Chicago area members of the Loyola University School of Dentistry Class of 1952 gathered in Downers Grove this summer to mark the 60th anniversary of their graduation of dentistry.
Nine dentists attended, along with their guests, for an evening of reminiscing this July. But they’ve been meeting biannually for lunch or dinner since they received their diplomas. Illinois State Dental Society past president Sam Cascio and Chicago Dental Society Past President Joseph Discipio, classmates, update the group on matters of organized dentistry, before the camaraderie continues. Dr. Discipio reports that discussion cover dentistry, of course, as well as world news, family affairs, personal health, and of course humor.
Congratulations, doctors, on this achievement!Pictured are: (top row, L-R), Rudolph Basile, James Griseto, Chester Bochenek, Sam Cascio, James Daly. (Seated, L-R) Frank Novak, Peter Nichols, Joseph Discipio, John Caringella.
This weekend is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This Saturday, Sept. 29, people can bring their unwanted or expired medications — including opioid painkillers — to disposal sites across the country.
The American Dental Association is supporting this effort, and encouraging all dentists to talk with their patients and staffs about safely securing and disposing of unused, unwanted or expired pharmaceuticals.
"This is yet another way that we can be leaders in our communities and do our part to help improve drug abuse awareness," Chicago Dental Society president John Gerding said. "The increase in drug use among our middle through high school aged children is alarming, and an event such as Saturday's is one more step in our battle to stay on top of this problem."
Prescription medications are now the most commonly abused drugs among children ages 12–13, and second to marijuana among young adults, according to 2010 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Studies show that a majority of these drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
Dentists and their staff can help address this problem:
- Tell patients or their caregivers about the dangers of using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.
- Encourage patients to visit the Medicine Abuse Project at www.medicineabuseproject.org, where they can learn how to safely secure, monitor and dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications.
- Have a list of local DEA-approved prescription drug disposal sites. You can search by zip code online.
On the last Take-Back Day, April 28, Americans brought a record 276 tons of prescription drugs for proper disposal to more than 5,600 locations.
"Drug-seeking behavior has changed dramatically in recent years," said ADA President William Calnon, in a prepared release. “For that reason, we are also urging dentists to refresh their knowledge about opioid prescribing in the context of modern-day drug seeking behavior."
The 20th Annual Kids 1st Health Fair Aug. 1 ensured that lots of Lake County kids started school as scheduled this week. Volunteers from across the health professions provided free exams and immunizations — as well as school supplies — needed for access to the new school year.
In fact, more than 1,000 Lake County children received 839 immunizations, 590 physicals, 475 dental exams, 121 lead and hemoglobin tests, and 53 TB tests. There was also nutritional assessments and counseling for 225 children, and 150 care assessments for children’s feet. Additionally, backpacks filled with school supplies were fitted for more than 1,000 children and almost 7,000 age-appropriate books were provided to children who attended the Fair.
Several Chicago Dental Society members and their teams were on hand to help out.
On one day every year for the past two decades, this summer event has provided a wide variety of free services, from immunizations to dental screenings, with an estimated overall value of approximately $1.6 million to 30,000 Lake County children. It is organized annually by the Lake County Health Department, Rosalind Franklin University, and United Way of Lake County.
The Fair is free for Lake County families who meet specific income guidelines, and offers considerable savings for eligible families. For one child at the full-pay level, school supplies combined with the cost of a physical, dental exam, and two vaccinations at the Lake County Health Department would normally cost $228.
“I am very pleased the Fair's sponsors and volunteers continue to make the health services available to students. Without those services, many students would not be prepared to enter school,” said Roycealee Wood, Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools, in a prepared release.
“We know that if these services aren't offered, many children will be turned away on the first day of school and we don't want that to happen. Our goal is to have all children ready to learn from day one of the school year,” added Kristi Long, President and CEO of United Way of Lake County.