LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

A Heady Experience

Louisiana Dental Center Turns Over Donation to LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry

Big Turnover 2017

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Leslie Capo

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When the dentists at Louisiana Dental Center visited their alma mater on a recent evening, they didn’t come empty-handed. They came bearing gifts–one for the LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry and one for the DDS senior class.

For the eighth year, Louisiana Dental Center, a private group dental practice founded by Dr. Joey Lacoste (DDS ‘80), “turned over” funds through its Big Turnover Program. The program combines Louisiana Dental Center’s commitment to the school with its love for the New Orleans Saints by donating $250 every time the Saints cause a turnover. And they always invite a Saints player to help present the check.

This year, the Center donated $10,000 to support the Summer Enrichment Program at LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry. And Dr. Lacoste brought running back #41 Alvin Kamara, who some say is not only in contention for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but also MVP to meet the students.

Kamara has been nominated for Rookie of the Week five consecutive weeks. According to the Saints, “with 606 rushing yards and 614 receiving yards, Kamara joined former Washington WR Charley Taylor (1964) and former Detroit Lions RB Billy Sims (1980) as only the third rookie in NFL history with 600 yards rushing and 600 yards receiving.

When senior dental student Trace Favre heard Kamara was coming, he went out and bought a Saints helmet.

“A few classmates and I were in line waiting to meet him and get our merchandise signed and joked that it would be funny if I had him sign it on my head,” Favre says. “So I did it, and Alvin loved it. He laughed and signed it and also wrote Who Dat! on the helmet.”

Dominic Calato brought his Kamara jersey, and Colby Terry broke out his gold sneakers, suitable for autographing.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara signs Trace Favre's helmet
The funds donated by Louisiana Dental Center help support the educational mission of LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry. The Summer Enrichment program was created to prepare undergraduate students from under-represented minorities or disadvantaged circumstances for dental school.
Colby Terry's gold shoes
“Louisiana Dental Center’s longstanding support has played a critical role in sustain the LSU School of Dentistry's Summer Enrichment Program,” notes Dr. Henry Gremillion, Dean. “The program has been a most effective means of exposing students interested in a career in health care to the oral health care disciplines.”

LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry educates about three-quarters of the dental professionals practicing in Louisiana, many at Louisiana Dental Center. Louisiana Dental Center, which is a proud partner of the New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers, is also a proud benefactor of Louisiana’s only dental school.