UW School of Dentistry

Our Programs

Are you interested in participating in activities such as oral health education, screenings and dental care for underserved members of the community? Would you like to participate in programs that promote dentistry as a career pathway for younger students from diverse backgrounds?

The Office of Educational Partnerships and Diversity is here to support you! Our goal is to facilitate student’s participation in the community via student-run community-based volunteer service activities such as Husky Smiles, the Latina Health Fair and the Boys and Girls Club oral health education program. We will also link you to a variety of opportunities throughout the year in which you can participate in career recruitment events in the community and in programs at the University of Washington such as Community Health Professions Academy and the Summer Health Professions Education Program, which promote career interests in dentistry, medicine, and other health-related professions.

Project H.O.P.E.

Started by two former University of Washington dental students in the summer of 2011. Project H.O.P.E. (Homeless Outreach Program and Education) is a program started, in partnership with Medical Teams International(MTI) and a Seattle-based women’s shelter, to help homeless women gain basic dental care and oral health education.

Once per quarter 8 students, 1-2 Faculty and a dental van provided by MTI collaborate and provide dental care to women(and men) from around the greater Seattle area at no cost to the patient.

Latina Health Fair

The Latina Health Fair (LHF) is ensuring our most vulnerable populations have access to appropriate and affordable preventative health care while linking them to available community resources. Through the participation of a wide range of community organizations, the LHF is an innovative way to meet the unique healthcare needs of all women and their families by minimizing the barriers that prevent them from accessing health care. The LHF offers free medical exams, health screenings, health education and much more! All are welcomed from the community to join us for music, presentations and a day of celebration!

Health and Homelessness

The Health and Homelessness course, an effort from the H.O.P.E. (Homeless Outreach Program and Education) project, is a student-led elective that consists of lunchtime discussions held throughout the year. It focuses on the lives of homeless and marginalized individuals and their experience of clinical, cultural, and policy issues. Some discussions highlight the services a particular organization provides to these populations. A lunch-time discussion series with speakers from different health disciplines and around the community who present on topics surrounding homelessness. Speakers will present for 30 minutes. The remaining time will be spent on Q&A and discussion among participants on how to:

  • Analyze the major social, cultural, legal and political factors contributing to homelessness in Seattle
  • Understand the challenges and steps for finding shelter for homeless individuals
  • Identify the major oral and systemic health issues confronting homeless individuals in Seattle.
  • Understand health care access problems for the homeless
  • Have completed 6 hours of hands-on experience in providing health education and/or care delivery for homeless individuals.
  • Understand how health professionals from different backgrounds can work together to address the needs of the homeless.

Northwest Career Technical Academy

Dental care is often inaccessible to uninsured and low-income populations.  Poor oral health is often linked to diabetes, heart disease, malnutrition, and strokes.  As such, this collaboration between MEDEX, Medical Team International (MTI), and the UWSOD offers a unique interprofessional hands-on learning opportunity while simultaneously providing a service to underserved/under-resourced populations of the Skagit Valley.  In this project, with appropriate supervision, dental students perform oral examinations and basic dental procedures while MEDEX students observe.  In addition, as part of the intake process, MEDEX students perform screenings for hypertension, diabetes, a detailed history, and patient education.  This project occurs in partnership with the Safe Harbor Free Clinic—and any necessary follow-up care is coordinated and arranged through the free clinic.

Union Gospel Mission

The Union Gospel Mission, (UGM), is dedicated to working with the hurt and homeless in the greater Seattle area. They began their mission during the Great Depression, serving soup to many homeless and unemployed people. Through their clinic, located in the Pioneer Square in Downtown Seattle, they allow several of our Third and Fourth dental students to provide their clinical services to those in need through their program. There are opportunities for service as assistants for four other students of any grade as well. The UGM strives to bring care and service to the community as we partner with them. More information about Union Gospel Mission

Teeth & Toes

Teeth & Toes pairs our dental students with University of Washington nursing students and medical, in efforts to provide care to the community. This inter-professional event allows dental, nursing and medical students to work together to provide care to refugee and homeless shelters in the Seattle area. This event is a partnership within the Health schools that allows our students of all grades to work together and provide care through multiple forms of care. More information on Dental Student Volunteer Opportunities.

Programs for Empowering Youth to Health Careers

Community Health Professions Academy (CHPA) is a program held at the University of Washington School of Dentistry aimed at students, between the ages of 13 and 18, interested in the health professions. CHPA introduces underrepresented students to a wide variety of health careers through opportunities to connect with dental student mentors and current healthcare professionals. More information on Community Health Professions Academy.

In addition to CHPA, our office coordinates several one- day events aimed towards students in middle and high school interested in healthcare careers. In collaboration with local educators, we offer hands-on activities and resources for students interested in a wide range of healthcare careers from medical assisting to medicine. Other Programs for Empowering Youth.

We also collaborate with the UW School of Medicine and UW School of Public Health for the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP), a 6 week summer enrichment program for pre-health undergraduate students.