CHHS Goes to Campbell University to Learn About Oral Health

CHHS Goes to Campbell University to Learn About Oral Health

On Feb. 10, CHHS staff Sheri Shaw, assistant dean for student success, and Ashley Wells, assistant dean for community engagement, took a group of UNCW and CHHS students interested in rural health, medicine and dentistry to Campbell University for the inaugural Rural Oral Health Summit.

Campbell’s inaugural Rural Oral Health Summit featured professionals from North Carolina, Louisiana, West Virginia and Alaska speaking on the integration of primary care and oral health, prevention, school-based oral health and community-integrated oral health. Mary Otto, oral health topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists, reporter at the Washington Post and author of Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America, served as the keynote speaker.

The Summit is vital to raise awareness, because people tend to underestimate the impact of oral health, often perceiving it as a simple matter of personal hygiene. The Summit shared a variety of rural oral health topics, such as how some regional community service learning centers and dental clinics are merging in the state to support low income areas and medical desert areas. Additionally, the Summit provided attendees with a connection between dental health, rural communities and the opioid crisis.