Bulletin of Dental Education

University of Louisville Students Volunteer Help Residents of Southeastern Kentucky

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For the second consecutive year, University of Louisville (UofL) School of Dentistry’s dental and dental hygiene students and faculty will provide free dental care in southeastern Kentucky through Remote Area Medical (RAM), a non-profit organization that serves people in remote areas of the United States and around the world.

Hundreds of people lined up on September 8–9, 2012, outside of Southwestern High School in Somerset, Kentucky, with hopes of getting free extractions, fillings, cleanings, exams or denture repairs, and relines. Medical and vision services were also offered at this RAM clinic.  

The UofL dental students used funds from the American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation Bud Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award to pay for professional quality LED headlamps to improve their vision and subsequent quality of the clinical care at RAM events. The UofL students won the $5,000 award in 2011 for their humanitarian outreach to underserved communities. The dental school started incremental involvement in RAM events in 2005, and became annual participants in the Pikeville, Kentucky, RAM clinic in 2008. 

The ADA Foundation award was created in 2003 to honor Bud Tarrson, former chief executive officer and owner of the John O. Butler Co. and an oral health philanthropist. His widow, Linda Tarrson, remains involved in the project and plans to visit Somerset this weekend to meet the more than 40 UL dental and dental hygiene students and some 36 faculty and staff who volunteered their time to provide free oral health care. 

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