Dentistry faculty and staff recognized as “COVID heroes”

Heros_WebBanner.pngDr. John Yoo recently presented a specially designed plaque to recognize Dentistry’s staff and faculty’s extraordinary efforts throughout the pandemic. He shared his sincere appreciation for their dedication and commitment during a time of great uncertainty.

“During the past two years, all of you have demonstrated your commitment to the School, your colleagues, students and patients,” he said. “Few programs within our University were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic like Dentistry, and each and every one of you has been a shining example of the School’s values, of excellence, accountability and belonging.”

While the whole School needed to quickly transition to online learning at the outset of the pandemic, Dentistry’s challenges were unique. Teams quickly brainstormed, innovated and implemented strategies to accommodate critical in-person learning and patient care in alignment with constantly shifting public health and Ministry directives.

Additionally the School’s mailroom, which is managed by Dentistry staff, was fully operational; the administrative team kept the clinic operational for student learning and patient care, and the clinical team developed and implemented infection control protocols, screened patients and became the ‘unofficial PPE hall monitors.’

Meanwhile, Dental Supply was instrumental with the reopening plan – preparing the Urgent Care Clinic to run as the first clinical area to open its doors after the initial shut down. And academic support worked tirelessly to maintain online platforms. From courses and meetings, to awards and graduation, their work allowed Dentistry to continue functioning in an online space.

To top it all off, there were zero COVID-19 outbreaks – and each member of the 2020 and 2021 classes completed all their requirements and graduated on time, and the class of 2022 is expected to do the same.  

The plaque, which will be hung in the Dental Sciences Building, is inscribed with the name of each Dentistry staff and faculty member working between March 2020 and March 2022, including the many dedicated adjunct faculty who are an integral part of the outstanding Dentistry team.