Dreams. Made Real.
Bringing Dental Care to Georgia Migrant Workers
There are a lot of ways college students can spend their summers. For a select few in the Clayton State University Dental Hygiene program, the summer of 2015 marked the eighth consecutive year of bringing dental care to migrant farm workers in Moultrie, Colquitt County, Ga., as part of the Farm Workers Families Health Program (FWFHP).
For 2015, Clayton State faculty member Brittany Guyton supervised eight Clayton State dental hygiene students in providing free oral health screenings, preventative dental sealants, health education, and donated dental products to an underserved population in a volunteer opportunity coordinated by fellow Clayton State faculty member Joanna Harris-Worelds.
During their week in Moultrie the students will typically treat 100 patients, place hundreds of sealants, and educate many men and women at local farms, thus combining community service to a group of patients who seldom, if ever, see a dentist, with experiential learning.
“The Farm Worker’s Family Program is a valuable enrichment learning experience for our Dental Hygiene students,” says Dr. Ximena Zornosa, interim chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene. “The students will spend a week providing oral healthcare and preventive education to farmworkers and their families in south rural Georgia. For many of these workers, this may be the only oral healthcare they receive during the year. The students will have the opportunity to not only use the skills they have acquired during their first year in the program but will work side-by-side with other healthcare professionals and students and experience first-hand the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in healthcare delivery.”
“The children look like little angels and give me energy to work to my full potential,” says Clayton State student Tigist Nebro. “I am so happy because I am here to help and learn from my instructor and fellow classmates. I have also learned alternative methods to treat patients on the Moultrie trip.
“I believe this is a good opportunity for my future career.”
FWFHP is a federally funded program designed to provide primary health care to farm workers and their families, and is operated through the Ellenton Rural Health Clinic in Colquitt County, which serves Colquitt, Cook, Tift, and Brooks counties. Each year, Clayton State joins and collaborates with nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy, and dental hygiene students and faculty from several other colleges and universities to provide needed healthcare services over the course of a two-week period.
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