A group of 37 students and seven faculty members from University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry traveled to Jamaica for an oral health mission trip during the school's fall break on September 26 - October 5, 2014. The Pacific Dugoni team stayed in the town of Ocho Rios and visited three rural clinics where they saw 945 patients and performed nearly 1,000 extractions, approximately 300 fillings and more than 200 cleanings.
"Pacific's annual Jamaica trip is truly an incredible experience," said Yige Zhao, DDS Class of 2015. "We learn so much not only about dentistry, but more importantly about humanity. Each year I come back from Jamaica feeling so humbled, fulfilled and excited to be able to use my skills to better the lives of others."
Student dentists had the chance to deliver dental care under supervision of faculty members while learning about the needs of the community and their specific oral health challenges. Two of the areas had not had access to a dentist for more than six years. The clinics visited during the mission trip were set up in a variety of terrains ranging from beaches to mountains.
The Pacific Dugoni mission trip received a generous donation of supplies from Henry Schein Cares, the global corporate social responsibility program of Henry Schein, Inc. The support from Henry Schein Cares has made it possible to continue this service-oriented program and foster a culture of public health service at Pacific Dugoni.
In addition to serving the Bay Area community, Pacific Dugoni participates in many outreach programs outside the U.S., including mission trips to remote or underserved areas. In the past, trips have brought dental care to people in Fiji, Jamaica and other areas.