Spring 2019

One Life at a Time

Kathryn Dolan named a “Hygienist You Want to Know” for her service efforts.

Kathryn Dolan

In its December issue, Dimensions of Dental Hygiene magazine listed Kathryn Dolan, assistant professor in the department of public health and community service at the School of Dental Medicine, as one of “Six Dental Hygienists You Want to Know.”

Dolan is the director of the Tufts Community Dental Health Program, which provides oral-health services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has worked at Tufts for twenty-two years and is course director for oral health promotion, epidemiology, and the Boston Public School-Based pediatric clinic rotation. She also coteaches the health-literacy intensive course and is on the advisory board of Tufts Dental Central, a website portal that coordinates civic engagement and community service for dental students.

“Pivotal moments come down to individual patient successes, great and small, one life at a time,” Dolan told the magazine. She recounted the story of finding an orthodontist to treat a young girl with intellectual disabilities, whose misaligned teeth interfered with her ability to chew and talk, and hampered her social interaction. Correcting her bite and appearance made a significant difference in the girl’s life. “I will never forget this patient,” Dolan said. “After this experience, I began working with local dental hygiene schools to have the students shadow public-health dental hygienists, so they would have an opportunity to work with patients who have special needs.”

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