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Jamaica Outreach: Giving Back Around The World

February 16, 2017

-By Dr. Amira May Woodruff

During my third year of dental school, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Jamaica to participate in an outreach program through HealthCare International Reachout, Inc..  While in Jamaica we provided free dental care for one week to hundreds of people in need, mostly children.  Our group was made up of people from the University of Michigan and Columbia University, and included both a dental and a medical group.

Here is a photo journal that I kept while there:

Day 1 (Sunday) – Arrival

Landed at the airport in Kingston, Jamaica

Arrived at our suite in Clarendon, Jamaica

Traveled to YS Falls to relax before our big day tomorrow.

Day 2 (Monday) – First site

At a school, setting up the supply table

Here I am working on a young student.  There were no dental chairs available so children had to lay in our laps.

Long lines all day long

We saw mostly children but we had some adult patients too.

Hanging out with the children during our lunch break.

All of the children were excellent patients

Monday night we were thrown a dinner and dancing party at the beautiful home of a member of the Rotary Club of Kingston.  This club’s number one goal is service to the community.


Day 3 (Tuesday) – Second site

People already in line at the Portland Cottage community center

Ready to start the day!

Makeshift headrest

Me with a brave young patient

Dental student from Columbia University working on a patient

Everyone busy at work

Hard at work

Two of my very brave patients

This day ended with another night of dinner and dancing at the Rotary Club member’s home.

Day 4 (Wednesday) – Third site

Part of the dental and medical teams

At a different school, once again there is already a line

Determining what each patient needs

Oral health instructions

A young patient flashing his beautiful smile

Last night in Clarendon, one student performed a poem for us over dinner and the principal of the school from today came to thank us.


Day 5 (Thursday) – Fourth site

At another school, long line of patients already

Many children eagerly helping us unload our supplies from the bus

Setting up for the day

Happy patients

A mature, young boy offers to hold the oral surgeon’s son during lunch

Buddies all finished with their dental appointments

After a long day we moved to the Sunset Jamaica Grade Resort in Ocho Rios

Day 6 (Friday) – Fifth site

The patients were made up of staff and family of staff of the resort.

The patients were made up of staff and family of staff of the resort.


Day 7 (Saturday) – Time to head home

The medical team

The University of Michigan dental team

I had an absolutely wonderful experience providing dental care in Jamaica.  I definitely plan to give more of my time for dental mission trips in the future!

At Caring Smiles Family Dentistry, we love sharing great dental health tips, contests, and special announcements on our Facebook and Instagram pages. Please join us on our journey of changing lives one smile at a time.

If you have any questions about this or any other dental issues, or would like to make an appointment for a dental exam, cleaning, or consultation, please give us a call at 248.973.8788. We are here for you!  

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