Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: January 20, 2017
Dover, DE (Jan. 20, 2017) - The Division of Public Health (DPH) Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services (BODS) recently helped a Polytech High School student complete her senior research project on how gum disease affects the cardiovascular system. Jalyn Haith of Dover is enrolled in the Dental Assisting Program at Polytech High School as a senior. All seniors must complete a senior project to receive their Career Technical Diploma. Those with averages above 90 in their career technical area and academic area, like Jalyn, are eligible to receive a Master of Technology Diploma if they complete a senior research project that is more thorough and includes a community service project.
The senior research project requires students to research, write, and design information on a research topic related to their career and technical area, complete a community service component, and then present their research project to a panel of judges and audience of their peers.
Jalyn reached out to DPH and asked to set up a display board at the DPH Dental Clinic in the Williams State Service Center, and distribute informational brochures she designed on how failure to maintain good oral hygiene allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause infections to various organs, including the heart. DPH Dentist Dr. Mildred Pagan-Perez reviewed Jalyn's materials and approved her request to distribute information to patients awaiting treatment at the clinic.
"I believe it is important to support and nurture the growth of students who are driven to succeed in their chosen career field," said Dr. Pagon-Perez. "This is especially important in the dental field where we have a real need to grow our local workforce."
"I am so thankful that DPH let me come in and distribute my materials for the community service part of my research project," said Jalyn. "I could not have completed it without them. And I think I made a real difference. I talked to several people who had no idea that gum disease could eventually lead to heart disease." Jalyn presented her project before two judges and two classes of her peers in late December. She received a 98.
Jalyn will graduate this spring with a Dental Assistant certification. She would like to attend Delaware Technical Community College afterward to become a Dental Hygienist. She currently participates in one of Polytech's co-op programs, working in a dentist's office in Dover. There she assists the dentist when he fills cavities, she cleans rooms and sterilizes
To learn more about the DPH dental program visit: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsm/ohphome.html
Jalyn Haith and Dr. Pagon-Perez - from left: DPH Dentist Dr. Mildred Pagon-Perez stands with Polytech senior Jaylyn Haith, of Dover, by Jalyn's display board regarding the impact of oral health on the cardiovascular system at the Dental Clinic in the Williams State Service Center in Dover.
Jalyn Haith - Polytech senior Jaylyn Haith, of Dover, points to her display board that highlights the link between gum disease and the cardiovascular system. DPH's Bureau of Oral Health helped Jalyn complete the community service component of her senior research project by allowing her to distribute information to clients at the clinic located in the Williams State Service Center.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no .more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.