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August 15, 2013 | SOI General: Headquarters

Vermont Has A Reason To Smile

By Lynn Erickson

The Vermont State Dental Society and Special Olympics Vermont partnered together to bring 15 students to Vermont from several nearby top dental schools to volunteer at Summer Games and to showcase the state to these future dentists.

The state of Vermont does not have a single dental school but it does have one strong Vermont State Dental Society (VSDS). The VSDS’s need to encourage future dentists to practice in Vermont coupled with Special Olympics Vermont’s goal to provide more athletes with free Special Smiles dental screenings blossomed into a brand-new partnership between the two organizations this year. In June 2013, the VSDS and Special Olympics Vermont hosted 15 students from several nearby top dental schools, including Boston University, Harvard University and Tufts University, as part of Vermont’s Summer Games. Here, students had the opportunity to experience the unfathomable joy of Special Olympics and the unique culture of Vermont in two action-packed days. Denise Tong, a dental student, recalls, “I was so impressed by the smiles on the athletes' faces. Every dental student who volunteered had the unique experience of working with this underserved population and seeing their positive spirits.”

About Lynn Erickson: Health Communications Specialist
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