Dental Alumni History
With the establishment of the Department of Community Dentistry in 1974, the Dental School’s clinical training of students expanded to the metropolitan Washington community. Through structured, independent, and volunteer programs, dental students gained experience as health educators and public speakers, developing an acute awareness of their responsibilities to the public as dental professionals.
Project T.E.A.C.H (Teeth, Education and Children’s Health) took first year dental students into Washington’s inner city elementary schools to present classes on dental health and hygiene. Many of Georgetown’s graduates still donate their services to area schools through similar programs.
The Georgetown Dental Health Center was a mutual effort between the school and So Other Might Eat (SOME), a private, non-profit corporation which provides assistance to Washington’s indigent and homeless people. Senior dental students provided emergency, restorative, and maintenance care to approximately 25 patients a day in a setting similar to that of private practice. In 1986, the GUSD/SOME Dental Clinic received the Presidential Citation Award for Private Sector initiatives, in recognition of seven years of community service.
1990: A Lifetime Legacy
In his commemorative address to the Class of 1990, Edmund D. Pellegrino, M.D. Director of Georgetown University Center of Advanced Study of Ethics, made the following remarks.
“…You, today’s graduates, together with the alumni and the faculty, are the imperishable soul which survives the existence of the school itself…By your competence, your dedication, and…your ethical integrity, you can add further luster to the memory and tradition of your school for many years to come.”
As Georgetown’s dental clinic closed, coordinated arrangements were completed to ship 110 of the school’s dental units, along with textbooks, slides, and teaching materials, to Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, a 12,000-student Jesuit university in Bogota, Columbia.
The donated equipment enabled the university to update its dental clinic and establish the school’s first master’s degree programs in orthodontic and oral surgery. Javeriana in turn used its old equipment to furnish clinics in isolated rural communities, where students serve training internships.
“This is a continuation of the program we had here. Georgetown’s dental school lives on in Javeriana.” -- Irma M. Frank, D.D.S, Director International Elective Programs Consultant for Latin American Programs.