I can’t believe the weeks are going by so quickly! On Monday, I started the morning finishing the clinics research project and drafting a photo release letter to share with organizations that we partner with. Several of the schools, summer lunch programs, and organizations that we work with have all of the participants in their programs sign photo release forms. By having staff from other organizations sign our letter acknowledging they have this form on file with their participants and that we can use photo and video that we take at our outreach events. I also had a productive phone conference with the executive director of the Ohio School Nurses Association about exploring partnership possibilities and creating a statewide program to engage nurses with up-to-date oral health education techniques for their students. This program would involve trainings and CE credit for nurses. However, noting limited time, we decided to keep this in the backburner for now.
We had a KidSMILES team meeting at noon and it was great to hear updates from everyone about the work they were doing. After, I had my weekly check-in meeting with Mrs. Zuber to go over my plan of work and determined my tasks for the week. I spent the rest of the day finally completely finishing the clinic research project, creating a survey to use to assess our educational outreach program, and sending out several emails and confirmations for our outreach events.
On Tuesday, I spent the whole day shadowing at Dr. Sakamoto’s office. Dr. Sakamoto is a periodontist, a dental specialist, out in Blacklick near Gahanna. He had a great practice, with very friendly staff. Observing was fantastic because I saw procedures that I’ve never observed before and I had a fun time hanging out with Dr. Sakamoto and learning about his path and experiences through dentistry. The procedures I saw included several implant patients, where each of them were in different stages of getting implants. The process for getting implants is a lengthy process, because many of the patients have had bone or gum loss, so Dr. Sakamoto would have to extract the tooth and do bone grafts. I also saw my first gum graft, which involved taking tissue from the top of the pallet and grafting it on the bottom gums, as well as several periodontal check-ups and deep cleanings. Many of his patients have suffered from gum loss and are required to come to cleanings four times a year for deep cleaning in order to prevent further gum loss, which would lead to all of their teeth falling out in a worst case scenario. Dr. Sakamoto had a great demeanor and sense of humor with his patients, especially because many of his patients could lose their teeth if they didn’t follow his care and recommendations.
On Wednesday, we had another Summer Fellows Learning Session at the Foundation. We heard two great speakers: Mr. Douglas F. Kridler, President and CEO of the Columbus Foundation and Jason Moore, founder of Fulcrum Creatives, a non-profit branding and marketing organization based in Columbus. It was inspiring to hear Mr. Kridler’s path through the non-profit sector and gaining his valuable insight on making connections, staying purposeful, and being good at what you are passionate about. Jason gave us a comprehensive overview of what branding is and why it’s important for non-profits to brand effectively to maximize impact. He went over ‘the basics’ of branding, including defining terminology and describing important components and techniques to brand organizations. That was exactly what I hoped for, because I know very little about branding and marketing, so this was an information and valuable taste of this topic.
After our Learning Session, I headed over to a networking lunch and tour at Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI), the non-profit Summer Fellow, Bryn, is working at for the summer. ECDI leads several initiatives, such as providing investments and loans to low- and middle-income Ohioans, hosting business training classes, and runs a Women’s Business Center. ECDI also runs the Food Fort, which provides facilities and resources for business owners who want to create their own restaurant or food truck. They have two large kitchen facilities, with cooking areas and storage areas. They also provide power for food trucks to stay for extended periods at the Food Fort. We had lunch from En Place, a food truck (which makes a delicious Buffalo Chicken sandwich) that was powered by the resources at ECDI and the Food Fort. We took a tour of ECDI and finished our tour with popsicles from another venture, J-POPs, which was supported by ECDI. When I got back to the clinic, we had a clinic day scheduled in the afternoon, so I went home to prepare for the week’s outreach visits and prepared the new Outreach Program Survey for tomorrow’s visit.
On Thursday, I started the day with another visit at the WARM Kid’s Lunch Club at New Castle Town Homes in Columbus. We had a solid outreach visit where we played our games and activities with about 40 kids and gave out around 60 goodie bags. I headed back to the clinic and wrapped up the day.
Friday, I spent the morning prepping for our outreach visit at the Bhutanese Nepali Association. Laura and I visited the Association back in Week 4, which I detailed in my Week 4 blog post, so it was cool to see our visit come from initial discussion to finish. We got some really great pictures from the visit! When I got back to the clinic, I finished up a more final draft of the outreach brochure and helped out with some computer/laptop/scanner issues we had. I’m excited for my visit on Saturday at Common Ground Free Store in Delaware!