INSTAGRAM!!!!

Hey Instagram people ….. I decided to expand our social media exposure and created and account. Search for …

jamaicaprojectvcu

I’m going to try and do a POST a day. Hopefully project alums will find it as it gains more and more followers. Help us out and spread the word among your Insta-friends :)

Donation From Visionary Consulting Partners

This fall the Jamaica Project was fortunate enough to receive a significant donation from the Visionary Consulting Partners located in Fairfax, Virginia.  We are very grateful for their financial support and recognition of our ongoing  dental care in Trelawny, Jamaica.  The funds will go entirely towards supplies, housing and in country transportation.  Thank you!

Presentation of  "Check" to the Jamaica Project

2017 Groups Ready to Travel Next Week,...

This years groups begin their work in Trelawny, Jamaica next week.  Dental care is to be provided from OCT 23rd weekdays thru NOV 10th.  Long Pond Clinic will serve as our home clinic.  Teams are expected to work in Ulster Springs and at Good Hope Plantation.  SEAL TEAM (#4) will be expanding services this year to Duncans Infant and Primary School as well as continuing their work in Duanvale, Jacksontown and Clarks Town.  Weather looks to be "tropical" with no hurricanes in the forecast.  There will be a total of 57 faculty, hygienists, residents, dental and hygiene students participating.  

A new dental service being provided this trip is endodontics.  We're hopeful this can become an integral part of the Project.  Dr. Clara Spatafore, Chair of VCU SoD Endodontics along with two of her residents are spearheading this initial attempt.  

Every 'ting is gonna be ah-right,...

2016 Project Reunion ....

April 19, 2017 evening drinks and food at the home of Perry and Beverly Jones.  Best turn out yet for a Project reunion!  "Good Vibrations" all around as folks catch up, share future plans and reflect on last fall's trip.  There was also some politicing going on with the graduating students,.... planting the seed of their returning as faculty,.... and reminding them that donations will always be welcome!  Beautiful time was had by all.

2016 Project Reunion,...

2016 Project Reunion,...

Mid-March now,....

The Go Fund Me campaign has been a really provided a nice bounce for our fund raising efforts.  Many thanks to all those that have helped!  And for anyone considering a donation,.... nothing is too small.  Spare change can help us to make a change 🇯🇲

2016 Group 2 after clinic a Good Hope Plantation

Go Fund Me Notices Sent Out,.....

Today notices about the Go Fund Me - Jamaica Project campaign are being sent out to Project veterans and students at VCUSoD.  Interested students got the ball rolling on this "experiment" and we're anxious to see how it goes.  People are able to easily share a link to the GFM page on their own FaceBook pages.  This will really gain us a great deal of exposure that we've not been able to achieve.  There is a GFM link in the right hand column of this page too.  If you've not seen the GFM page, please take a look.  🇯🇲

Thirty years and counting,.....

All groups enjoyed successful weeks in Trelawny again this year.  There were returning faculty types,... D 17's,....Hygiene students,.... former students coming as faculty,.... and new DDS's and RDH's.  In country we were aided by long time friends, familiar vendors and new acquaintances.  It's an evolving endeavor.  Hope every one that has been involved can feel the "respect"!

Jamaica Project 2016 Collage

Project 2016 In Progress,....

Group 1 and the Seal Team just returned  home last night from a productive week in Trelawny.  Dental care was provided at Long Pond Clinic, Ulster Springs Clinic, Schools Duanale, Kinloss, First Hill and Clarks Town.  Good Hope plantation workers were also visited by our providers.  The weather wasn't always accommodating but the rains did not deter the work or the patients.  Group 2 is up and running this week while Group 3 is preparing to travel down this weekend for their stint.  Our 30th year!  Wow!

Reunion of Fall 2015 Groups Last Night,....

Great turn out last night at Perry and Beverly Jones home.  All three groups were well represented.  Food, drink, music and a slide show of photos from last fall's Project had everybody smiling.  It's a busy time for  the graduating dental and hygiene students and it was good to spend some down time with them and learn where each one of them is heading.  Much Respect to all of them!

Wheels are turning,...

The wheels are turning to make the 2016 Jamaica Project (10/23 to 11/13) a reality.  The rising senior class met with Dr. Tiffany Williams and Dr. Bob Barnes last month to brief all interested in "what it takes" to travel down for our annual venture.  There was good attendance and the student coordinator for the upcoming year, Emma Moredock has already begun mapping out plans for fund raising.  

Things are ever changing in Trelawny.  Everglade Farms is not currently in operation as business and politics on the island struggle to find a workable path.  Likely this will mean our services will be more needed by the local population as the area economy takes a down turn.  Hopefully our clinic situation will remain stable and we'll be operating as usual.  Time will tell,....  We're planning on it!

Nice Article Written about 2015 Jamaica Project,.....

VCU School of Dentistry Students Provide Primary Care to the Underserved in Jamaica

Posted by THE NEXTDDS on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

VCU School of Dentistry faculty and dental students at the Long Pond Clinic in Trelawny Parish, Jamaica.

For dental students, some learning experiences make a bigger difference than others. For Amy Reichert, Class of 2016 at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Dentistry, the opportunity to provide care for the underserved population in Jamaica is especially powerful. Since 1986, VCU students have been going to Trelawny Parish in Jamaica and working out of a clinic that is adjacent to a sugar cane factory. These D4 students perform cleanings, extractions, restorations, and provide education for the local community, and the Jamaicans welcomed them warmly. “People would get so excited about making sure that their children would get looked at,” she said in a recent interview with THE NEXTDDS.

Every year, VCU Jamaica Project sends three waves of D4 students and dental hygiene students for one week stints to provide diagnostic and definitive care services under the direct guidance of preceptors. According to Reichert, the students rotate in their duties in the clinic. “We tried to rotate every few hours,” she said, to avoid fatigue and to broaden the experience. The demand for their care was high. “When do you say no? You can’t see everybody. All the patients were so appreciative,” she noted. Since the local population generally worked at the sugar cane plant, “we saw a lot of anterior caries, not so much the occlusal and buccal decay we see here in Richmond.”

Besides the high demand for their services, the students faced challenges with technology as well, Reichert said. “We had no X-rays there. It made doing restorations much more difficult. Every tooth you opened up was completely bombed out, even if they didn’t look too bad initially. We ended up pulping and pulling a lot of teeth.”

Mick Pope, DDS, and a faculty coordinator for the annual visit, emphasized that the students pay their individual airfare and they go there to work. “It’s not a trip that you win. The program runs only because the students raise the money.” Students initially express interest at an organizational meeting in January or February, then they coordinate fundraising events to pay for food, supplies and housing. Every year one student takes the initiative to be the coordinator, and for this most recent trip that student was Reichert. She kept track of how involved students were, who participated in fundraisers, and who took on leadership roles.  The most involved students were invited to go.  The trips take place in late October and early November, a challenging time for fourth-year students to leave since it is considered prime interviewing season.

Remarked Pope, “We take nine or ten students each wave over three weeks, so between 24 and 28 go each year. Most years we have an overabundance of students who want to go.” Not every dental school makes such an experience available to their students. “I don’t know how many students [go to Jamaica] from purely academic programs here in the U.S.” The experience has been powerful for students, Pope noted. “Feedback from students after each Project routinely includes the comment, ‘that’s the best thing that I ever did in dental school.’”

Reichert agrees. She found the opportunity to work closely with their preceptor, oral surgeon Dr. Greg Zoghby, was priceless. “Working with Dr. Zoghby was amazing. The little techniques I learned from him I will take with me for the rest of my career. I learned so many small techniques not just with extractions but also the anesthesia. Usually we do a lot of infiltrations in school, but he taught us how to do specific blocks and made sure we really understood the anatomy. A lot of us don’t get much experience with that in school.”

Over the 29-year history of the Jamaica trip, Pope says the school has developed many strong relationships with Jamaicans throughout Trelawny. “The clinic is in a sugar cane factory, set up to service their workforce.” The group stores their equipment in the clinic at the end of each Project, “and hopefully it will be there waiting for us next year,” he notes. When asked what the future holds, Pope says that they never really know. “This could always be the last year – we relay on the favors and willingness of our Jamaican friends to help us do this. We have no securities other than the on-going relationships we've established.” He fully expects that the effort will continue despite the challenges. “With 1,000 people being laid off [from the factory] just recently, they’re going to want and need our services next fall more than ever.”

Reichert also enjoyed the cultural exposure. “I’m really glad we had the opportunity to experience what it was like to be there day-to-day. We had a chance to see what it was like to actually be a Jamaican. The staff that we had in our houses were amazing. I’m a vegan, so cooking for me was more of a challenge. Gordon, our cook, went above and beyond. He made sure I was taken care of every night.”

Was there one especially memorable patient? Reichert shared this case. “There was this one lady…probably in her 60s, and I was taking out the rest of her teeth. She was nothing but smiles and gave me the biggest hug and told me she loved me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that good after seeing a patient.” She hopes to continue doing outreach care after she finishes her endodontics residency.

More information on the VCU trip to Jamaica can be found at their “unofficial” website. On behalf of all at THE NEXTDDS, we thank the VCU School of Dentistry team for sharing this amazing adventure.

Group 3 finishes,....

Yesterday Group 3 flew back to the US from a productive week in Trelawny.  They saw many folks for cleanings, restorative and extractions.  On their last day an inventory of remaining supplies was done.  Then the whole clinic was packed up and stowed in our storage closet not to be disturbed until next year,....  hopefully!!

  

Supplies for 2015 Groups,...

Below are the bins of supplies taken down to Jamaica a couple of weeks ago.  Groups 1 and 2 have completed their weeks and currently Group 3 is working at Long Pond Clinic.  It's been a busy few weeks.  Patient flow has been steady.  SEAL TEAMS were very active in Group 2 at Duanvale, Clark's Town, Kinloss and Jacksontown schools.  Things wrap up at the end of this week,....

Send Off for 2014 graduates,...

There was a small party this past Tuesday for Project participants hosted be Perry and Beverly Jones.   It was well attended by students and faculty of all three groups from the fall 2014 trip.   Everyone was in good spirits as graduation is drawing near.  Also fundraising for the 2015 trip is in full swing and on target. 

 

Group 2 Fall 2014 "pick up" where they left off,...

Group 2 Fall 2014 "pick up" where they left off,...

Fund Raising Has Started by the D'16s,...

Efforts have begun to prepare for the Fall trip.  It's only seven months away and there is much to be done.  Emails are being sent to all former Project participants soliciting donations.  The D'16s are individually emailing folks we have a valid email address for.  Keeping up on "good" email addresses is a challenge.  If you've previously gone on the Project please respond to "jamaicaprojectvcu@gmail.com" informing us of the best email address to reach you.  Thanks!

2014 Collage,....

Put together a collage from the photos of this year.  Tried to get everyone's face in the mix.  Added the results as well to the PDF.  Thought folks might like to send it around to their family and friends to show what is was like working in Jamaica.  Smile for the camera!