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AIDS Task Force Summary

In December of 2011, Case Western Reserve University ASDA members visited the AIDS Task Force of Cleveland to distribute “goody bags” containing Proctor and Gamble oral hygiene products and information pamphlets to a group of social workers. The pamphlets included information about free dental clinics or those that accept Ryan White or Medicaid for the purpose of providing care to HIV/AIDS positive patients. Overall seventy five goody bags were distributed.

The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland provides a compassionate and collaborative response to the needs of people infected, affected and at risk of HIV/AIDS. This is accomplished through leadership in prevention, education, supportive services and advocacy. The Task Force helps patients from all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles.

Here in Cleveland we have a fairly large number of HIV positive residents. Many of these folks live far below the federal poverty line and have a difficult time finding dental care. Many are on Ryan White, Medicaid, or simply have no insurance of any kind. Our Chapters’ main goal was to provide information to this population by working together with the AIDS Taskforce.

The main barrier to care that these patients face is lack of information about oral hygiene and where they could turn to for help. We felt that to tear down this barrier we could provide information to the patients by educating the social workers that work for the AIDS Taskforce and provide simple hygiene needs through P&G products purchased by the Oral-B Outreach program.

We are positive that through these efforts many residents here in Cleveland who live with HIV/AIDS will be better educated as to where they can seek dental care and that collaboration between ASDA, P&G and the Task Force will help this underserved community.

Visit the AIDS Task Force Website to learn more.

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Guatemala Outreach Program

For five consecutive years, the Guatemala Awareness Project has been providing basic but essential dental care for the underserved community of Chichicastenango, Guatemala. In this community, like many others in Central America, the combination of poverty, abundant availability of cheap sugary foods, and lack of oral hygiene education has caused an uncontrollable level of rampant cavities. The poverty is at such a level where it is not uncommon for a family of five to share a single toothbrush.

Our mission was and still is to show what a small group of students with commitment can have on the dental health of this small community and its surrounding regions by means of preventative and restorative care.

In December 2011, over the course of three and a half days, twelve Case Western Reserve ASDA students saw and operated on over 200 patients. We performed a variety of tasks including oral hygiene instructions, nutritional counseling, restorative procedures and extractions. Overall, four hundred procedures were performed, which included the placement of composite and amalgam restorations and extractions. The age range of the patients was between four to sixty years of age.

With the help of Oral-B we were able to provide basic oral hygiene needs for families of this small community for which they were grateful.

CWRU School of Dental Medicine     2124 Cornell Road     Cleveland, OH 44106-4905     216.368.3200