My name is Whitney Chaney and I’m a junior at the University of Texas at Austin. I am currently studying biology and am planning to attend dental school after I graduate. This semester, I have been lucky enough to intern at Austin Smiles as a Global Public Health intern. From the moment I first read about Austin Smiles, I was incredibly touched by their mission and their work. Being a pre-dental student, it is so inspiring to see what Austin Smiles and the physicians involved with the organization do for children affected by cleft lip and palate. Since becoming involved with the organization, I have gained a deeper understanding of the impact of craniofacial anomalies on kids and their families as well as all that goes into treating it. Gaining more perspective on this condition and its various impacts on families has been such a valuable experience and I know that I will be able to carry this knowledge into my own work one day in the dental field.
This semester at Austin Smiles, I have worked to create a digitized organizational system for the medical supply room. By doing so, I have gotten to be exposed to the various medical instruments and tools used by the physicians on the Austin Smiles mission trips. It is fascinating to see all that goes into these incredible procedures and I’ve really enjoyed getting to familiarize myself with these instruments. Having the supply room organized in an online system will also make prepping for the upcoming missions much easier and more efficient! Along with creating this system, I’ve gotten to assist in prepping auction items for our Shoot for a Smile event as well as in finding local donors for our Wish Upon A Smile gala coming up this November. These events and our donors are so important because they allow Austin Smiles to continually treat and support those affected by cleft lip and palate. Throughout my semester interning, I have seen how much behind the scenes work goes into making Austin Smiles possible, as well as how wonderful the outcome of this work is for the kids and families it is able to benefit.
Whitney Chaney – Fall 2020 Austin Smiles Intern