Members: Dr. Rosa Pelaez-Shelton, Roseann Sillasen, Dr. Easwar Natarajan, Jerry Gargano, Izabella Pulvermacher, Sarah Vermette, Gloria Jones, Elizabeth Valett,  Rosa Rodriguez, Chantelle Archer, Toni Parlanti, Charity Benedict, Katie Shuttleworth, Gary Turco,  Toni  Parlanti, Lucinda Hogarty

  1.             Review of initiatives that had been brainstormed at the breakout session held at the CCP annual meeting, on Dec. 13, 2023. Notes from that day identified these initiatives to pursue:
  • lecture at National/State Dental Society
  • teach dentists how to perform an oral exam. Dr. Natrajan has a video explaining this and provided the link.
  • teach dentists how to talk about HPV vaccination (Discussion about how to present info about HPV and HPV vax. Mallory Ellingson may be a resource on this.)
  • teach dentists about Healthy People 2030 Oral Health goals
  1. Update from dental hygiene education initiatives, Izabella Pulvermacher:

·  CEU with CDHA Northeastern : HPV-related Oral & Oropharyngeal Disease 2/1/24
·  Online event  Speaker: Easwar Natarajan BDS, DMSc
·   Course Description:

·  This is a 1-hour lecture that will cover the basic concepts underlying virus-associated neoplasms (benign and malignant. It will cover the pathogenesis of benign viral warts (papillomas) and contrast it with that of HPV-associated oropharyngeal carcinoma (throat cancer). The classic clinical presentation, preventive strategies, and the role of oral healthcare providers (hygienists and dentists) will be discussed.

  1. Update from dental students, Jerry Gargano provided this update:

“As far as the student body is concerned, we have had an initial meeting to inform students about the hpv vaccination initiative. This was a combined meeting with both dental and medical students and some dental residents.

Moving forward I would like to invite a few speakers from the CT Cancer Partnership to present on topics regarding patient communication in the medical and dental settings.

Our next goal as students for this spring is to connect with the Hartford Health Education Committee which is a student-run organization here at UConn in which medical and dental students travel to local elementary and middle schools in the greater Hartford area to provide lectures on various health topics. We would like to create a lecture to be presented at these schools regarding HPV, its association with cancer and information about the vaccine. This lecture would be geared toward the younger population so the information shouldn’t be too dense or difficult to understand from a science perspective.     HHE normally starts their lecture series in April. “

This led to a discussion about involving all the med schools in CT. We will pursue contacts at Quinnipiac and Dr. Clark will make some inquiries at Yale.    Izabella raised the idea of training people helping with health care during Special Olympic

  1. Awareness Raising Efforts

Drs Clark and Verma discussed opportunities to raise awareness during April—Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month.

Share screening events in the state

  • Aprilis Head and Neck Cancer Awareness month, dedicated to bringing awareness to this group of cancers that collectively account for nearly 4% of all cancers in the United States, as reported in a recent CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians publication.Apr 27, 2023
  • Adolescent Immunization Action Week

Adolescent Immunization Action Week (AIAW) is a yearly observance held in April, highlighting the importance of adolescent immunizations by urging healthcare providers and parents to take action by getting their adolescents up to date on their vaccines. CDC recommends adolescents stay up to date with their routine vaccinations. On-time vaccination is critical to protect and prevent adolescents and young adults from getting sick and missing out on activities that are important to them.

  • Call to Action Letter, for dissemination to pediatricians- Discuss doing this again at Feb. meeting
  • Verma is working with ped. ENTs on survey of parent awareness of HPV vax.
  1. Idea of issuing CEUs at our events/ How to get CEUs issued for programs that we may want to hold:
  • Contact at CSDA (State Dental Continuing Education): Dawn [email protected]
  • CDC has mentioned that state coalitions may be able to issue CEUs for their programs.
  1. Dissemination of RI Oral Health Resource Guide. This activity represents a different approach from everything else that was discussed and we decided to table it for now, but make the links available for you to become familiar with and use at your own initiative.
  2. Jerry Gargano and Sarah Vermette discussed the idea of launching a social media account through UConn to promote the Partnership’s messages about HPV vaccination. Messaging should also be tailored for presentation to parent groups, such as PTO meetings.

It is hoped to have some messaging to go out as soon as HPV Awareness Day which is March 4.

Side note: The full HPV group is working on a Call to Action Letter, that will distributed as part of the awareness designated periods. This letter will be shared with this group for distribution to the Oral Health Providers and their mailing lists as well.   Resource for awareness materials:
8.       Other: Three CEUs are available with the CDHA event on May 16 from 9 – 12, through CSDA

Suggestion that we get involved with the American Dental Student Association.  Hoping to connect with medical students at Yale and Quinnipiac around these initiatives as well.
General Resource Links

How to Do a Head and Neck Exam—MP4 files

This is the HPV video that we just created with Drs. Lurie and his son. It’s long but packed with information for a bunch of people, Story Corps style interview, father and son, doctor and survivor of HPV-related head and neck cancer survivor.