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  string(1440) "“Prevention is superior to treatment,” said David Weber, M.D., M.P.H. Prevention of health care-acquired infections and vaccine development are David’s two main areas of research. “Vaccines are the classic way to keep people well and have saved more lives globally than any other intervention except access to clean water,” David says. “At UNC, healthcare workers are required to have four vaccines – mumps, measles and rubella; varicella or chicken pox; influenza; and pertussis. This keeps staff and patients safe and healthy.”

David is not surprised that a recent study showed medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. Preventing healthcare-associated infections is his life’s work.

David began his career at UNC in 1985. He holds a triple appointment - as a professor of medicine and pediatrics within the UNC School of Medicine and as a professor of epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. His ultimate professional goal is to eliminate all preventable health care-associated infections, and he looks to the men and women he has trained over the years to help him achieve this.

“The goal is to get to zero,” David says. “We can do this by controlling our environmental factors, developing vaccines against infections and continuing to train the next generation of infectious diseases epidemiologists.”

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Prevention is Superior to Treatment

Many kids are scared of going to the dentist, but when you add in a dance party, a therapy dog and a Tooth Fairy in a big pink gown, the situation becomes a lot more palatable.

That’s the experience the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry provided to nearly 150 kids from the community during the national kickoff of Give Kids A Smile on Friday. Dental school students and faculty members pitched in to create a fun and memorable experience for the kids, providing nearly $8,000 of free dental screenings and cleanings.

Read the complete Carolina Story…

This is story number 42 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.