A Filipino Dental Student Coalition Is Born
By Krizia Garcia
A new student organization has formed that will focus on the dental needs of the Bay Area Filipino community.
The Filipino Dental Student Coalition (FDSC) held its inaugural meeting on November 14, 2013. School of Dentistry Dean John Featherstone welcomed the new registered club (RCO) to campus.
More than 30 Filipino students attend the UCSF School of Dentistry, including four incoming students this year. The increasing number of Filipino students at the school prompted dental faculty member Dr. Antonio Ragadio to encourage students to create an organization that will focus on “social, altruistic and other service efforts to benefit the Filipino community.”
The new organization plans to work alongside others that serve the under-represented and under-served in The City. The Bay Area is home to more than 400,000 Filipinos, many living in neighborhoods such as SOMA, the Excelsior, the Tenderloin, Daly City and the South Bay. Many of these residents have little access to health care and are in great need of assistance.
FDSC’s mission is to “unify the dental community in providing proper oral care and education to the under-served Filipino community, to foster and develop interest in health professions in Filipino-American youth in the Bay Area, as well as to bring appreciation and awareness of the Filipino culture,” according to the group’s organizers.
FDSC will work closely with the Mabuhay Health Center, a free student-run health clinic aimed to reduce health disparities in the SOMA South of Market district. FDSC participated in the Fifth Annual Mabuhay Health Center Day on December 7, where it provided free dental screenings and fluoride varnish treatments.
This event was a big community holiday party, and included food, games, raffles, performances, music and dancing, as well as access to health screenings, flu shots and dental screenings.
FDSC is also working on fund-raising to provide additional funds for the Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts, including a handmade bracelet sale and future food fund-raisers. Typhoon Haiyan has left 4.3 million people displaced, damaged 1.1 million homes and killed more than 4,000 people.
Krizia Garcia is a third-year dental student.