Skip Navigation
Multi Photo Banner
About The School Header Image

UTSD's Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Stars at Health Fairs

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 11:06am

Volunteers staffing the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile at Easter ThrillFest were (standing, from left):  Margo Melchor, RDH; students Holly Ketterer, Sarah Pollitt, Jenna Lovett, Sarah McCullough, Dr. Kathy Ko, Technical Services Manager Jonathan Green; dental student Cleona Oliver and Dr. Rebeca Weisleder. Kneeling are students Kimberly Paz and Angela Wan.

Volunteers staffing the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile at Easter ThrillFest were (standing, from left):  Margo Melchor, RDH; students Holly Ketterer, Sarah Pollitt, Jenna Lovett, Sarah McCullough, Dr. Kathy Ko, Technical Services Manager Jonathan Green; dental student Cleona Oliver and Dr. Rebeca Weisleder. Kneeling are students Kimberly Paz and Angela Wan.

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, staffed with students and faculty from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, was a highlight of two Houston-area health fairs this spring. The school operates the dental van in partnership with Ronald McDonald Charities of Greater Galveston/Houston, Inc.  

More than 50 children got dental screenings and oral hygiene instructions at the Children’s Festival on March 29 in downtown Houston, as did more than 100 children at Easter ThrillFest April l19 at MacGregor Park.  Parents were given dental resources and educational materials. 

Children’s Festival volunteers from the School of Dentistry included dental hygiene students Kimberly Paz, Ilona Rutkowska, Ilona Garza, Tracy Tran and Jenna Lovett; and dental students Shachi Shah and Adam Skrypczak.  Assistant Professor Amity Gardner, DDS, was the supervising faculty member.  Pat Henshaw, RDA, served as dental van coordinator.

Dental student Adam Skrypczak talks to a young patient before the screening.

Dental student Adam Skrypczak talks to a young patient before the screening at the Children's Festival in downtown Houston.

Easter ThrillFest volunteers from the School of Dentistry included dental hygiene students Nina Pham, Sarah McCullough, Angela Wan, Holly Ketterer, Sarah Pollitt, Paz and Lovett; dental student Cleona Oliver; and pediatric dentistry resident Kathy Ko, DMD. The supervising faculty were Associate Professor Rebeca Weisleder, DDS, and Community Outreach Director Margo Melchor, RHD, MEd. Technical Services Manager Jonathan Green drove the dental van.  

The student volunteers said the parents, as well as the children, benefited from the interaction.

 “I met several parents who were enthusiastic about seeking care for themselves, as well as their children,” said Sarah McCullough, first-year dental hygiene student. “It was a privilege to be a source of information for these parents.” 

Her classmate, Kimberly Paz, said the fun-filled event may have helped establish positive feelings about dentistry.  “It was great seeing children enjoy their day with the various events at the festival, and it was even better being a part of that,” she said. “I know for children, fear of going to the dentist is learned, and I loved knowing that we made their experience enjoyable and positive.”