Tue | Oct 24, 2017

St Hilda’s graduate leads the dental charge... Among pioneering batch of dental students at UTech; giving free service

Published:Thursday | September 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Dental student Caithlin Williams prepares tools to be used on her clients.

OCHO RIOS, St Ann:

A past student of St Hilda's Diocesan High School in Brown's Town, St Ann, Caithlin Williams is among the pioneering batch of dental students to graduate from the University of Technology in St Andrew.

Come November, upon graduating, she can officially be referred to as Dr Caithlin Williams, DDS, an accomplishment she relishes with a sense of pride.

Over the last three years, Williams has worked with the One Thousand Smiles team from the United States, which has been coming to Jamaica for the last 14 years to deliver free medical care to Jamaicans of all ages.

The project, a joint effort between Sandals Foundation and Great Shape! Inc, is currently in Jamaica, and Williams was, this year, called upon to help supervise proceedings at the Ocho Rios Baptist Church location

"I am the project coordinator. Prior to that, I would come as a clinician, so I would be at the chairs working, extraction, filling, whatsoever was required of me. Now, I've been offered a managerial position. So I oversee and make sure proceedings run OK," Williams told Rural Xpress on Monday.

"It's been a good experience to be able to be on both sides of the spectrum and be able to give back as well."

"As a Jamaican, I take great pride in the fact that I am now able to give back to my fellow citizens, especially as a person who didn't grow up with much access to dental care," Williams added.

"I feel like I am accomplishing something and making dental health a little better for Jamaicans out there, and I am able to give access to a larger cross section of persons."

Her internship starts in January and Williams is hoping to return to St Ann to work and establish her career.

In the meantime, she continues to give freely, as the clinic serves hundreds of residents in St Ann and St Mary.

Jerome Thompson, from Exchange in St Ann, is one of the many residents who benefitted from the team's presence.

"I am very happy for this service, especially because it's free," Thompson commented after having an extraction done.

rural@gleanerjm.com