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Dr. Lewis Lampiris directs the Dentistry in Service to the Community Program at the UNC School of Dentistry. In the last year, the program provided more than $3 million in dental service to under-served populations in North Carolina. Dental students also gain an opportunity to practice dentistry and gain an understanding of serving patients in vulnerable communities.
“I’m committed to social justice and health equity and these are values that I bring to the table and I think I’m having an impact on students, too.”
In addition to preparing students as dentists, Dr. Lampiris made an effort to help his students understand where their patients are coming from. As such, his students participate in a poverty simulator, essentially a giant Monopoly game, that helps them better understand the situations that patients are facing.
“The students are broken up into family clusters. The students are given the resources that the family has. Some of the families are working, some aren’t. They’re surrounded by all of these social services in this simulated space. The simulation takes place over an hour and it’s divided into four fifteen-minute segments. Fifteen minutes represent a week in the life of a family. And the goal is keep food on the table, keep a roof over your head and pay for all of your utilities.