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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: Sen. Malone Works to Bring Dental Program to V.I.

FYI: Sen. Malone Works to Bring Dental Program to V.I.

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June 29, 2007 – Senate Vice-President and member of the Committee on Health, Hospitals & Human Services, Senator Shawn-Michael Malone met with Dr. Linwood Bennerson of the New York University College of Dentistry, Dr. Phyllis Wallace, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Health, Dr. Duanne Jones, Chairman of the VI Board of Dentistry and members of various other government and homeland security agencies to discuss bringing a dental outreach program to the US Virgin Islands.
"Currently, we have done this program in several countries such as India, Tanzania and the Dominican Republic. We believe the Virgin Islands gives us the opportunity to bring the program closer to home on American soil. Our goal is to reach people that normally wouldn't have access to dental hygiene care and also to educate them on general oral hygiene, general dentistry and pediatric dentistry," Dr. Bennerson said. He said his target groups were young children, the elderly and young, single mothers.
"I believe healthcare is very important in any community. Sometimes, dental care is downplayed for whatever reason, but it is just as important as getting your routine check-ups. Hopefully, this can be another avenue to improve healthcare for our citizens, simply through preventative maintenance and education," Malone said about the program. "I will work with Dr. Bennerson, Dr. Wallace, Dr. Jones and the University of the Virgin Islands to make this program a reality," he added.
Bennerson said examinations will be conducted by licensed dentists from New York University, with the assistance of oral hygienists and dental assistants. Senior students from the NYU's College of Dentistry will also be on-hand to receive critical training and experience. "This can definitely be a win-win situation for everyone and I thank Senator Malone for orchestrating this meeting. I'm looking forward to making this a reality," Dr. Bennerson added.
"I want to thank everyone that attended the meeting and pledged their support to this endeavor. I will certainly do my due diligence to make sure this program gets instituted. With the help of UVI, we can interest our young people in pursuing a career as a dentist, dental assistant or oral surgeon. We can connect the dots between healthcare and developing careers. It definitely bolsters the community," Malone concluded.

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