at the UMSOD consisting of dental faculty and students sharing their talents. Performances included Bollywood, ballroom and hip-hop dancing, along with classical music and a full band. (Compilation video– check out their talent! ~Editor)  The talent show was a great success that received positive feedback from all those in attendance and we hope it will become an annual fundraiser at the school.

Every year, the mission trip is scheduled in January in honor of Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy. This year the trip was from January 19- 27, 2013. The ultimate goal of the outreach trip was to provide dental care to underserved communities in the surrounding areas of Runaway Bay, Jamaica. Students and faculty from the UMSOD partnered with founding members of Healthcare International Inc. and other dental students and professionals to serve in the rural areas in most need of medical and dental care.

Jamaica is a beautiful country and we were lucky enough to stay in a great location and have some time to enjoy relaxing and try different activities during our stay. However, volunteering in Jamaica was hard work that consisted of a consistent daily routine. At the start of the day, everyone met for breakfast to have a good meal before work began at 7:30 am.  After breakfast, everyone helped to load the vans to transport equipment and supplies. Once we arrived at the site, the equipment and supplies were unloaded and set up to make our day as productive and efficient as possible. We visited a different primary school each day and were able to see both adults and children. Most of our work consisted of extractions and prophies and small sedative fillings. After a full eight to nine hour workday, we traveled a couple of hours back to the resort to relax and reflect on our accomplishments for the day.

Christopher Ammons, Parminder Dulay and Edward Heath are all D3 students who traveled to Jamaica for their first outreach experience this year and are inspired to continue providing to those in need on future outreach opportunities!

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