For Immediate Release
Natifia Mullings, Public Affairs Coordinator
Last week, officials from the New York City Department of Education toured Jamaica HospitalÛªs dental facility and met with students from the hospitalÛªs dental assistant program.
The dental assistant program at Jamaica Hospital, which is part of the Department of EducationÛªs GED Plus Workforce Development Program, is a full immersion program that allows students to gain real life work experience. Specifically, students enrolled in the program learn the following dental skills: preparation of the treatment/clinical area, cleaning and sterilization of instruments and handpieces, fourhanded dentistry, simple laboratory procedures such as the pouring and trimming of study models, and several other extra-oral duties as required by the dentist.
ÛÏThis program really engages our students,Û said Denise Santiago, RDH, Program Coordinator and Dental Assisting Instructor. ÛÏWe really strive to make their experience a valuable one. We want them to learn the necessary skills needed to succeed as a dental assistant upon completion of the program.Û
Added Sandra Greenbaum, RDH, Dental Manager at Jamaica Hospital, ÛÏWeÛªve had this partnership with the Department of Education for over 24 years, and every year we are even more thrilled and excited about the possibilities weÛªre providing to students who didnÛªt necessarily succeed in a traditional high school setting.Û
While the students are enrolled in the hospitalÛªs dental assistant program, they are also required to prepare for their High School Equivalency Diploma (GED).
ÛÏStudents enrolled in GED Plus must simultaneously work on testing for their GED and participate in the workforce component,Û said Andrea Green, Queens Borough Principal, GED Plus. ÛÏThe GED test is very important, but itÛªs just as important that students are also college and/or career ready after passing the exam.Û
Sian Maliah-Dupps, a licensed dental hygienist and former student who graduated from the hospitalÛªs dental assistant program 12 years ago, knows just how vital the program has been in shaping her own career aspirations.
ÛÏPrior to starting the dental program, I had no vision,Û Maliah-Dupps explained. ÛÏIt was only when I began this program that I found my element. I developed a strong desire to achieve so much more in life. I enjoyed studying and took great pride in my new-found skills.Û
Current students echoed the sentiments of Maliah-Dupps, explaining that the program sparked a greater desire in them to excel and reach their full potential. Some of the students explained to Green, as well as Superintendent of NYC DOE GED Plus, Tim Lisanti, Deputy Chancellor for Equity and Access, Dr. Dorita P. Gibson, and Queens Borough Assistant Principal of GED Plus, Clinton Jackson, that the program provided them with more than dental skills; that the commitment and dedication of the Jamaica Hospital dental staff and GED Plus on-site staff helped them develop self-esteem and taught them valuable social skills, as well as the importance of developing a good work ethic.
Mr. Lisanti, who has been a strong advocate of the program for several years, is a key factor in the programÛªs current existence. His continued efforts to keep the program up and running has been fruitful, as the program is a noticeable success.
Green observed, ÛÏthe energy, enthusiasm, and devotion to cultivate and maintain a program like this speaks to the perfection at Jamaica Hospital.Û
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center serves a population greater than 1.2 million in Queens and eastern Brooklyn. This 384-bed medical center is an accredited community teaching hospital with a large network of community-based ambulatory care centers. JHMC offers an array of acute inpatient, rehabilitation and mental health services, and is one of the busiest Level 1 trauma centers in New York City. The hospital provides general medical, pediatric, and dental services, in addition to home health services. Jamaica Hospital Medical CenterÛªs mission is to serve patients and the community in a way that is second to none. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at 718-206-6020.
GED Plus Program helps students earn their GED plus prepares them for college and career options. Students 18 – 21 years old can choose to participate in a full-time or part-time program. Students who are 17 years old may only enroll with parent or guardian permission, though final determinations are considered on a case-by-case basis. GED Plus is offered at no cost and has many locations throughout the five boroughs. To enroll, candidates must first visit a Referral Center. For additional information, please visit http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/AlternativesHS/Referral/default.htm.