It’s Feb. 1, the start of National Children’s Dental Health Month. And there’s no better time for the inaugural Give Harnett Kids a Smile, when Campbell University students, faculty, and staff will work with the Harnett County Health Department to provide free dental and medical screenings on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the health department.
Tina Tseng, founding chair of Campbell’s public health department, worked with her husband, Ray, a dentist, to help bring the event to fruition. In December, we spoke with her about the event and what role students from across the disciplines will play during it:
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month; and on Feb. 2, we are going to work with the Harnett Health Department to offer dental services for kids who are uninsured. We’re also working with the physician assistant students to provide some basic medical services and exams, and our public health students will provide health education information. We’ll even have some pharmacy students involved. Being directly involved in the community and thinking of questions like how do we get real solutions that work for real people, our students get a more real-world perspective. They see the barriers to health, such as not having the resources, the transportation or the time, and that will prepare them to work in the field of public health and make a difference.
Tseng also spoke on why activities such as Give Harnett Kids a Smile carried out by the Campbell community are important:
At Campbell, we focus on rural health and, even more specifically, on helping the community in which Campbell is part of. One of the biggest needs in the country is for health-care professionals to go to rural areas and provide services. So the fact that we put our students into the community, that they do public health campaigns, and that they learn about the barriers that people face when it comes to health — maybe this community can be a model for others. We are a small program that has, hopefully, a big impact in our local community.