Tag Archives: dental hygiene

TSU helping to give youngsters a “healthy start” back to school

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is helping area youngsters get a “healthy start” back to school.

The university will partner with several organizations on Saturday, July 29, to sponsor the 5th annual Love’s Healthy Start Festival at Hadley Park from 9 a.m. to noon.

The event, which is open to the public, was started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., whose district includes TSU.

One thousand youngsters will receive free backpacks and school supplies at the festival, which will also focus on health and education, as well as provide free food and live entertainment, Love said.

“Love’s Healthy Start Festival is more than a back to school event,” he said. “It is designed to give the entire family an opportunity to start the school year off right.”

Health screenings and dental exams will be available for youth and adults.

Leon Roberts is coordinator of clinics for TSU’s Department of Dental Hygiene. He said representatives from the department will be at the festival to discuss the benefits of good hygiene, as well as talk about the university’s Dental Hygiene Clinic.

The clinic provides service to nearly 600 patients a year, including students as well as the Nashville community.

“A lot of dental diseases can be easily prevented by brushing and flossing properly, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year,” Roberts said. “We plan to give people a quick demonstration on how to brush and floss properly, but also let them know about the clinic.”

Other TSU participation will include the university’s Ralph H. Boston Wellness Center, which offers a range of sports, recreation and fitness activities for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

“We want the community to know the importance of health and wellness; taking care of yourself,” said Jerry Davis, Wellness Center director. “We also want to let people know what we do, as well as look to partner with outside agencies.”

Love said the festival will also feature literacy and financial education programs. For instance, he said the festival is partnering with Book’em, a nonprofit organization, to provide 1,000 free books to youngsters in grades K-12.

There will also be information about initiatives like Tennessee Promise, which provides eligible graduating high school seniors two years of free tuition at a community or technical college in Tennessee.

“We want parents to know about the opportunity their children have to get a free education,” Love said.

Other expected TSU festival participants include the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and the Office of Enrollment Management.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center partner to improve dental care

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center are partnering to improve dental care in Nashville.

On June 11, the two collaborated to provide free dental screenings and cleanings. Organizers said the event, called “Free Dental Health Day,” was a success and will be held annually.

“We were open for service from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and people started lining up before 8 a.m.,” said Dr. Robyn Mays, dental director at Matthew Walker.

TSU and Matthew Walker are also working on a program that will allow TSU’s dental hygiene students to rotate through Matthew Walker’s dental department as part of their curriculum. Matthew Walker’s hygienist is a graduate of TSU’s Dental Hygiene Department, and would likely evaluate the students, according to Gary-Lee A. Lewis, who heads TSU’s department.

“There would be a dual benefit,” Lewis said. “We would serve as additional professionals available to provide the services, while our students would get exposure to different patients.”

The collaboration is another effort by health care experts to try to improve dental care in Nashville. For instance, the city has formed the Middle Tennessee Oral Health Coalition, which is “working to collaborate and facilitate access to those who need dental care in Middle Tennessee,” said Dr. Michelle Pardue, dental program director for the Metro Public Health Department.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, nearly 7,000 adults went to Davidson County emergency rooms in 2014 for relief of dental conditions. The number has been on the rise since 2012, the department said.

“While many have benefited from improved oral health in Nashville, we still have room to improve,” Pardue said.

Lewis said TSU’s clinic, alone, averages about 600 patients a year and he hopes that number will increase “with the linkages that we make with the community,” such as the collaboration with Matthew Walker.

In addition to dental care, Matthew Walker has served Middle Tennessee families for nearly 50 years with a comprehensive primary care model of services that include pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine, behavioral health, nutrition, along with ancillary services such as radiology, laboratory and pharmacy.

But particularly in the case of dental care, TSU dental hygiene student Rachel Rowe said she believes the continued collaboration between TSU and Matthew Walker will benefit many people. The senior was among several TSU students who participated in the “Free Dental Health Day “ in June.

“Without a doubt, everything I did … gave me a new passion for helping the community,” Rowe said. “I will remember both the knowledge and the experience I gained.”

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.