The annual UB Run for Smiles, created by students at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine to raise community awareness about the dental clinic's affordable oral health care, will take place Saturday, April 26, at 10 a.m. in the Health Sciences Quad on the South Campus.
In only its third year, the race has become a touchstone event for the UB community and the UB Dental family. It is an opportunity for the dental school to inform Western New Yorkers about the low-cost oral health care services it provides and to educate the community about the entire range of programs available.
The race helps fund two important programs for those in need: counseling, advocacy, referral, education and service (CARES) and Buffalo outreach and community assistance (BOCA).
CARES is a joint program between the dental school and the UB School of Social Work to provide solutions for patients who face barriers to accessing oral care or issues financing treatment plans. The program has a donated dental services option to help patients at the school afford the treatment they need.
BOCA is an outreach program that allows students at the dental school to render treatment to underserved patients in Western New York, the U.S. and around the world. Through this opportunity, students have traveled from Tennessee to Fuji, from Africa to Central America, and to Vietnam and many other locations.
The race has become much more than just 3.1 miles. For many, it has become a journey where runners are able to enjoy a challenging course; individuals are educated about UB Dental's affordable services; and students, faculty and staff get to give back to the local and global community.
"Each year, the goal is to make people aware of our services with the hope of making UB Dental a household name in Western New York," said Michael Glick, D.M.D., dean of the dental school. "Donating profits to two programs are an added benefit of our mission. We look forward to continuing with a bigger and even better race every year."