LMU students log thousands of hours of community service

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2023


Lincoln Memorial University-College of Dental Medicine continues to emphasize its goal to address oral health needs and provide access to dental healthcare in the Appalachian region through community service efforts.

Since the beginning of the program, LMU-CDM Dean and Chief Academic Officer Denise Terese-Koch, DDS, FAGD, MBA, EdD, has maintained that service to the community is important to the LMU-CDM culture. She continues to set an example to her students by representing LMU at numerous free clinics throughout the region and has developed outreach programs that continue to expand the impact of LMU-CDM.

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Students are required to complete 40 hours of community service a semester as a part of their community outreach and service-learning class, which spans the duration of the four-year program. The class is designed to teach students community service-learning theory and practice.

“Students can meet these requirements through volunteering at non-profit organizations such as Remote Area Medical, the Health Wagon, Appalachian Miles for Smiles, and other agencies serving the underserved populations of Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, and Georgia,” said Terese-Koch. “These courses are designed to enhance students’ understanding of the social determinants of health, community public health, and civic engagement.”

Collectively, 80 doctor of medicine in dentistry and 30 dental hygiene students have completed more than 7,150 hours of community service just within their first year of dental school.

Students have also provided oral health education to elementary and junior high age children on oral disease prevention, tobacco cessation, and drug avoidance in the LMU-CDM Center for Research and Education in Technology facilities at the LMU Tower.