Raise alcohol use and oral cancer awareness

April is Alcohol and Oral Cancer Awareness Month, which promotes prevention, treatment and care.


  • Raymond Tunoa-Scanlan, a first-year dental student at Meharry Medical College, and his wife, Margaret Tunoa-Scanlan, an MHS graduate student at Meharry Medical College, are both aspiring dentists.

As we raise a final glass of wine during our honeymoon to celebrate 2023, we reflect on the warm years we spent together.

Moving to Nashville last summer to attend Meharry Medical College in hopes of becoming a dentist was truly a leap of faith. In fact, faith is the foundation of Meharry Medical College, whose motto is “Worship God through service to humanity.”

Nearly 150 years ago, this historically black college and university (HBCU) became the first African-American medical school in the South and an important part of black history.

The school originated from an accident in the 1820s known as the “Salt Wagon Story” and was founded in 1876 as the Meharry Medical Department of Central Tennessee College.

Eight years later, Dean George Whipple Hubbard, MD, raised the necessary funds and founding Dean of the Department of Dentistry at Vanderbilt, William Henry Morgan Medicine With the help of Dr., DDS, the Meharry Dental Program began.

On October 4, 1886, the Meharry Dental Program enrolled its first class of nine students, three of whom were physicians, making it the first dental school for aspiring African-American dentists in the South. School.

Meharry is addressing global and local health issues affecting the population

Today, Meharry Medical College is a national leader in preparing Black physicians, dentists, researchers and health policy experts who reach underserved communities and practice their mission of humble and compassionate service.

Taking initiatives to create better health outcomes is key to the college’s success. From spearheading clinical vaccine trials to establishing the nation’s first global health school, Meharry has been a distinguished pioneer in health care and education.

That’s why Dr. James Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, and Dr. Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK Showcase Meharry Medical College as the official home of Dry January® USA.

Dry January® is the official alcohol-free month challenge launched in the UK 10 years ago and promotes the many health benefits associated with reducing alcohol intake and drinking in moderation. We love participating in this event, the genuine relationships we build, and love the Try Dry® app, a great free tool that helps you track your drinking behavior, set goals, and overall motivation year-round to Achieve a healthier life.

April is Alcohol and Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Alcohol Awareness Month has grown from a public health program for college students to a nationally recognized educational resource about alcohol abuse and how to support families affected by alcohol addiction.

Even if you don’t have insurance, don’t avoid taking care of your health

Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in this country. Interestingly, studies have confirmed that alcohol abuse is one of the greatest risk factors for oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month is supported by various dental societies, such as the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Periodontology, and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Someone dies every hour from some form of oral cancer, and the mortality rate is relatively high because it is often diagnosed too late. That’s why it’s so important to visit your dentist regularly, who can screen you for oral cancer.

If you do not have insurance, the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry offers free or discounted dental services. The twice-yearly Oral Health Days and weekly Salt Truck Clinics are free: https://home.mmc.edu/school-of-dentistry/dental-care/

Raymond Tunoa-Scanlan is a first-year dental student at Meharry Medical College and his wife, Margaret Tunoa-Scanlan, MHS graduate students at Meharry Medical College are aspiring dentists who hope to treat those in need around the world.

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