Helping future Dental Health Aide Therapists make the grade

Posted on July 16, 2012 in Events

The Healthy Alaska Natives Foundation (HANF) is helping future Dental Health Aide Therapists (DHAT) succeed in school, tell their stories and even feel a little less homesick.

Last year, the foundation provided the Dental Health Aide program with $8,000 to purchase iPads for training staff and students. Leaders of the program report that the iPads have already “created tremendous benefits to student and faculty experience.” The iPads equalize information access and sharing to all students and also create unique learning possibilities through multimedia capabilities (video, photo, audio and text recording), free or low-cost apps, and e-books. In training, dental procedures and concepts are taught and assimilated through a “tell, show, do” perspective. With iPads, students can review in-class and clinical demonstrations without relying solely on written lecture notes.

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The mobility of the iPads have also allowed for a digital storytelling workshop on traditional foods. Students used the tool to tell stories of whale hunting, herring season and berry picking.

And for these students that far away from friends and families, the iPads have also provided a connection to home. Savannah Bonorden uses the iPad to send photos and Skype with her children in Sitka. Elsie Pelowook didn’t have a computer when she arrived in Anchorage for training; she uses her iPad to keep in touch with family in Savoonga.

To give a gift or learn more about HANF, please email
or call 729-5652. To learn more about Dental Healthy Aide Therapists, visit here.