The University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry participated in the 2011 National Women's Health Week, which took place in early May. Women's Health Week activities included three lunchtime sessions focused on women's wellness, a day of free dental screenings for Bay Area women, and a handful of fitness activities for students and employees.
National Women's Health Week is a weeklong public awareness campaign coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health to encourage women to make their wellbeing a top priority. This year, the dental school decided to participate in National Women's Health Week with the goal of promoting overall health and wellbeing among Bay Area women, and in particular their oral health.
Lunchtime sessions included a presentation by the Women's Community Clinic, a free health clinic for women that recently moved into the dental school's neighborhood of Pacific Heights. A representative from La Casa de las Madres, San Francisco's oldest domestic violence nonprofit (which provides shelter, counseling, and other services for victims of domestic violence) visited the dental school for a lunchtime training session. La Casa de la Madres' presentation was geared toward helping dental professionals better recognize victims of domestic abuse in their clinics and practices. A special seminar for employees offered information on a wide range of health issues affecting women throughout their lives.
The special events culminated when the school offered free oral health screenings to women in the general community. Numerous people took advantage of this opportunity to get screenings. Many had their questions about oral health answered and met with dental students and faculty.
The dental school also offered a handful of fitness activities in conjunction with Women's Health Week. Several of the school's current fitness programs offered events during the week, including Wednesday Boot Camp, Thursday Weekly Walks, and a lunchtime Tai Chi class.
"National Women's Health Week offered us another platform to communicate the importance of oral health to overall health," said Dr. Richard E. Fredekind, Associate Dean for Clinical Services. "In addition to informative presentations and healthy activities, we were able to provide screenings and education that will help women stay on a path to better oral health."