Bulletin of Dental Education

ATSU-ASDOH Graduates Honored at Society of American Indian Dentists Blanketing Ceremony

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Blanketing CeremonyGraduates from A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) were honored last month with a blanketing ceremony at the 28th Annual Conference of the Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID)

“The blanketing ritual is a ceremony to express honor and achievement,” says George Blue Spruce, D.D.S., M.P.H., Assistant Dean of American Indian Affairs. “It is performed throughout American Indian tribes and organizations.” 

Sarah Hill, D.M.D., M.P.H., Reggie Crowe, D.M.D., and Francisco Mascarenas, D.M.D., all members of the class of 2018, received blankets at the ceremony. Dr. Hill is Sioux Klamath Modoc, Dr. Crowe is Seneca Cayuga Osage, and Dr. Mascarenas is Yacqui. The blankets and designs vary among tribes, but they symbolize gratitude and respect for the recipients’ achievements. 

“Traditionally, a blanketing ceremony demonstrates great honor and admiration for someone,” says Dr. Crowe. “To be honored by SAID is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Since their graduation in May, all three dentists have been fulfilling ATSU’s mission to serve the underserved. Dr. Hill has accepted a position at Seattle Indian Health Board, an innovative clinic dedicated to improving health care for American Indian communities. Dr. Mascarenas is completing Advanced Education in General Dentistry at The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s dental clinic in Phoenix. Dr. Crowe is working as a dentist at the Lower Sioux Health Care Center providing care to a tribal community in rural Minnesota. 

“My goals right now are to bring quality care to this tribe and enhance my skills while helping the community,” says Dr. Crowe. 

SAID is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the oral health of American Indian and Alaskan Native communities and advocating for dentists with tribal heritage. 

Courtesy of Anne Ackroyd, Public Relations Specialist, A.T. Still University

Published on August 8, 2018


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