The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry’s Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) Chapter was named the Hispanic Dental Association’s (HDA) 2016 National Student Chapter of the Year at the HDA’s recent Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. This award recognizes the chapter for outstanding efforts to provide service, education, advocacy and leadership in Hispanic oral health.
Selected by a committee consisting of HDA National Office staff members and invited jurors, the chapter stood out among affiliate dental student chapters across the nation.
“We won due to our excellence in community outreach and activity this past year,” Jacqueline Magallanes, President of the UIC HSDA, explained. “Chapter of the Year guidelines look at community outreach, membership growth, and overall activity. We participated in dozens of community outreach events where we provided oral hygiene instruction, patient education, and free dental services in underserved communities with minority populations.”
Magallanes added, “We also boosted our student membership by nearly 100%, and hosted Spanish classes with an average of 30-40 students each session. We also have a very close partnership with our parent chapter, the regional Greater Chicago HAD, through which we participate in CE courses, seminars, and social activities.”
The award benefits the College and its HSDA chapter “because it highlights the diversity that represents UIC, and sheds light on the needs of our minority communities. We are helping to improve the general and oral health of one of the most afflicted communities in our city: the Hispanic population. It speaks to UIC’s mission of improving oral health, and HSDA’s mission of helping the underserved. Winning this award celebrates the hard work and dedication of HSDA’s board and members.”
Magallanes added that “HSDA celebrates diversity, and that by embracing our differences, we come together as a community with a common goal: to improve the oral and general health of our patients. Also, HSDA is very thankful to UIC’s Urban Health Program for sponsoring a couple of students to attend the conference, and especially thankful to our parent chapter, the Greater Chicago HAD, for sponsoring six students to attend the conference.
She offered special thanks to alumni Dr. Marcela Escobar, Dr. Carla Delafuente, and Dr. Genaro Romo of the Greater Chicago HDA for their support of the UIC HSDA.