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Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry was honored for its 10 years of service to Project Homeless Connect providing dental care to the homeless.

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Community Engagement

Pacific honored for providing dental care for the homeless

On the 10th anniversary of Project Homeless Connect, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry was honored for its many years of providing dental services to the homeless.
Dec 22, 2014

Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry was recognized for its work providing dental care for the homeless at Project Homeless Connect's 10th Anniversary Breakfast Gala.
Held at Twitter's corporate headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Gala was an opportunity to showcase PHC's accomplishments over the last 10 years and offer a vision for the future of the program. Pacific Dugoni was one of three honorees presented with Project Homeless Connect (PHC) Connector Awards.
The event also honored Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Alex Tourk. PHC was founded in 2004 under the leadership of Newsom, who at that time was mayor of San Francisco, and implemented by Tourk, who was then serving as deputy chief of staff for the Office of the Mayor.
Project Homeless ConnectPHC connects the most vulnerable San Franciscans to vital resources such as dental care, eyeglasses, housing resources, food, employment assistance, hygiene products, legal advice and other services. By mobilizing city and community agencies, as well as thousands of volunteers, PHC is able to ensure that its participants receive holistic care in a dignified setting. Corporations, nonprofits and government agencies participate in each event.
"Our first involvement in Project Homeless Connect was spearheaded by three of our dental students," said Dean Patrick. J. Ferrillo Jr. "Their participation really demonstrated their leadership and passion for helping others. I congratulate them and the hundreds of other students, faculty and staff members who have gotten involved with Project Homeless Connect over the years."  
Pacific Dugoni's history of service with PHC goes back to 2007, when three DDS students established a partnership with the organization to meet a need they saw in the San Francisco community. Dan Witcher '08, Brian Withers '08 and Saam Zarrabi '08, along with faculty advisors, set the wheels in motion to get the school involved in the event. Since 2007, student, faculty and staff volunteers have donated thousands of hours in service through oral health screenings, extractions and denture procedures. Working with PHC, Pacific Dugoni has also created a denture block program where the school provides dentures to homeless individuals at no cost.
"The honor and recognition of Pacific Dugoni with the 2014 PHC Connector Award is made possible due our very fine student leadership in SCOPE and faculty teamwork," said Chris Miller, associate professor and director of community programs at Pacific Dugoni, and one of the lead faculty advisors involved in PHC since the beginning. "The PHC project is an excellent model for our students to gain community oral health experience and witness a public-private partnership with longevity."
The dental school's Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) program is a student-run volunteer community service organization at the school. SCOPE student volunteers take active roles in sponsoring or participating in activities such as Project Homeless Connect. They also offer prevention education, health screenings and presentations for families, parents, children, senior citizens and other underserved members throughout the Bay Area community.
According to Project Homeless Connect, 49,729 volunteers have provided services to 75,625 homeless and low-income San Franciscans in the first ten years of PHC (as of March, 2014). The federal government's Interagency Council on Homelessness has declared Project Homeless Connect a national best-practice model. It has been replicated in over 260 cities across the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia. To learn more, visit

Media contact:
Dan Soine, Director of Marketing and Communications
Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
155 Fifth Street • San Francisco, CA  94103
415.351.7106 •  

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