UW School of Dentistry

Rock ’n’ Roll team makes strides for oral health

Students, faculty members and staff from the School of Dentistry took to the streets to raise money for oral health during Seattle’s annual Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon on June 22.

2013 Runners

Team members catch their breath after the races. Front row, from left: Mitzi Hasegawa, Seok Bee Lim, Norma J. Wells, Annikka Frostad-Thomas, Dr. Christy McKinney, Dr. Bea Gandara, Ron Thomas. Back row, from left: Paula Albright, Pat Larson, Dr. Steven Albright, Dr. Micah Nicholson, Dr. Neil Nicholson. Not shown: Dr. Wenjie Li, Heidi Sarff, Lan Nguyen, Dr. Richard Presland, Laura Benca.

Continuing the School of Dentistry’s tradition, team members ran to raise money for the Access to Dental Care Fund, which supports dental student volunteer activities and treatment for people with limited or no access to care. This year, runners from University Presbyterian Church bolstered the team, which also received a lift from the organizational efforts of student leader Heidi Sarff (Class of 2015).

For team member Annikka Frostad-Thomas, running the half marathon was part of a bigger picture.  A Stanford graduate and current AmeriCorps VISTA pre-dental student at the UW, she sees such events as  one approach to ending oral health care disparities among underserved populations, especially children. “Your oral health as a child has a lasting effect,” she said. “It affects your systemic health, your academic performance, and your self-esteem.”  Although still deciding on the specifics of her own career path, she sees opportunities for community service as an obligation of her future profession.

Another team member, Dr. Christy McKinney, Acting Assistant Professor of Oral Health Sciences, celebrated her 30th birthday with her first 5k run. Now she uses running to relieve stress.

“I like to run,” she says. “It makes me feel good, and it’s good for me.” Dr. McKinney is looking forward to running in the New York City Marathon in 2014.

Those who would like to support the team’s efforts are still welcome to donate to the fund. Checks may be written to the UW Foundation (with “Access to Dental Care” in the subject line), and sent to Glenn West, Associate Director of Advancement, UW School of Dentistry, 1959 NE Pacific St., HSC B-471, P.O. Box 357137, Seattle, WA 98195-7137.

If you’d like to help the team, contact Heidi Sarff, Class of 2015, at heidis4@uw.edu or 425-985-5508.