45 students and professionals volunteer at Sask Polytech Northern Health and Wellness Days presented by Cameco
Program supports Northern communities while providing students with valuable applied learning opportunities
September 30, 2019 – The communities of La Loche and Clearwater River Dene Nation were all smiles at the Northern Health and Wellness Days presented by Cameco. The event saw Saskatchewan Polytechnic Dental Hygiene advanced diploma students and Sask Polytech/University of Regina Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) students partnering with the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Saskatchewan Health Authority and dental health professional volunteers to host dental and health clinics in both communities.
The clinics ran on September 27 and 28 in La Loche and Clearwater River Dene Nation. Dental professionals and students provided oral exams, restorations, routine extractions, hygiene care and education. Nurses and students provided health screenings, education and mental health support. Local elementary and high schools received visits from Dental Hygiene advanced diploma students and SCBScN students who provided valuable information on hand washing, oral hygiene care, nutrition and mental health.
“Thank you to Cameco for supporting Sask Polytech’s Northern Health and Wellness Days for 2019 and 2020,” says Sandra Blevins, Sask Polytech dean for the Schools of Health Sciences and Nursing. “Also thank you to Sinclair Dental for providing supplies and sending a technician to assist with Northern Health and Wellness Days. Supporting Indigenous communities, like La Loche and Clearwater River Dene Nation, is important to Sask Polytech. It is great to have financial support from our sponsors, along with volunteer support from students and faculty in collaboration with health professionals to make a difference in these remote communities.”
Northern Health and Wellness Days interprofessional team included six Dental Hygiene program students, five SCBScN students and seven Sask Polytech faculty members and one U of R faculty member. Volunteer dentists, dental therapists, dental assistants and dental hygienists joined the students and faculty to share their skills and knowledge to provide blood glucose checks, education, oral health assessments, hygiene care, restorations, extractions, nutritional and oral health education to 99 people and completed $47,961.50 worth of dentistry work.
“According to the Saskatchewan Dental Health Screening Program Report, the La Loche region has the highest decay rates in all of Saskatchewan,” says Dean Lefebvre, an instructor in the Dental Hygiene program. “There is limited access to dental care in the La Loche region. Northern Health and Wellness Days provide important dental and healthcare services to these communities and allows our students the opportunity to put into practice what they learn on campus. Thank you to our sponsors for helping make Northern Health and Wellness Days possible.”
Northern Health and Wellness Days is dependent on the generosity and financial support of many sponsors. Thank you to all of the Northern Health and Wellness Days sponsors. Sinclair Dental, Dentsply Sirona, Kavo Kerr, Septodont and Premier donated all the dental supplies required for the dental treatments. Conexus CU, Dr. Lorraine Crowfoot, Greystone Management, Lumeca Health, Northern Intertribal Health Authority, Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Provincial Hydraulics, Sask Registered Nurses Association, Sask Union of Nurses, Saskatchewan Dental Assistants Association, Saskatchewan Dental Hygienists Association, Saskatchewan Dental Therapists Association, Saskatchewan Oral Health Coalition, the College of Dental Surgeons of Sask, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic made financial contributions to assist with costs such as travel, accommodations and food for the volunteers. The Bayside Guesthouse from Buffalo Narrows generously sponsored supper for the volunteers on September 28.
Learn more about the Dental Hygiene advanced diploma program and Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
About Saskatchewan Polytechnic: Sask Polytech serves students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.