Dental Mission Week participants care for state’s underserved

Dental Mission Week participants care for state’s underserved

Dedicating one's life to serving others doesn't always come with a full benefits package: medical, dental, life and paid vacation. That's why Melissa Smith and her husband Joshua were thrilled to hear that free dental care would be available to them at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry's inaugural Dental Mission Week.

During the week of Feb. 6-10, the school shut down normal operations and opened its doors to Mississippi's underserved community. Patients from the metro area and as far away as Pascagoula and Greenwood arrived well before eight Monday morning to receive much needed care. 

The goal was to provide dental care to 800 adult patients between Monday and Thursday. As of Thursday morning, expected to be the biggest day yet, more than 450 patients had been treated.

Smith, a Jackson transplant from California, had not visited a dentist since she quit her desk job about five years ago to become a missionary. Her husband, Joshua, who grew up in Star, doesn't remember the last time he saw a dentist, if ever.

The couple met doing mission work with We Will Go Ministries in Jackson. Although they have traveled out of country ministering to others, their hearts are in Jackson where they spend their days distributing food, clothing and a kind word to less fortunate residents of the capital city.

When the dentistry school dropped off patient packets at the ministry, the Smiths jumped at the opportunity to receive dental care.

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These RNs have nursing careers as doctors

Caring for a patient without nurses is like trying to run a race without legs, or like trying to fix a car without hands.

Of the 593 students seeking medical degrees here now, at least nine know that better than anyone. Here are the stories of three of them.

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These RNs have nursing careers as doctors

Sickle cell trait could alter diabetes test results

Sickle cell trait could alter diabetes test results

Researchers from Brown University and the Jackson Heart Study say that physicians should be aware of new findings about a blood test used to monitor diabetes. The results could mean missed chances to treat diabetes in African-Americans with a common genetic trait.

University of Mississippi Medical Center scientists co-authored the study, published Feb. 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The results show that in people with the same fasting glucose level, sickle cell trait is associated with a lower than expected hemoglobin A1C, or HbA1c.

Diabetes is an important and prevalent risk factor in the Jackson Heart Study, said Dr. Adolfo Correa, UMMC professor of medicine, JHS director and co-author of the paper.

“If not controlled, diabetes over time will result in damage to the heart, kidneys and eyes, as well as cause unhealthy levels of cholesterol and blood lipids, high blood pressure and reduced cardiovascular health,” he said.

The JHS is a collaboration between UMMC, Jackson State University and Tougaloo College. It is the largest study of African-American cardiovascular health, following 5,300 community members since 2000.

This recent paper studied 4,620 people from the JHS and the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, or CARDIA, with similar fasting and two-hour blood glucose levels.

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Audiologist, nursing instructor join UMMC faculty

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff.

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Audiologist, nursing instructor join UMMC faculty
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