Shaping teeth, minds and waistlines is how Mary Mabry describes the mission of Mississippi Wellness Group.
That's the business plan created by Mabry, Katie Cranston, Alex Himel and Scarlett Woods, master's in biomedical sciences students in the School of Graduate Studies, for the second annual Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Social Business Challenge held Feb. 10.
Their project, “Addressing disparities in dental care access utilizing a school-based mobile dental home and nutrition education program in underserved communities in north Mississippi,” won second place.
“We were really excited and surprised when they announced our team,” Mabry said.
Eleven teams from Mississippi's public universities presented their ideas to a panel of health and business professionals in the Institutions of Higher Learning board room in Jackson. The teams from the University of Southern Mississippi placed first and Delta State University placed third.
Row upon row of young children file off buses and into the School of Dentistry on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center early Friday morning.
It's all hands on deck as everyone from administrative staff and faculty to students and researchers work together to serve the biggest influx of patients, in a four-hour period, that the dental clinics will see all year: Give Kids A Smile.
Before noon, over 700 students from Johnson, Galloway and Dawson elementary schools will have received a free dental exam and cleaning, instruction on brushing and flossing, sealants on permanent molars, and a referral, if needed.
A number of interesting events is scheduled for the upcoming week at the Medical Center.