MCC Dental Hygiene Program recognized for continued support of Give Kids a Smile initiative

MESA, Arizona – Sept. 14, 2017 – Mesa Community College’s Dental Hygiene Program received recognition from the Arizona Dental Foundation for its long-term support Give Kids a Smile initiative.

 MCC Dental Hygiene students and faculty have consistently volunteered at GKAS events since 2006, sharing their time and talents to assist children in their community.

 “We are committed to the Give Kids a Smile initiative,” said Debbie Holexa, Director of MCC’s Dental Hygiene Program. “The initiative, in collaboration with the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, provides future dental hygienists with opportunities to give back to their community, inspire young people to take an active role in their health, specifically their dental health while providing valuable patient-practitioner experience.” 

 The Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) initiative provides underserved children with free, comprehensive dental care, including examinations, professional cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, restorations, oral surgery and x-rays. GKAS aims to reduce elementary school student absenteeism by eliminating oral pain and infection. The Arizona Dental Foundation partners with Title I schools across the state through school nurses and parent teacher liaisons to provide free dental services to children who otherwise do not have access to care.

 The MCC Dental Hygiene Program, accredited by the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) since 2005, received accolades for its focus on personal development through mindful practices, creativity of student engagement and community service.

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Contact Dawn Zimmer, (480) 461-7892,

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for service-learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to 30,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 195 degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body that enriches the learning experience. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and globally. MCC, located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of the 10 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information, visit

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA)

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.


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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, September 13, 2017