Graduates from A.T. Still
University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH)
were honored last month with a blanketing ceremony at the 28th Annual Conference
of the Society
of American Indian Dentists (SAID).
“The blanketing ritual is a
ceremony to express honor and achievement,” says George Blue Spruce, D.D.S., M.P.H.,
Assistant Dean of American Indian Affairs. “It is performed throughout American
Indian tribes and organizations.”
Sarah Hill, D.M.D., M.P.H.,
Reggie Crowe, D.M.D., and Francisco Mascarenas, D.M.D., all members of the
class of 2018, received blankets at the ceremony. Dr. Hill is Sioux Klamath
Modoc, Dr. Crowe is Seneca Cayuga Osage, and Dr. Mascarenas is Yacqui. The
blankets and designs vary among tribes, but they symbolize gratitude and
respect for the recipients’ achievements.
“Traditionally, a blanketing
ceremony demonstrates great honor and admiration for someone,” says Dr. Crowe.
“To be honored by SAID is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Since their graduation in May,
all three dentists have been fulfilling ATSU’s mission to serve the
underserved. Dr. Hill has accepted a position at Seattle Indian Health Board,
an innovative clinic dedicated to improving health care for American Indian
communities. Dr. Mascarenas is completing Advanced Education in General Dentistry
at The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s dental clinic in Phoenix. Dr. Crowe is
working as a dentist at the Lower Sioux Health Care Center providing care to a
tribal community in rural Minnesota.
“My goals right now are to
bring quality care to this tribe and enhance my skills while helping the
community,” says Dr. Crowe.
SAID is a national nonprofit
organization dedicated to improving the oral health of American Indian and
Alaskan Native communities and advocating for dentists with tribal heritage.
of Anne Ackroyd, Public Relations
Specialist, A.T. Still University
on August 8, 2018