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Dental groups help students in Puerto Rico

December 11, 2017

By Kelly Soderlund

The ADA Foundation, members of the ADA Board of Trustees, American Dental Education Association and the ADEAGies Foundation have each donated to the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine after Hurricane Maria.

The ADA Foundation provided the dental school with a $75,000 grant that is meant to provide emergency support to dental students who were affected by the disaster. A portion of the grant funds were provided by the ADA Board of Trustees, who personally donated money, and the American Student Dental Association.

"The impact of Hurricane Maria on the lives of the students of the University of Puerto Rico Dental School was truly devastating," said Dr. William Calnon, ADA Foundation board president. "Many lost everything they called theirs."

In September, Hurricane Maria became the 10th most intense Atlantic hurricane on record and the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico since 1928, according to news reports. While the official death toll, as of November, was 55 people, there has been conflicting information in various news reports questioning the number and estimating it to be much higher.

The American Dental Education Association donated $100,000 to the University of Puerto Rico dental school. The ADEAGies Foundation donated six laptops for the students who lost theirs in the flooding; $5,000 worth of general supplies for the school and nearby shelters; eight shipments of personal hygiene supplies donated by the ADEA staff; and $10,000 raised from an online campaign for its University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine Relief Fund.

"We are so grateful to our board, our staff and our corporate council for the donations of cash and supplies that will enable the dental school in San Juan to continue to provide top-notch education to its students and services to its patients," said Dr. Richard W. Valachovic, ADEA president and CEO. To donate to the ADA Foundation, visit To donate to the ADEAGies relief fund, visit the website.