DSO Shows Support for the Next Generation of Inspiring Dental Leaders

Founded by Vietnamese immigrant Dr. Tu Tran, Kool Smiles’ mission is to create an atmosphere of quality personalized care, where no one is turned away due to lack of finances or insurance. Dr Tran says, “Just because you grew up in a poor neighborhood, doesn’t mean that you should take a second seat to anybody else.”  Last year, Kool Smiles gave away about 15 million dollars in services to patients who didn’t have the ability to pay. Dr. Tran believes that although we’ve come a long way in impacting the need of patients, we still have a long way to go.

Continuing their dedication to dental health education, community outreach, and charitable support for the next generation of inspiring leaders who are passionate about making a difference, the DSO, a leading provider of pediatric dental care in underserved communities nationwide, held its second annual My Kool Smiles Scholarship Fund essay contest, sponsored by the Benevis Foundation. The contest asked dental students to answer: “What is the biggest dental health challenge facing U.S. children today? What solutions would you support to address this challenge?”

Essays were reviewed by a selection committee composed of managing staff members at Kool Smiles. The decision of the panel was based on clarity of content (30%), originality and creativity (35%), and persuasiveness (35%).  The essay winner is Heather Howell, a dental student at Oregon Health and Science University. She was awarded a $5,000 scholarship for her winning essay about the lack of accessibility being one of the biggest dental health challenges facing children in the United States.

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