Rosemary Toedtemeier is a dental hygienist and an integral member of OHSU’s Russell Street Clinic. Shortly after completing her education, Toedtemeier joined the staff at the Russell Street Dental Clinic as a dental hygienist. The clinic serves low income, unhoused, disabled, and HIV+/AIDS communities. The clinic is one of the few places in Oregon that provided dental care for HIV+ patients in the 1980s and 1990s when the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS was at its height. In this interview, Toedtemeier discusses her personal reflections on the work that the clinic and partnering programs have accomplished over the years, the unique patient-provider relationships that she has experienced, and the importance of teaching empathy and compassion in dental care. She also discusses her exposure to awareness issues in regards to HIV+ stigmas, especially within the healthcare community, and her efforts and thoughts on creating positive change.
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