Dentistry, dental hygiene students create smiles in Belize

Dentistry, dental hygiene students create smiles in Belize

There are 12,000 school-aged children in the Toledo district of Belize - and only one dentist.

To say that Dr. Solomon Enriques has his hands full may be an understatement. But Dr. Charles Ramsey, clinical assistant professor of dental hygiene at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry, and a handful of dental and hygiene students lent him their services this past May.

Up until this year, a mission trip to provide actual dental treatments to the poorest district of Belize would not have been possible.

Ramsey had approached Ruth McDonald, the deputy prime minister of health for the Toledo district, about bringing dental students to treat the children in her district two years ago. “She was adamant that it would never happen,” he said.

Ramsey said that not even medical missions are allowed in the district due to negative experiences with medical and dental groups in decades past. “This particular district is very cautious about who is allowed in to provide health care,” he said.

Since 2012, Ramsey has organized trips for dental hygiene students to provide hand-washing demonstrations, diet counsel, oral hygiene instructions, fluoride treatments, toothbrushes and toothpaste. But the need for dental procedures is great.

Ramsey was not willing to give up the fight so easily. Through Enriques, he reached out to the senior dental surgeon over the country of Belize, Dr. Raphael Samos. “We began to correspond by email,” Ramsey said.

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People of the U: Jackie Robinson

As a teenager, Jackie Robinson observed as her mom threaded a needle with yarn and crocheted beautiful blankets and warm caps.

That hobby soon became woven into Robinson's life. “I became interested watching her, so I asked her to teach me how,” Robinson remembers of the time she was about 18.

Robinson, an environmental services technician II and five-year employee at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is known for her whimsical children's hats and clothing crafted from Red Heart yarn using a size G needle. She also creates soft blankets for babies and throws for adults.

“My favorite is blankets, but I do hats, booties, little diaper trousers, scarves and mittens,” Robinson said. She often draws inspiration from Disney and cartoon characters, and creates designs of her own for blankets.

She started off years ago using patterns, but soon found she didn't necessarily need them as her guide. “I went to YouTube to get patterns. I saw a Minion hat there, and it inspired me to try it,” Robinson said. “But my son asked for a Tasmanian Devil hat, and I didn't have a pattern. I just looked at pictures.”

The same was true for a Tigger hat. “Once I set my mind on how I want it to be, I don't need a pattern. I taught myself how to do blankets with a person's name on it. The idea is mine.”

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People of the U: Jackie Robinson

Merry Miracles radiothon to broadcast from Batson Dec. 1

Merry Miracles radiothon to broadcast from Batson Dec. 1

Organizers of the new holiday-themed Merry Miracles Mini Radiothon hope broadcasting from the lobby of Batson Children's Hospital Dec. 1 will result in a $10,000 gift to the Children's of Mississippi Early Intervention Program for babies with developmental delays.

Mix 98.7's Shannon Steele and John Anthony will be on the airwaves 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., talking with former neonatal intensive care unit patients and their families as well as NICU staff members, and taking calls and donations from listeners. To donate, call (601) 984-KIDS (5437).

“This is a unique event in that it focuses on one area of need, the Early Intervention Program,” said Jen Hospodor, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals manager at UMMC. “We are so grateful to Mix 98.7, which, along with its sister Radio People stations, is a perennial broadcaster in the spring Mississippi Miracles Radiothon, for making this Merry Miracles Mini Radiothon happen.”

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GWIMS talk, Emory expert's presentation top busy week's slate

A number of interesting events is scheduled for the upcoming week at the Medical Center.

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GWIMS talk, Emory expert's presentation top busy week's slate
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