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Health Science Undergraduate Student Receives Award for Presentation on School-Based Dental Care in Idaho

Eric Donahue

Eric Donahue, a pre-dental studies student at Boise State University, won second place for his research presentation on dental sealants at the 93rd annual meeting of the Pacific Division of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The annual meeting was held at the Boise Centre on the Grove, June 24-27, 2012. The meeting was co-sponsored by Boise State University and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

Donahue’s presentation, entitled “Delta Dental of Idaho’s School-Based Dental Sealant Program: An Evaluation of Sealant Retention and Dental Carries Prevention,” reported findings from a program evaluation he conducted with Lee Hannah, faculty in the Department of Community and Environmental Health.

This research effort evaluated a community outreach program by Delta Dental of Idaho to provide sealants to low-income children in schools throughout Idaho. The study evaluated the efficacy of sealants applied to third-graders after a five year period. Overall, the study found that sealant retention after five years was high and the sealants were effective in reducing tooth decay. Hannah and Donahue concluded that the findings “demonstrate that dental sealants are imperative to pediatric preventative health services and reveal the necessity of school-based programs in rural and underserved regions.”

Donahue’s second place award in the combined sections of Health Sciences and Oral Biology and Dental Medicine earned him $100 and a one-year student membership to AAAS, including a print subscription to Science.

For more information on this program evaluation research, please contact Dr. Lee Hannah (; (208) 426-2508).