School of Dentistry at Special Olympics

Special Olympics

Two dozen OHSU School of Dentistry students, staff, faculty, and their family members recently spent a hot summer day volunteering at the 2014 Special Olympics Oregon Summer State Games Special Smiles, performing dental screenings and oral hygiene instructions for 158 athletes. According to Elizabeth Palmer, D.M.D. `08, Pediatric Dentistry `10, M.S., who organized the school’s participation in the event, 13 of the athletes were also identified as having urgent dental needs.

The nine third-and fourth-year dental students who volunteered on July 12 at the games gave of their time during summer break, noted Lynn Whitley, D.M.D. `89, R.N., assistant professor of restorative dentistry and Sellwood group leader, who was responsible for garnering dental school volunteers. “I have a brother with special needs who has participated in Special Olympics events, so I know how much these activities can improve self-esteem,” said Dr. Whitley. “It is very meaningful for those of us who are there.”