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Mauiʻs Sakamoto and Johnson Honored by HDA

Posted on | January 28, 2011 | Comments Off

Johnson and Sakamoto holding awards

From left, Nancy K. Johnson and Clyde Sakamoto

The Hawaiʻi Dental Association recognized Maui Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto and Associate Professor Nancy K. Johnson as members of the community who have made outstanding contributions in the promotion of dentistry and the improvement of oral health in Hawaiʻi.

“Chancellor Sakamoto and Ms. Johnson are well deserving of this honor. Their leadership has positively impacted many UHMC students and Maui residents,” says Joyce Yamada, dental assisting program coordinator. “They have both championed and worked tirelessly to create and support the successful dental programs that we have today. There are many in the dental community that are appreciative of their accomplishments and the ongoing programs that UHMC provides.”

The UH Maui College Dental Assisting Program and Maui Oral Health Initiative began in fall 2002 in response to community need for dental auxiliaries (dental assistants and dental hygienists) and an urgent need to increase the number of oral health providers in Maui County. The first dental assistant class graduated in 2003. Including the May 2011 graduates, 142 dental assistants will have completed the nationally accredited DA program. The Dental Hygiene (DH) program commenced in March 2009, admitting 10 students. Nine students are expected to graduate in spring 2011, having completed the AS in dental hygiene.

The Maui Oral Health Initiative includes the Mobile Dental Van and the Maui Oral Health Center and serves as a site for the Lutheran Medical Center Dental Residence Program. There are currently three dental residents and two staff dentist. The MOHI provided 61,700 patient visits from 2002–2010. In 2010 there were 11,000 appointments, servicing 3,000 individual patients.

“The HDA award really belongs to the Maui County Dental Community. Dr. Lorrin Pang, Maui County health officer, first brought the oral health needs to the attention of Maui College,” says Johnson. “The Maui County Dental Society members supported the program development with donations of time, money, equipment and expertise. The development of these programs is a model for how communities can respond to healthcare needs.”

Read the news release.

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