• February 16, 2018
UIC College of Dentistry Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA)

The Hispanic Student Dental Association at UIC is an organization that aims to create a unified voice for dental students and faculty, and seeks to promote and advocate the oral health issues of the Hispanic community in Illinois. We do this by following the four principles of our mission SEAL: Service, Education, Advocacy, and Leadership. HSDA at UIC volunteers at a wide variety of events and locations, from free health clinics to church and school health fairs. We provide education in the forms of oral hygiene instruction at various volunteer events, and Spanish class education for our fellow classmates within our own college. We advocate for the advancement of oral health within Latino communities by engaging in activities and dialogues with our parent chapter, the Hispanic Dental Association, and we attend annual conferences as leaders representing our chapter’s efforts. We also love to enrich our experience at UIC with cultural food sales and social events.

Connect with HSDA @ UIC on Facebook


Here are some of the great things the HSDA @ UIC has been doing to fulfill their mission, and their recent accomplishments and impact in the community. ¡Trabajo bien hecho HSDA!

Leading Health Events in Chicago's Hispanic Communities

In February 2018, the Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) worked with the Latino Student Medical Association (LSMA) to organize a health fair in St. Pius V Church in Pilsen. Both organizations work together to increase community engagement and to educate about health in the Hispanic community of Pilsen. Medical students checked cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels while members from HSDA did an oral hygiene education presentation for kids and handed out toothbrushes. HSDA is taking this opportunity to educate about different oral health topics, such as oral health and pregnancy, diabetes and periodontal disease, nutrition and oral health. etc. 

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Spanish Classes

The HSDA leads Spanish classes for other students at the college. This is very helpful because the college serves the oral health needs of many patients who use Spanish as a preferred language.


Winner of the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) Orgullo competition

In January 2018,  UIC's HSDA Chapter won the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) Orgullo competition, sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Crest Oral B. Their win was announced at the Greater New York Dental Meeting (GNYDM). For the contest, students developed a video of about three minutes long demonstrating oral hygiene instructions, caries prevention, and nutritional counseling. The video beat out projects by six other dental schools’ students.

HSDA plans to use the video during community outreach events and will make it available to the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

“We also would like to allow other dental students to use it during their pediatric dentistry rotation as part of their patient oral hygiene education,” said Crystal Luna, Secretary of HSDA and candidate for DMD Class of 2020. “Through our project, our goal is to make oral hygiene, caries prevention, and nutritional counseling fun for all kids within and outside of UIC.”

UIC College of Dentistry Hispanic Student Dental Association Wins Orgullo Competition


Winner of the Nuestros Ninos Contest

In 2016, the College’s Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) Chapter won the Nuestros Ninos contest of the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), sponsored by Colgate. In the contest, students are invited to develop a program that educates communities on the importance of dental care, good oral hygiene habits, and good diet.

The College’s HSDA chapter students  developed a new ‘dental tracker,’ an interactive calendar and educational instrument that provided illustrations of proper oral hygiene and a calendar to track brushing/flossing and diet for a week.  Faculty and students worked together to test the tracker at the church measuring baseline information.  They used the prototype with families at Iglesia Bautista Bethania Bethany Baptist Church in Elgin, IL.  Students also demonstrated proper OHI and nutrition through hands-on activities with the children.  The results after just a week of using the dental tracker were impressive:  brushing and flossing twice a day increased 15%, along with a 14% increase  in drinking water or milk , and a 30% decrease  in candy or soda intake per day. 


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HSDA-Nuestros-Ninos-Hispanic-Dental-Association.jpgThe results after just a week of using the dental tracker were impressive:  brushing and flossing twice a day increased 15%, along with a 14% increase  in drinking water or milk , and a 30% decrease  in candy or soda intake per day.






“This was a great opportunity for the students to demonstrate their commitment to the profession and also to serve our Hispanic community, says Dr. Marcela Escobar, Clinical Instructor, Dental Clinics, another advisor to the chapter .”

“Dr. Escobar and I feel very proud of our creative and committed group of students,” said Dr. Adriana Semprum-ClavierClinical Associate Professor, Restorative Dentistry, an advisor to the chapter. “They are always motivated and bring wonderful ideas that help us meet our College mission and the HDA mission of serving, educating, and advocating for the Hispanic communities.” 

“It was a very rewarding experience and the kids were so engaged and excited about using the tracker. The families provided overwhelmingly positive feedback," Melissa Villafane, HSDA Co-President, stated.


 Named 2016 National Student Chapter of the Year 

UIC's (HSDA) Chapter was named the Hispanic Dental Association’s (HDA) 2016 National Student Chapter of the Year at the 2016 HDA’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. This award recognizes the chapter for outstanding efforts to provide service, education, advocacy and leadership in Hispanic oral health.

Selected by a committee consisting of HDA National Office staff members and invited jurors, the chapter stood out among affiliate dental student chapters across the nation. 

“We won due to our excellence in community outreach and activity this past year,” Jacqueline Magallanes, President of the UIC HSDA, explained. “Chapter of the Year guidelines look at community outreach, membership growth, and overall activity. We participated in dozens of community outreach events where we provided oral hygiene instruction, patient education, and free dental services in underserved communities with minority populations.”

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