Featured Testimonial About Creighton University
I grew up seeing people in need, so it’s in my nature to want to give back. The opportunity for hands-on experiences at Creighton and serving a diverse pool of patients helped me realize that I could give back to my community through dentistry.
Support from endowed chairs helps the Creighton School of Dentistry to recruit and retain engaged teachers and brilliant scholars who transform the lives of Creighton students.
Since 2010, Donal Scheidel, DDS, associate professor of dentistry and holder of the Dr. Edward J. “Eddie” and Neta DeRose Endowed Chair, has enriched the student experience by creating service opportunities in the Omaha community and beyond.
Scheidel collaborates with numerous partners, such as the Charles Drew Health Center, Metropolitan Community College, and OneWorld Community Health Centers in Omaha. Under his supervision, students connect individuals with dental needs with available resources. Dental students also provide screenings at the St. Francis Mission Dental Clinic in St. Francis, South Dakota.
“The DeRose gift has been very supportive of my efforts to enhance our dental students’ educations,” Scheidel said. “When our students volunteer to participate in the various outreach activities I supervise, they have opportunities to see and experience what dental public health is all about.”
The DeRose Chair was established by Michael DeRose, DDS’82, and his brother Daniel DeRose, to honor their parents, Eddie DeRose, DDS’61, and Neta Bryson DeRose. The DeRose family has a multi-generational history of providing care for the disadvantaged, particularly children.
For D4 student, Yemi Ajayi, opportunities for outreach blended the world of dentistry and service, which helped shape her professional goals.
“I’ve always had a passion for health care and health care advocacy,” Ajayi said. “But without outreach experiences–delivering care in the clinics, providing screenings for high-risk children in Omaha’s schools, working a few weeks in pediatric dentistry—without all of that, I may not have considered going into public health.”
Ajayi will graduate in May. The Illinois native says that her ultimate goal is to return to Chicago and practice dentistry.
“I grew up seeing people in need, so it’s in my nature to want to give back,” said Ajayi. “The opportunity for hands-on experiences at Creighton and serving a diverse pool of patients helped me realize that I could give back to my community through dentistry.”
Scheidel says that he feels responsibility to continue supporting community efforts to improve oral health and increase opportunities for students, like Ajayi, to reach the underserved.
“I am motivated by connecting people with little to no access to care, and broadening my effect through student participation. I was humbled when I was awarded the DeRose Chair, and I plan to continue building on the legacy of community service that the School of Dentistry is known for.”