The Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) held their annual conference in Albuquerque, NM on April 28–30 and received assistance from the ADEA Access, Diversity and Inclusion (ADI) portfolio. Highlights of the meeting included plenary discussions on oral health literacy, innovative education programs to prevent dental caries in children and a visit to the Albuquerque Indian Health Service Dental Clinic.
At the meeting, ADI staff discussed many valuable ADEA resources available in support of the mission of SAID. Specifically, ADI highlighted the Summer Medical Dental Education Program (SMDEP) and the SMDEP 25th anniversary events taking place this summer, as well as the need to grow the pool of Native American/American Indian student participation in the program.
The importance of the SAID annual meeting was underscored by remarks by Dr. George Blue Spruce, Jr., founder and President Emeritus of SAID. Dr. Blue Spruce stated, “SAID has come a long way since our early days...now, more than ever, we need to grow the number of American Indian students in the dental pipeline."
ADEA staff shared the recent success of the student diversity leadership program offered at the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition. Finally, ADI invited SAID to distribute information about the ADEA/AAL Faculty of Color Tuition Scholarships to the ADEA/AAL Institute for Teaching and Learning for dental and dental hygiene educators, and private practitioners embarking on a new career in academia.