January 20, 2009
MLK Event--Health Sciences
Kenneth May, UM Dental School Chair, performed a gracious introduction and welcomed the audience. Afterwards, a liturgical dance was performed by some 8 women in colorful garb. Then Frank Ascione, Chair of the School of Pharmacy, welcomed everyone in the Dow Auditorium of the UMHS. I also spotted Douglas Strong, UMHS CEO in the audience. Raymond Gist, Chair of the MLK Program, introduced Dr. Joanne Dawley, the first female president of the Michigan Dental Association, who happens to also be an African Amercian woman, an individual who earned her undergrad degree at UM and her DDS at UM School of Dentistry. The keynote address was about "the perfect storm," meaning what is happening in Michigan economically as well as socially with particular concern about the lack of regular dental care for children who are African American, especially in the inner city. That was essentially it. She quoted statistics to reveal how dismal the situation is and gave a few examples of how lack of dental care can cause systemic disease and even death in one case (fulminating infection in a young man whose mother could not afford to have his tooth extracted in time). Then Q&A with a little discussion about the free dental day at UM but the fact that this is insufficient care. A couple of other questions were followed by a reception in the hall; there was another short segment of dance by the liturgical dancers, and then some of us (those with tickets) went to lunch downstairs in the lunchroom, which was set up nicely with lots of tables-room was just about filled. After lunch, more Q&A and then flowers were presented to Dr. May by a woman with a lot of charisma, possibly Valener Perry, I believe, who said that he was her actual dentist and that she retains her actual teeth (Dr. May had given Dr. Dawley a bouquet on stage right after her presentation).
Posted by schnitzr at January 20, 2009 01:05 PM