Starting Out at KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic

Hello everyone! I’m David Danesh and I just started my role as the Columbus Foundation Summer Fellow at KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic. I just finished my third year at Ohio State where I am pursuing a major in microbiology, with minors in global public health and business. I plan to attend dental school in Fall 2016 after I graduate next year, and after, I will pursue a Master in Public Health. I’m leaning towards pursuing residency training in pediatric dentistry after dental school, as well. I plan to pursue a career in dental public health, where I can serve as a clinician and leader in public health policy.

This summer, I have the amazing opportunity to work full-time at KidSMILES Non-Profit Pediatric Dental Clinic supported by The Columbus Foundation. I’m so happy and excited with the opportunity to work at a clinic with the mission of providing access to comprehensive, high quality dental care and to be surrounded by such passionate staff and volunteers. Several aspects of KidSMILES make this clinic special. It offers very high quality care for only $10: no bills, fees, or anything. The equipment and clinic itself is top notch. The volunteer dentists and clinical staff are amazing.

Furthermore, KidSMILES also has a robust outreach program where clinic staff and volunteers visit schools, preschools, day cares, food pantries, community organizations in high-need areas. I will be coordinating and leading almost all of the outreach visits. Laura Zuber my direct supervisor and mentor for the fellowship has developed partnerships with local summer lunch programs providing lunch during the week and on weekends for families that qualify for free and reduced lunches during the academic year.

Also, my fellowship is absolutely perfect for me because it is very open-ended; there are several other projects I can work on this summer. One project is looking at expanding and creating new partnerships at different locations for the outreach program. I’m working on a list of community organizations that we can contact and partner with. I will be starting to work on a photo outreach brochure to highlight the different types of outreach we provide, as well as a photo journal that showcases the amazing work of the clinic and the outreach program overall. I also found data on free and reduced lunch program numbers at all schools in Franklin County and the surrounding counties to determine which schools to target for expanding our outreach program. These are just a couple of the projects that I’m working on, with a few more in the works.

It’s been awesome to work in the clinic full-time this week. I have shadowed plenty of dentists in different dental offices in private practice and hospital settings. However, immersing full-time and learning about the non-profit side of dentistry has been amazing this week, even just for a week. I take how awesome this week has been as a strong indicator of what will be a fun, engaging, and challenging summer!

Clinic Waiting Room

Clinic waiting room

Clinic Selfie!Dental Clinic Selfie

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One Response to Starting Out at KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic

  1. Pingback: Not My Last Goodbye! Thank you to The Columbus Foundation and KidSMILES | Summer Fellowship Program

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