January 16, 2015

Student David Ludwig honored for community service

Fourth-year dental student David Ludwig received a Community Volunteer Recognition Award on Thursday during annual ceremonies commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. at the University of Washington Health Sciences Center.

Patricia Riley, senior associate administrator of the University of Washington Medical Center, presents David Ludwig with the Community Volunteer Recognition Award.

Patricia Riley, senior associate administrator of the University of Washington Medical Center, presents David Ludwig with the Community Volunteer Recognition Award.

Ludwig, president of the Class of 2015, was among seven recipients of the award, which goes to a representative of each of the UW Health Sciences schools. He was nominated by the School of Dentistry not only for his direct volunteering in numerous community outreaches, but for his leadership in enlisting other dental students to join these efforts.

He played a key role in helping launch the Teeth and Toes Clinic, an interdisciplinary community service activity of medical, dental and nursing students that provides foot exams, dental exams and referrals to clients of women’s shelters and ROOTS, a Seattle shelter for homeless teens.

Ludwig has also regularly attended the University District Conversation on Homelessness, where he has presented information on oral health care, and he has also served in the annual One Night Count of King County’s homeless population for the last two years.

He also led the way in creating “Health and Homelessness,” an elective course at the School of Dentistry that began in 2013. The course features presentations by community partners, health care providers and advocates who serve the homeless on health issues, and it includes six hours of participation in community outreach. The interdisciplinary course, which draws nursing, medical and public health students as well as dental students, has grown from approximately 25 students to 78 students in fall quarter 2014 and has generated more than 1,500 hours of volunteer service.

Ludwig also volunteers in the School’s outreach at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, which provides care to clients of the mission and nearby shelters on weekends and evenings. He has also encouraged youth from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue dental careers, as when he took part in a “UW Dental Camp on the Road” at Neah Bay with high school students from the Makah tribe. He also joined an oral health education event at a health fair for migrant farm workers in the Skagit Valley.

“David is not only an outstanding dental student, but also exemplifies the finest values of community service,” Dean Joel Berg said. “We could not be prouder of him, and we congratulate him on this wonderful recognition.”