Arguments for equality in dentistry and in life #tbt #WomensEqualityDay

The blog is part of a series paying tribute to pioneers in dentistry. Celebrate changemaking women in dentistry at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration, set for October 3-5 at The Blackstone in Chicago. Register today: https://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/

I am writing this post on August 26, #WomensEqualityDay. It’s the 99th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, that gave women the right to vote. Today, I’m focusing on a few voices that advocated for and against allowing women to practice dentistry. There were many against, but only a few brave souls who felt women were equal to men and that dentistry was a place where women could excel.

Sarah Grimke, Early Suffragette
SaraGrimke

I ask no favors for my sex. All I ask our brethren is that they will take their feet off our necks. – Sarah Grimke, early suffragette.

Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor

The Dental Times Dispute

If you follow The Lucy Hobbs Project, you’re familiar with the story of Lucy Hobbs, the young woman who sought a career as a dentist, but was constantly denied entrance to dental school based solely on her gender. This was common across a range of educational institutes; law schools, medical schools, and dental schools, among others, frequently denied women admittance to their programs.

Dental Times

Around the same time Lucy Hobbs was finishing up her dental studies in Ohio, a dispute was brewing in Pennsylvania between the pages of The Dental Times, featuring arguments both for and against allowing women to be dentists.

The 1866, Volume III, Number 4 issue of The Dental Times featured two articles, one advocating for women in dentistry, and the other arguing they are “not fitted physically for such taxing work”.

girl-graduates

The first article is the Valedictory address of James Truman, DDS, dean of the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery from 1865-1876. In it, he states:

The recognition of the right of every human being to an equal share in the privileges that we enjoy, has not yet become a principle of faith and practice, as I think it should. We say to one-half of the human family, stitch, stitch, darn stockings, make shoes for a shilling, stand behind counters for two or three dollars per week, do anything, but don’t enter the sacred precincts that we have marked out for our peculiar benefit…Talent is of no sex, color or clime…

This thought was revolutionary for the time and Dr. Truman knew it.

…It may be that I stand alone in these views, both with the Faculty of this College and the audience; but I trust not, as in my judgement, the advancement of the world depends, to a large extent, upon their adoption.

The Opposing View

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Within the same scientific journal, there came the opposing view, with the glaring title, “Dental Surgery – Should Females Practice It?” Its author, Dr. George T. Barker, editor of The Dental Times, emphatically believed women were not suited for the physical rigors of dentistry.

Dr. Barker states, in part:

Should females be encouraged to enter the dental profession? I contend they should not, and it is with no disrespect that the assertion is made. The same reason holds good against females practicing dentistry that it does against a feeble male, for the reasons as previously stated. The very form and structure of a woman unfit her for its duties…

By 1872, three women were admitted to the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery; however, after completing the first year, they were not allowed to return because they were women. When that occurred, there was a dissenting vote by a member of the faculty. The matter then was brought to a committee of members of the board, who rendered the decision that “a student could not be cast out without due cause.” In 1874, two of the three women graduated from the college. Obviously some agreed with Dean Truman, regarding women in dentistry.

1911-Suffragettes

On this #WomensEqualityDay, we are glad that more and more people are of the mind of Dr. Truman rather than Dr. Barker. Here’s to more women in dentistry and to the pioneers, like Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Henriette Hirschfeld, and others who defied convention to become dentists.

Next year, the 19th Amendment turns 100! Here’s to more “firsts” for women!

About the blogger

Guest blogger Jenn Ochman, Database Publishing Production Specialist in the Branding and Communication Department at Benco Dental, dedicates her time outside work to historical reenactment. She shares knowledge of dental history with TheDailyFloss.com readers on a monthly basis.

Dr. Charmaine Ng is a Woman to Watch in dentistry

This fall, the Lucy Hobbs Project will host its 7th annual Celebration honoring women in dentistry. The event, hosted in partnership with Cameo Dental Specialists on October 3-5, 2019 at The Blackstone, Chicago will feature a lineup of inspirational and insightful guest speakers and panelists in line with the theme, Mind+Body+Spirit and close with a give back session to benefit the nonprofit organization Let It Be Us. (Register today:  https://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/ )

Expect to be wowed.

Each year, though, the Celebration’s high point cannot be matched by any of these spectacular speakers and events. When The Lucy Hobbs Project Awards are presented to six indomitable women who are reshaping the profession of dentistry, awe-inspiring moments ensue.

As the applause dies down and each person is introduced, those in attendance have an opportunity to view the change one person can affect in the world.
This year, one of those changemakers is Charmaine Ng, DMD, recipient of the Lucy Hobbs Project Woman to Watch Award.

Ready to be inspired by Charmaine Ng, DMD?

Most of Dr. Charmaine Ng’s patients are experiencing homelessness or struggling with other barriers to quality healthcare; she aims to restore tooth function and self-confidence through dentistry, while providing integrated care.

To meet the needs of the underserved in her community, Dr. Ng created a dental program, HealthRIGHT360, in San Francisco, California. As the Founding Dental Director, she developed a whole body, integrated care approach that utilized the dental, medical, medical assisted therapy (MAT), and behavioral health services on site after early years dedicated to volunteerism.

What fueled her passion for giving back?

As an undergraduate student at University of California San Diego, Charmaine Ng dedicated her efforts with a student-run free dental clinic, and this passion for service led her to A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health to pursue a career in dentistry. Inspired by her educational experience, she continued to serve on the School’s alumni board for six years after graduation.

By engaging in local community health committees and the San Francisco Dental Society, she gathered data and assessed the needs of the community to expand HealthRIGHT360’s clinical site and also the scope of the practice to children who have limited access to dental care.

Dr. Ng is an American College of Dentists’ Fellow 2019 

Meet Dr. Ng and hear more about her incredible journey at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration! Bring the whole team. Register today: https://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/

Creating a positive place in the universe: Nicole Zwiercan meets #LHP19

Giving back. Finding strength in difficult times. Inspiring others to use their voice to promote positive change. One woman does it all … and more.

Nicole Zwiercan, Mrs. USA Universe 2018 and a Registered Dental Hygienist who was recently named one of Chicago’s “Most Inspiring People” will discuss how to grow stronger from trials and celebrate triumphs at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration. Join her Oct. 3-5 at The Blackstone, Chicago.

Earn 4 CE credits and celebrate women in dentistry! Register: https://www.regmadeeasy.com/be…/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/

As Mrs. USA Universe 2018, Nicole sets out to inspire people all over the world to celebrate their triumphs, and grow stronger from their trials. She was honored to represent the USA this past December in Cebu, Philippines at the 12th Annual Mrs. Universe Pageant, where she placed first Runner Up to Mrs. Universe 2018. She also won “Most Photogenic” and the “Humanitarian Award” for her work in the community out of the 88 countries that participated.

In 2016 Nicole was named Mrs. Illinois International and dedicated her year to breaking the stigmas that surround bullying. As a victim herself, of workplace bullying and harassment, she created a worldwide, multilingual campaign to raise awareness that #BullyingDoesNotDiscriminate. Through this campaign she also developed her own app “Kindness Crossing Borders” to further reach people universally. She won the “Overall Best Interview Award” out of 62 contestants from all over the world, also earning her a First Runner‐ Up finish for Mrs. International 2016. She was proud to have completed over 100 charitable appearances and days of service that year.

In 2015 Nicole created her nonprofit “Be Kind. Make a Difference” which is dedicated to inspiring kindness, inclusion and acceptance. After her daughter received a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, this last March, her mission has never been more important to her. She truly believes that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.

Nicole is the author of the blog “It’s Simple. Be Kind” (www.itssimplebekind.com) which to date, has had over 65,000 visitors from all over the world. She uses this blog to show that we can acknowledge the storms we undoubtedly encounter in life, but more importantly, we should choose to celebrate the rainbows.

Nicole has an extensive professional dance background having danced in the AFL and NBA for the Chicago Bulls from 2001‐2010. Through those experiences, she’s become comfortable serving as a spokesperson and ambassador for many international companies all over the nation. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Art History. She also has earned a degree in Science and Dental Hygiene from Kennedy King & University of Illinois at Chicago: College of Dentistry in 2011.

She has been a practicing hygienist in both specialties of pediatric dentistry, as well as periodontics for the last eight years.

Most recently, Nicole was featured in the book “Beyond the Interview: A 52 Week Guide of Inspiration,” as one of the top interviews of the year from The Whitney Reynolds Show. She also was named one of Chicago’s “Most Inspiring People” by Voyage Chicago Magazine. Nicole currently is a reporter for the Comcast show Community Connection. Together with her family, Dr. Christopher Zwiercan, her son Cristiano (5) and their daughter Ashlynn (2), she hopes to not only be a voice, but a light for families that are navigating through the storms of diagnosis… and to show that it’s OK to have a different kind of perfect.

#LHP19 Celebration will honor six women in dentistry and feature CNN’s Poppy Harlow

On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open. Click here.

When she’s not co-anchoring the weekday 9-11 a.m. ET edition of “CNN Newsroom”, Poppy Harlow hosts the CNN podcast “BossFiles with Poppy Harlow” with guests including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Melinda Gates. This fall in Chicago, the Emmy-nominated journalist (shown above, interviewing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) will join The Lucy Hobbs Project in partnership with Cameo Dental Specialists in celebrating six outstanding women in dentistry.

On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open. Click here.

“Each year, The Lucy Hobbs Project celebrates the achievements of women in dentistry. Our goal is to gather leaders in the profession to discuss relevant issues and overall well being. We want our guests to leave feeling uplifted, knowing they’ve gained insight to benefit their dental practice and themselves.”

Rachel Pugh, Branding and Communications Manager for Benco Dental


As a highpoint of the three-day event, The Project will honor six women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession:


Powered by Benco Dental and 10,000 members strong, The Lucy Hobbs Project encourages dental professionals to become part of the movement that is changing the face of dentistry through networking, innovation and giving back. Named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the woman who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, this national project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental profession – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others.

Three days of events, with a focus on Mind+Body+Soul, will include panel discussions, Continuing Education credits, and opportunities to give back, while inviting the project’s members – and all women in dentistry—to “Achieve Your Personal Best Balance, at Home & Work”.

Upcoming at The Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, Illinois and included in the $199 ticket price:

  • Thursday, October 3: Afternoon reception and optional tours
  • Friday, October 4: Full day of panels, speakers and the Celebration ceremony honoring six Lucy Hobbs Project award recipients
  • Saturday, October 5: Morning group yoga and healthy breakfast followed by give-back activity to benefit Let It Be Us, a nonprofit that finds homes for the 18,000 children living in Illinois foster care.
On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open.

To attend the 7th Annual Celebration of Women in Dentistry, host a regional event, or take part in a Lucy Hobbs Project YOU event at a dental school, contact Event Coordinator Ali Riviello at 570-602-7068 or ariviello@benco.com.

Free to join, The Lucy Hobbs Project invites women in dentistry women to use their voices as a force for change. To learn more about previous winners of The Lucy Hobbs Project® Award, or to sign up for The Lucy Hobbs Project®, visit: www.lucyhobbscelebration.com

Dr. Juliann Bluitt Foster charted course for change. Dental leader dies at 80.

“Barrier breaker.”

The Washington Post aptly describes the first woman and first African American to serve as president of the American College of Dentists in a tribute to her passing.

Dr. Joan Bluitt Foster, 1938 – 2019

(Photo courtesy The Island Funeral Home)

Dr. Juliann Bluitt Foster died April 17 at her home in Hilton Head, S.C. She was 80, according to the story.

Chicago Dental Society President Cheryl Watson-Lowry, the society’s second female African-American president, describes Dr. Bluitt Foster’s mentorship qualities in an obituary published in the CDS Review:

“As the first female and African-American female president of the Chicago Dental Society, Juliann Bluitt inspired me and countless others to pursue our dreams without limitation. She not only served as a role model to so many of us but was also a pioneer in multiple arenas.” 

After earning her dental degree from Howard University in 1962, she dedicated her professional efforts as a member of the Chicago Board of Health, then later joined Northwestern University’s dental school as a dental educator and assistant dean.

Bart Barnes illustrates in his story how Dr. Bluitt Foster “encouraged and supported an increase in the number of female dental students”.

“It was expected that women would not be good in operating a dental practice because they didn’t have business experience,” she told the Chicago Tribune in 1992. “But women have been managing time, money and resources for years.”

Read more about Dr. Bluitt Foster’s early years in Washington and her legacy in dentistry: here.

Learn about her career in Chicago and achievements as the first female president of the Chicago Dental Society: here.

Meet (more than) a few incredible women in Lucy Hobbs Project History #WomensHistoryMonth

Thirty-one days. Not nearly enough time to spotlight every woman in history who has sacrificed, pioneered, challenged, innovated, mentored and made today possible.  Women’s History Month does provide the impetus to honor them,  learn more ( https://womenshistory.si.edu/   ) and most importantly, continue the path of positive reinforcement. The Lucy Hobbs Project does this through the community of dentistry.  Annually, […]

Her-story: Tufts dental student honors the legacy of perseverance that inspires

Dedication and gratitude — qualities Youstina Youssef, a dental student at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine says the white coat she wears in the photo above, signify in her life.

“This white coat symbolizes not only my dedication to this profession, but also my gratitude for strong women who continue to push forward regardless of the walls set against them,” Youstina says.

“If you know me, you know that this photo here speaks wonders to my soul. On my left, the woman (Gehan Elsousi) who bore me, brought me into this world and introduced me to life. On my right, the grandest of mothers (Gamalat Tadrous). The one who helped raise me, helped mold me into the woman I am today. The tears that run down their faces are ones I’ll treasure for the rest of my days.”

A D.M.D. candidate in the class of 2020, Youstina shares her story #lhpshareyourstory and the legacy of determination that led her to the profession of dentistry.

“I imagine Lucy Hobbs experienced a similar sensation becoming the first female to graduate from a dental school. She was denied and rejected from numerous opportunities solely based on her gender. Yet, she relentlessly pursued her goal.

My story bears a similar spirit. My mother is a single mother. She sacrificed her comfort in Egypt to move to America and give me the best life she possibly could. Soon after marrying and having me in Egypt, she moved to the States with my father who had been living here. Unfortunately, she was sent back to Egypt to stay with her family not too long after for “financial reasons”.”

‘Stranded in a new land’

Youstina describes the intimidating path her mother Gehan Elsousi faced back then.

“Upon her return to America, she was not received at the airport, which left her stranded in a new land, with no knowledge of the English language or American culture, but most importantly, with a child in her arms. She picked herself up from rejection and pushed on.”

Her grandmother Gamalat Tadrous is no less heroic.

“Years later my grandmother decided to make a similar move and left behind her husband and five of her children to help raise me while my mother worked to support us. These two women have taught me a great deal about sacrifice and have ingrained in me the power of perseverance.”

Thankful for a welcome into the world of dentistry

Youstina received her invitation to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine less than 24 hours before orientation from Dr. Jeanette Sabir-Holloway, the school’s director of outreach, recruitment and admissions.

Her reaction:

“Teary-eyed and full-hearted, I packed my bags and set off to chase my childhood dreams. And for that I say from the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Lucy Hobbs Project- Dr Jeanette Sabir Holloway
Dr. Jeanette Sabir-Holloway, as featured in Incisal Edge winter edition as the 2018 Lucy Hobbs Project Mentor Award recipient. (Incisal Edge/Alonso Nichols)

Share a Lucy Hobbs Project Award nomination

Nominate before April 26 deadline: https://www.judgify.me/LHP-nominations2019

Annually, Benco Dental pays tribute to the first woman in the U.S. to receive a dental degree – Dr. Lucy Hobbs — by honoring six pioneering women in the dental profession with an award created in her name: The Lucy Hobbs Project™ Awards.

At Benco’s annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration (Save the Date for October 3 – 5, 2019 in Chicago!), the dental community is invited to honor award recipients in six categories:

  • Woman to Watch: An up-and-coming leader who utilizes her position to create positive change,
  • Industry Icon: A trailblazer who is consistently recognized and admired for her work in dentistry,
  • Mentor: An advisor who recognizes the importance of supporting, educating and encouraging others,
  • Innovator: A groundbreaker who demonstrates a willingness to implement new technologies and business processes without fear of potential failure,
  • Humanitarian: An altruist who works tirelessly for a cause that benefits the well-being of others, and
  • Clinical Expert: A skillful practitioner who embraces advancements and integrates them into patient care.

Individuals and organizations are invited to submit nominations. Self-nominations are accepted.

Nominate before April 26 deadline: https://www.judgify.me/LHP-nominations2019

March is Women’s History Month 

As Dr. Jeanette Sabir-Holloway and Youstina Youssef have shared their stories, so have many others in celebration of Women’s History Month. Learn more here: https://womenshistory.si.edu/

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.

 

 

 

Benco Dental to host 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project celebration this fall in Chicago

Public invited to free Meet-up tonight at Riff Music Lounge; Nominations open for Project’s Awards The Lucy Hobbs Project® will host a Meet-up, an evening of cocktails and networking, tonight, February 21 at the Riff Music Lounge, 2239 South Michigan Avenue, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60616. All are welcome. Tonight’s free event will spotlight details […]