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Service With A Smile Program Receives Grant from Disabled Veterans National Foundation

Friday, September 10, 2021
Brent Mullen and Keith Nguyen Service with a Smile creators and D20s
Brent Mullen, D20, and Keith Nguyen, D20, creators of Service with a Smile (Photo credit Alonso Nichols/ Tufts University)

Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) and its Service With a Smile program is honored to announce it has received a $20,000 grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) to help improve oral care for veterans in need.

The grant from the DVNF will enable TUSDM students, with support from faculty, to continue to fulfill the mission of Service With a Smile.

Brent Mullen, D20, and Keith Nguyen, D20, created the Service With a Smile program when they were students. Both had served in the Army and had begun serving meals at a local center for homeless veterans when they identified a larger need relating to oral care. They founded Service With a Smile to focus on providing oral health education, screenings, and related services to veterans in need, particularly those without homes.  

“The grant from DVNF will help our Service with a Smile group continue to provide oral health care services to veterans in need in the Greater Boston area. Tufts is proud to serve our veterans and to be increasing access to care to underserved populations,” said Kathy Dolan, assistant professor in public health and community service.  

“Many of our veterans do not have dental care through government programs and there is an outsized need for more care, including oral health care services,” said Mullen, who is working to establish Service With a Smile groups at other dental schools in the country.

Joseph VanFonda (USMC Sgt.Maj. Ret.), CEO of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation said, “We are proud to support Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and its Service With a Smile program as they continue to make a positive impact in veterans’ lives. We would like to congratulate and thank them for their commitment to assisting the men and women who served in defense of our country.”

DVNF provides critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans by offering direct financial support, providing online resources, and serving as a leader on veteran’s policy issues. More information can be found at https://www.dvnf.org/.