Migrant workers in northern Michigan to receive dental care
June 2002 (9)Migrant workers in northern Michigan to receive dental care
EDITORS: You can visit the clinics personally to talk to dentists and patients; patients need to give their approval to be interviewed or photographed. For information about migrant farm workers in Michigan, including migrant household statistics, a list of services provided to them, and information on groups and departments involved with migrant workers, visit this Family Independence Agency Web site: http://www.michigan.gov/fia/1,1607,7-124-5452_7124_7205—CI,00.html
ANN ARBOR—Migrant workers in northwestern lower Michigan will receive free oral health care from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry between June 24 and Aug. 2.
During those six weeks, dental students will provide a range of oral health care services, as well as offer oral health care advice, to migrant workers and members of their families. The sites where the care will be provided are: Elk Rapids Middle School, 707 E. 3rd St.; Kaleva Community Elementary School, 9208 Kauko St.; and Suttons Bay Elementary School, 310 Elm St.
Children of migrant workers will receive dental care during the day at the schools while their parents are working. Adult migrant workers will receive oral health care in the evening at the same sites. To make it easy and convenient for children and adults to receive treatment, portable equipment, such as X-ray machines, dental chairs, air and water, will be set up at the schools.
Dr. Robert Bagramian, a professor of dentistry and director of the summer dental migrant clinic program, said, “This program, which now is in its 29th year, illustrates both the School’s and the University’s commitment to the state of Michigan.”
Nearly 300 patients were treated during the program last year, about the same number as the previous year, he said. Dental students placed more than 350 sealants, nearly 150 fluoride treatments, filled nearly 270 tooth surfaces, and extracted 110 teeth.
Bagramian said the summer program continues to be popular with dental students. “As in previous years, this year we again had more applicants than spaces available. Forty-eight students applied for 24 open positions.” He said several factors determined which of the dental students, who will be seniors when the fall term begins in August, were selected for the summer migrant dental program.
“These students are in the upper level of their class, both clinically and academically, and have demonstrated a commitment to serving others,” Bagramian said.
Ryan Van Haren, who received his dental degree in May, and Dr. Andres Ocampo, a graduate student, will supervise this year’s program.
Students who participate in the program have consistently been enthused about their experiences during their two-week rotations. When they return to the School of Dentistry, students submit a written report and evaluation about their experiences. Typical comments include “this was the greatest experience I had in dental school,” “it’s interesting to work with a patient population from a different culture,” and “I felt as though I made a difference.”
The U-M School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care, and community service. General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the School to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan. Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia, and public agencies. Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide. More information is available on the Web at http://www.dent.umich.edu.