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News & Press: Foundation

President's Message

Monday, September 22, 2014   (0 Comments)
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As usual, I often “surf” the web for ideas, articles and news focused on areas of my own interests. My goal is to increase my understanding and to further educate myself in this ever-increasing learning environment called the web. Oh yes – Facebook counts too!

I came across this article by Arthur A. Dugoni, D.D.S., M.S.D. regarding Dental Education in the Journal of Dental Education.

I’d like to share with you:

This is but a brief section of the article, it simply speaks to the heart of the matter when it comes to the crises in dental education for the schools, its programs, their students and the dental profession as a whole.

Philanthropy and Dental Education.
J Dent Educ 2012 76:275-278

“Dental education is the foundation of our profession, and this foundation is threatened. If we do not have a strong foundation in education, our profession risks losing its integrity. Some even say that if nothing is done to repair the system, it will eventually turn the profession of dentistry into a trade. There are overwhelming challenges facing the entire educational system, not just dental education.

Dental schools suffer from aging physical and clinical facilities that must be updated to meet the challenges of the future. Technology, while helpful in the educational process and integral in the practice of dentistry, demands a constant stream of money to fund upgrades and new equipment. This is one of the more challenging effects of the continuous advancements of technology. Often technology becomes obsolete soon after development! Unfortunately, it is the nature of the technology beast, but it is an educational must-have since students cannot graduate and enter the profession with training in antiquated methods, equipment, and facilities.

A dental education is one of the most costly professional education and training programs. Dental students graduate from dental school in the United States with an average of $162,000 in debt and many with more than $400,000 in accumulated debt. Besides creating foundations and endowments, Andrew Carnegie spent significant sums establishing libraries because he believed that education should be free. Unfortunately, we do not have this luxury to offer to all dental students. But we can alleviate some of the stress and the cost of education that is placed on the shoulders of our graduates by creating grants and endowments.

Since government support is decreasing, dental schools increasingly must rely on generous donations and fundraising campaigns simply to maintain operations at their current rate. But what happens when you want to grow a school and prepare for the future? What happens when equipment needs to be updated and educational demands are not being met? Our dental students will suffer significant educational and dental medical training shortfalls, and they are the future generations of our profession.

These are some of the challenges that our schools, our educators, and our students faced yesterday, face today, and will face tomorrow, and it is our responsibility to make a difference. The future of our profession is dependent on us and our actions. These challenges may seem overwhelming, but they are not insurmountable. What works for one school might not work for others, but that does not mean that programs and policies cannot be adapted to fit the needs of the students and the school. We owe it to ourselves to safeguard our educational system—the system that provided us with the knowledge and talent to thrive and to provide for our family, friends, and patients.

Our dental education is what has made each of us into the person we are today. It has molded us into dental professionals, enabled us to provide care for those who need it, and provided us with respect and dignity. If it were not for the strong dental education that we received, the dental profession would cease to exist as we know it, with detrimental effects not only to dentists but to the health of the public. Developing a culture of philanthropy among our peers, our colleagues, our friends, and ourselves is essential. We can seize with our excitement the future of our profession. Acts of giving should inflame a passion for the profession of dentistry. Charitable giving allows for the development of extraordinary and innovative projects that expand and enhance learning opportunities for every student.

In my experience, the top three reasons why people make a donation are the following: returning something to society, a belief in a particular cause, and a desire to make a difference or change. This profession thrives on the dedication and support of an entire network of people, but it needs funding to survive. Proper funding is imperative, and it is the responsibility of dental school graduates who have been positively affected by the profession to give back. Dentists are generous with their time and talent, but must be even more generous with their treasury. However, the ultimate goal lies in finding solutions to our problems. Having proper funding will assist in this process, but we need the strong minds and support of everyone to pool ideas and join forces to enhance and protect the progress of dental education and its commitment to excellence”.

This article speaks to the mission of the CSPD Foundation!

The mission of the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation is to support and promote education, research, and service that advance the oral health of all California infants, children, adolescents, and those with special health care needs.

The future is in your hands! – Without your generous donations, the Foundation could not fund the programs that are the future of your profession in California. We address each program on their individual needs basis and at the same time support the CSPD/WSPD membership with hot topic presentation keeping you abreast of the pitfalls, hurdles and exciting developments that effect your profession.

Please consider this as our first outreach towards the 2014-2015 annual giving campaign. You can fill out the form in this news bulletin and send via US mail or log onto CSPD.org/foundatioin and submit your donation. For those of you who donate on a regular basis, thank you. Please consider increasing your pledge level to a life level. Those of you who have completed your life pledge, please consider continuing your yearly donation – all donations are cumulative which allows you to climb to top levels.

Once again, thanks to you all for all you do. As always, if you have any comments or concerns I may be reached at SteveG@SMLglobal.com

Respectfully,

Steve gross CDT
President CSPD Foundation


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