Senior Smiles and Wellness Fair Offers Free Screenings and Services for Older Adults

patient giving thumbs up

Nearly 200 seniors in San Francisco recently enjoyed a day of free health screenings, consultations and services provided by volunteers from University of the Pacific’s health sciences programs as well as local community partners.

The 29th Annual Senior Smiles and Wellness Health Fair was held April 27 on the San Francisco campus. A long-standing tradition at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, over the years the event has grown to include a wide range of interprofessional partners and organizations. This year’s fair included volunteers from Pacific’s dentistry, audiology, physical therapy and social work programs.

Adults age 55+ were offered free screenings for dental care, hearing exams, blood pressure testing, diabetes screenings and consultations about nutrition, balance and fall prevention, social work resources and information about dental implants and dentures. Participants enjoyed friendly educational conversations with student and faculty volunteers and each received a free gift bag filled with health products.

student holding sign

Volunteers included representatives from the San Francisco City and County Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS); University of the Pacific’s Dugoni School of Dentistry  and School of Health Sciences (Audiology, Diagnostic Sciences, Physical Therapy, and Social Work departments); UC Berkeley’s Volunteer Health Interpreters Organization (VHIO); and California Connect (Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program).

Before the event, the students and faculty members participated in an interactive session focused on interprofessional education among health care providers. Interprofessional education (IPE) involves professionals learning together to enhance collaboration and health outcomes, and interprofessional practice (IPP) emphasizes collaborative healthcare delivery involving providers, patients and families. Both concepts align with the dental school’s vision of advancing health and wellness through innovative programs and partnerships.

man with volunteer

Senior Smiles was organized by leaders from the Dugoni School’s Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) program, a student-run volunteer community health service organization at the dental school.

“Reflecting on the success of this event, I find immense gratitude for our dedicated faculty and student volunteers whose tireless efforts made it all possible,” said Adriane Tran, DDS 2025. “Having witnessed the overwhelming turnout last year, I was excited for the opportunity to contribute to the event’s organization this time around. I’m so glad that this event could serve as a gateway for our elderly patients to explore and address their oral health needs.”

“Coordinating Senior Smiles with my fellow students has been an incredibly rewarding experience,” said Samantha Rovno, DDS 2025. “We are so proud of the many volunteers and team leads who helped us make this event a success.”

Local organizations donating in-kind products or services included the InterContinental San Francisco and James Standfield Catering, as well as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and NBC Bay Area which provided promotional support.

“I was truly honored to be a part of an event that provided necessary health screenings and care to our senior community in San Francisco” added Mariyam Siddiqui, DDS 2025. “Hearing their statements of heartwarming gratitude made all the planning worthwhile. I'm proud to have been a part of this event and look forward to continuing to support our community in any way I can.”

“As we approach the 30th annual health fair for seniors, our risk assessment services combined with targeted health home referrals continues our Dugoni School legacy of integrating oral health with total wellbeing,” added Christine Miller, associate professor and director of Community Health Programs. “We are fortunate to have a remarkable group of student leaders involved in these programs!”