NYUCD is providing access to dental healthcare in developing areas of the world, as many areas lack the resources to receive dental care due to accessibility and cost. As a result, their population are not able to get treatment nor are they educated about the value of proper oral hygiene as a means to preventing tooth decay and disease. Many individuals in these areas believe that dental pain and infection as well as edentualism are normal consequences of life. This belief system is passed from parent to child in a cyclical continuum. Seeing the vital importance of bringing much needed dental care to these area in order to break this cycle, NYU College of Dentistry launched its first outreach project in 1997 and over the years since, have examined, treated and helped over 7,500 individuals. Site created and maintained by Dr. Richard Weledniger - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dominican Republic - November 2010
4th Year Dental Students
Sapna Adappa | Amir Awadalla | Agnes Hernandez | Julian Issacs | Andrew-Sunjun Kim
Katrina Liu | Enrique Pitton | Lindsay Stearn
3rd Year Dental Students
Lucio Cardoso | Eric Chang | Karen Mak | Katayoun Tajik
Dr. Pragya Goel | Dr. Rehab Hamoui
Dr. Maria Alvarez - International Pediatric PG | Dr. Ben Liu - 2nd Yr Pediatric PG | Dr. Michael Wahl - 1st Yr Pediatric PG
Dr. Daniela Marinescu - 2nd Yr Endo PG | Dr. Ferdad Tayebaty - 2nd Yr Endo PG
Guest Undergraduate Students
Daniel Lotz | Cuong Nguyen
Dr. Stuart Hirsch - Program Director / General Dentistry Faculty
Dr. Roy Sonkin - Clinic Director / Cariology & Comprehensive Care Faculty
Dr. Lily Lim - Pediatric Clinic Director
Dr. Richard Weledniger - Cariology & Comprehensive Care Faculty
Dr. Zachary Sonkin - General Faculty | Dr. Prospero Matos - General Faculty | Dr. Lupo Villega - General Faculty
Dr. Jared Frisbie-Teal - Endodontic Faculty | Dr. Ashish Patel - Oral Surgery Faculty
Eugenia Mejia - Clinic Coordinator | Rachell Hill - Program Coordinator | Lisa Haystrand - Research Administrator
- Grenada Video Premiere
Area: 344 sq. km. (133 sq. mi.); about twice the size of Washington, DC.
Cities: Capital--St. George's (est. pop. 33,734).
Terrain: Three volcanic islands (Grenada and the smaller islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique) with a mountainous rainforest on the largest island of Grenada.
- Outreach Party
- Nicaragua Outreach
4th year DDS Students
Brian Bulik | Anu Dali | Robert Hogge | Jackie Korol | Avi Malkis
Alicia Schraner | Ann Slama | Michael Weisner | Tina Wu | Lilian Wu
3rd year DDS Students
Miganoush Ghookasian | Austin Griffith
Flor Segovia | Valentin Sviatocha
International Programs Students
Dr. Andrea Mastrorosa Agnini | Dr. James Hazbun
Dr. Stuart Hirsch Clinic Director
Dr. Kambiz Ghalili General Dentistry faculty | Dr. James Toppin General Dentistry faculty
Dr. Yakir Arteaga General Dentistry faculty | Dr. David Walls OMS Faculty
Dr. Denise Foran Endodontic faculty
Dr. Aura Caldera Pediatric faculty / Program Coordinator | Dr. Patrick So Pediatric faculty
Rachel Hill Program Coordinator | Amanda Meissner Program Administrator
Dr. Wael Oweity 2nd year Endodontics PG | Dr. Eric Appelin 1st year Endodontics PG
Dr. Joseph Sleilati 1st year Endodontics PG | Dr. Amy Honig 2nd year Pediatric PG
Dr. Joyce Kao 1st year Pediatric PG | Dr. Thapanee Vongthongleur International Pediatric Resident
- Dexis / Nomad Training
Dexis / Nomad Training - March 10, 2010 - Dr. Roy Sonkin / Dr. Richard Weledniger
Review of safety and technical skills for using the Nomad Hand-held X-ray unit and the Dexis Digital X-Ray Sensor and software.
- Grenada Outreach 2010
Grenada Outreach 2010
Survey Team: January 16-30 - Clinic Team: January 23 – 30 and 24 – 31
4th year DDS Students
Robert Block (Student Leader) | Richard Lee | Jeffrey Lo | Guojun Ma
Melissa Nevid | Duc Nguyen | Adam Palmer | Jenny Weng (Student Leader)
3rd year DDS Students
Heather Anderson | Anil Gudipati | Justin Hastings
Sumana Kafle | Zachary Linhart
International Comprehensive Dentistry
Dr. Marie Roge | Dr. Niyati Panday
Dr. Mark Wolff Survey Director | Rachel Hill Program Coordinator | Dr. Ananda Dasanayake General Faculty
Jill Fernandez Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Sumitra Golikeri Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Lily Lim Pediatric Faculty
Dr. Rima Gluzman Postdoctoral Fellow | Dr. Lin Li Postdoctoral Fellow | Alexis Cohen DDS/MPH Student
Nicole Holland D4 student
Vincent Wong Hygiene Alumnus | Kellie Kennedy Hygiene Student | Amy Soss Hygiene Student
Clinic Team Faculty/Staff
Dr. Stuart Hirsch Program Director | Dr. Lynwood Bennerson General Dentistry Faculty | Amanda Meissner Clinic Coordinator
Dr. Amr Moursi Pediatric Clinic Director | Dr. Heather Baumhardt Pediatric Faculty
Dr. Raid Sadda Oral Surgery Faculty | Dr. Paul Rosenberg Endodontic Faculty
Dr. Jennifer Frangos General Dentistry Alumni Faculty | Dr. Andrea Jordan General Dentistry Alumni Faculty
Dr. Brianne Hama Pedo PG 2 | Dr. Liora Benichou Pedo PG 1 | Dr. Kapila Pragati Intl Pedo PG
Gracelyn Harris linic Coordinator | Dr. Wael Oweity Endo PG 2 | Dr. David Vazemiller Endo PG 2
In January 2009, representatives from New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) visited Grenada at the invitation of the Consul General and the Ministry of Health to lay the groundwork for a dental outreach program. The original purpose for this visit was to plan a clinical outreach, which would bring a team of NYUCD providers to develop a sustainable dental care program in an underserved area of the island. After discussions with Mrs. Ann Peters, Grenada’s Minister of Health, a more comprehensive plan quickly took shape. It included a nation-wide oral health assessment for children in the tri-island nation of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique, and an outreach clinic in St. Andrew, providing comprehensive care to children in nearby schools and emergency care for adults. An undertaking of this scope had never previously been performed in Grenada. It was believed that this assessment could result in a plan which would influence the overall oral health care in the nation.
After a second site visit in the fall and many discussions with government officials, non-profit organizations and other interested groups, the assessment became a
two-part oral health initiative combining data from an oral health survey with an evaluation of the island’s infrastructure as it relates to the oral health of the population. The information obtained from this initiative will be used to develop a report to the Ministry of Health on the present oral health status of children in Grenada and recommendations on how to improve the children’s oral health based upon available resources.
Part One: Nation-wide Oral Health Survey
On January 16, 2010, a fourteen-member delegation from New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) arrived in Grenada to begin a two-week national oral health survey.
The research protocol was developed by Principal Investigator Dr. Mark Wolff using the World Health Organization Oral Health Surveys pathfinder methodology and stratified cluster sampling technique. The study received approval by the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) at NYU Langone Medical Center and St. George’s University (SGU).
The survey required dental examinations on a target population of children in schools in Grenada and Carriacou. The target was 50 children, 25 males and 25 females, in each of three age groups: 6, 7-8, and 14-15 year olds. This would total 150 children assessed in each of the six parishes, or 900 children on Grenada, and potentially an additional 150 children on Carriacou.
Prior to arrival in Grenada, the five examiners were calibrated for inter-examiner reliability. They were tested again upon performing the initial examinations on the first five children assessed. Five recorders were trained on charting technique to ensure the consistency and viability of the data collection.
During the first week of the survey Professor Jill Fernandez made presentations to parents about the importance of their children’s oral health at two PTA meetings and one public clinic. She provided oral hygiene instruction and nutritional counseling, and promoted the survey and outreach clinic to over one hundred parents.
Over the course of the two-week survey, over one thousand children at 22 schools in all six parishes of Grenada plus Carriacou received dental examinations as part of this study. The overall prevalence of caries was alarmingly high, at over 80 percent. Once the data is validated and analyzed, the results will be shared with the Ministry of Health.
Part Two: Dental Outreach Clinic at Tivoli Medical Station
On January 23, twenty-eight additional team members from NYUCD arrived in Grenada to begin the second part of the program: a one-week dental clinic in St. Andrew, the island’s largest parish. The clinic team consisted of four general dentistry faculty, an oral surgeon, two pediatric dentistry faculty and three pediatric residents, an endodontic faculty and two endodontic residents, fifteen dental students, and two administrators. Prior to arrival, all of the supervising faculty members received temporary license to practice dentistry as volunteers by the proper authority at the Ministry of Health.
The temporary dental clinic was set up on Sunday morning at Tivoli Medical Station. This new health care facility provided a very efficient outreach clinic site. Each of the four larger rooms was transformed into a dental clinic area, including pediatric care, oral surgery, endodontics, and adult restorative care. These areas were furnished with portable equipment brought by NYUCD. Another room was used for storage and sterilization. The front of the clinic provided ample space for intake, triage, and a waiting area, although most times the patients overflowed outside due to the incredibly high demand for services. There were an adequate number of restrooms for patients and staff, as well as a kitchen that was used as a staff lunchroom. The electricity (dual voltage) and running water were consistent and reliable, and there was plenty of ventilation and sunlight. It was an impressive facility.
The staff at Tivoli Medical Station, was incredibly accommodating and helpful throughout the week. Their assistance with intake and sterilization was critical to the effectiveness of the clinic.
An overwhelming number of patients arrived each day seeking dental care. Hundreds of people lined up at the clinic each morning, anxiously greeting the NYUCD team as it arrived. Over 500 adults were triaged for emergency treatment, and approximately 450 received care, many of whom returned for additional visits. Over 200 children were treated, many needing multiple visits. There appears to be an endless need for dental care among the population. In five days the procedures completed for adults included approximately 320 restorations, 55 root canals, and 280 extractions.
One of the goals of the clinic was to provide complete care to as many students as possible from the Tivoli R.C. Primary School, given its close proximity to the clinic site. Seventy-six children from Tivoli R.C. and Paradise Preschool were treated at the clinic, and care was completed on approximately 90 percent of those children. A dental health therapist was trained in the proper methods for applying fluoride varnish so that she may carry on the preventive measures on these children every three months. NYUCD donated one year’s worth of fluoride varnish and supplies to the Ministry of Health for this purpose, and those children from Tivoli R.C. and Paradise Preschool who were treated at the clinic will receive the fluoride varnish every three months. This follow-up will be supervised by the Ministry of Health.
The pediatric clinic treated walk-ins each morning and focused primarily on treating the Tivoli R.C. and Paradise Preschool students each afternoon. Due to the extensive needs of these children, many were scheduled for follow-up visits throughout the week in order to complete necessary treatment.
Logistics and partnerships
The success of this program was contingent upon the collaboration of many different groups, individuals and organizations. The Government of Grenada, particularly the Ministry of Health under the direction of Mrs. Ann Peters and the Ministry of Education under the direction of Mrs. Franca Bernadine, spearheaded this oral health initiative. Mrs. Allison Miller, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Health, was readily available to attend to NYUCD’s needs, and was a consistent pillar of support as she checked in with the NYUCD leaders on a daily basis. Mrs. Elizabeth Henry-Greenidge, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education, made it possible for the survey team to succeed in the schools.
Concerned Grenadians of New York, Inc. (CGNY), a non-profit organization of Grenadians now residing in the United States, provided additional support in finances, personnel, and logistical planning. Mr. Jerry Edwin, Mr. Lawrence Thomas, Mr. Gerry Hopkins, and NYUCD’s own Ms. Gracelyn Harris were available around the clock to respond to any needs as they arose. The Grenadian Dental Association (GDA) and its president, Dr. Julie DuBois, continuously showed support of the project and expressed interest in helping in any way possible. Hopkins Consulting Group, led by Mr. Gerry Hopkins, provided critical media exposure to publicize the program, drawing national and international attention and promoting the survey goals and clinic resources to the people of Grenada. Henry Schein Cares (HSC) donated the dental supplies and materials that were used for this extensive dental outreach and sent a representative, Ms. Erin Spittle, to document the program on behalf of HSC.
Per the original agreement between NYUCD and the Ministry of Health, the Ministry provided accommodations for 35 people and internal transportation for the entire group. CGNY covered the hotel rooms for the additional eight people. The Coyaba Beach Resort was extremely accommodating, making special arrangements for the NYUCD team to have breakfast earlier than the usual hours of operation and allowing the use of its conference room for the survey team to set up data entry nearly every evening. The team thoroughly enjoyed the amenities at the hotel and especially its proximity to the beautiful Grand Anse Beach.
The project was continuously publicized throughout the two weeks thanks to the efforts of Mr. Gerry Hopkins. On four different occasions, representatives from NYUCD were invited to television and/or radio interviews to speak about the importance of oral health, to describe the research initiative, and encourage participation both in the survey and at the clinic. Additionally, a press conference was held at the hotel after the first full clinic day, which sparked even more interest around the island.
NYUCD provided a night of continuing education for dentists, dental assistants, and auxiliaries on the island. The two lecture topics were “Endodontic Emergencies: Prevention and Treatment” by Dr. Paul Rosenberg and “New Concepts in Early Childhood Oral Health” by Dr. Amr Moursi. The event was coordinated by the Grenada Dental Association and took place at St. George’s University. NYUCD granted continuing education credit to those who were eligible.
Dr. Lynwood Bennerson and Professor Jill Fernandez of NYUCD presented a career lecture to a group of students at TAMCC. They discussed dentistry as a profession, as well as dental hygiene and other mid-level provider opportunities that Grenadian students could pursue.
These partnerships were essential to the implementation of the first dental outreach program to Grenada. This was a successful beginning to a project that promises to have an extensive impact on the oral health of the nation of Grenada. It was an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.
- Dexis / Nomad Training - January 2010
Dexis / Nomad Training - January 2010 - Dr. Roy Sonkin / Dr. Richard Weledniger
Review of safety and technical skills for using the Nomad Hand-held X-ray unit and the Dexis Digital X-Ray Sensor and software.
- Hudson - December 2009
Maria Cahoon | Emma Cu | Jocelyn Chan | Sonya Euksuzian | Minji Nah
Dr. Alfonse Doan | Dr. Jennifer Lo | Dr. Angela Lee | Dr. Azi Ahmadi-Ardakani | Dr. Liora Benichou
Dr. Christine Marcelo | Dr. Scott Sachs | Dr. Joyce Yang Han Kao
Dr. Hosam Alrqiq
Dr. Stuart Hirsch – Clinical Director and General Dentistry Faculty
Jill Fernandez – Pediatric Clinic Director | Dr. Neal Herman- Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Peter Catapano- Pediatric Faculty
Dr. Lily Lim - Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Amr Moursi - Pediatric Faculty
Janet Tuthill- Dental Hygiene Faculty | Cheryl Westphal- Dental Hygiene Faculty
Rachel Hill – Program Director | Amanda Meissner – Program Director | Lauren Meyers- Staff
- Dominican Republic - November 2009
4th year DDS Students
Jennifer Chang | Corey Corpodian | Sarah Euksuzian | Andrew Hoppe | Radhika Kapur | Prospero Matos
Lela Matthes | Rimma Portman | Sarah Saucerman | Ojas Shah | Audrey Wingo | Jason Yang
3rd year DDS Students
Julian Issacs | Rachel Kwal
International Comprehensive Students
Dr. Sharon Umrigar | Dr. Carolina Varela
Dr. Stuart Hirsch – Clinic Director | Dr. Roy Sonkin – General Dentistry Faculty | Dr. Zachary Sonkin – General Dentistry Faculty
Dr. Hansel Gonzalez – Oral Surgery Faculty | Rachel Hill – Program Director | Eugenia Mejia – Intake Coordinator
Amanda Meissner – Program Coordinator
Dr. Lily Lim – Pediatric Clinic Director | Dr. Jenn LaSasso – Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Kelly Kim – Pedo PG-2
Dr. Loan Nguyen – Pedo PG-1 | Dr. Shereen Riad – International Pedo PG
Dr. Prenard Mickens – Endodontics Faculty | Dr. Raul Ortiz – Endo PG-2
Dr. Joshua Yadegar – Endo PG-2 | Dr. Katsushi Okazaki – International Endo PG
NYUCD and Dominican Dental Association - Second Annual Dental Outreach in Santo Domingo
At the invitation of the Dominican Dental Association, NYU College of Dentistry returned to Escuela Fidel Ferrer in the Ensanche la Fe district of Santo Domingo for the second dental outreach program to this site. The NYUCD team included three pediatric residents and two pediatric faculty members, three endodontic residents and an endodontic faculty member, one oral surgeon (originally hailing from the Dominican Republic), three general dentistry faculty members, 16 dental students, and three administrators. Nearly 500 adults and 300 children in the community received free dental care during the week of November 8 – 16, 2009.
The primary goal of this dental outreach was to re-assess the oral health of the children who were treated during the previous and first outreach at Fidel Ferrer in February 2009, particularly the children who had received the interim fluoride varnish applications facilitated by Dr. Adolfo Rodriguez and the Dominican Dental Association in both May and August 2009. It was anticipated that there would be a 50% reduction in new dental caries among this group of children.
Of the 297 pediatric patients, 39 have been identified as “returning patients” who were seen in February 2009. Of these, 14 received fluoride varnish on two occasions between the February and November programs. In February, 51% of this group of children had dental caries, averaging 3 carious teeth per child. Upon recall in November, and after two interim fluoride varnish applications, 31% of the group had dental caries, averaging 1.3 carious teeth per child.
It is assumed that the remaining 258 children treated were “new patients” who were examined by NYUCD for the first time in November.
In total, the pediatric procedures completed were as follows:
297 dental examinations
277 fluoride varnish applications
140 restorations (teeth)
244 sealants placed (teeth)
122 extractions (teeth)
In adult emergency care, the following procedures were completed:
495 dental examinations
59 root canals (teeth)
266 restorations (teeth)
374 extractions (teeth)
As in the previous visit, the demand for adult emergency care is virtually endless.
Thanks to the continued help of Dra. Jackie Rodriguez, Dra. Lizzar Kranwinkel, Dr. Francisco Rosado, Dra. Yumaysla Mariano, and Dr. Abraham Mazara, all of whom were also present at the February 2009 program, the clinic intake, triage, patient flow, communication, and data entry were incredibly efficient. This local team has created an infrastructure that allows for utmost utilization of the NYUCD dental providers’ services and enhanced the patients’ experience. This type of infrastructure is instrumental to guaranteeing the success and sustainability of the program.
The next dental outreach to Santo Domingo is tentatively scheduled for November 6 – 13, 2010.
- Hudson - October 2009
- Hudson / DR Nomad-Dexis Training
- Outreach Reunion - May 1, 2009
You're invited to Caliente Cab Company 488 Third Avenue... Please join us to reunite with the students, faculty, residents and staff from your outreach group and share the experiences with participants of other programs. This is a great opportunity to catch-up and re-live of your most memorable experiences before graduation. There will be photos, food, drinks and fun! We hope to see you there.... Dr. Hirsch, Lauren & Rachel
Dip Desai - 4th yr | Aaron Land - 3rd yr | Ryan Lee - 3rd yr | Chinar Mahadkar - 4th yr
Karen Milkosky - 3rd yr | Lauren Petlick - 4th yr | Matt Shih - 4th yr
Nicole Smith - 4th yr | Cecilia Sorelle - 4th yr | Stacy Wolf - 4th yr
William Wolff - 4th yr | Andrew Young - 4th yr | Nicholas Zeik - 4th yr
Nancy Duclonat - 2nd yr
Dr. Hugo Leao | Dr. Takanori Suzuki
Dr. Marianna Delgado - Endodontics
Dr. Sanjit Singh - International Endodontics Resident
Dr. Paddy Smithwick - Pediatric PG – 2nd year | Dr. Christine Marcelo - Pediatric PG – 1st year
Dr. Feras Bokhamsin - International Pediatric PG
Dr. Stuart Hirsch - Clinic Director
Dr. James Toppin - General Dentistry Faculty | Dr. James Apltauer - General Dentistry Faculty
Dr. Mark Wolff - General Dentistry Facutly
Dr. Louis Lin - Endodontics Faculty | Dr. Brendan O’Connor - OMS Faculty
Dr. Charlie Larsen Pediatric Faculty | Prof. Jill Fernandez Pediatric Faculty
Dr. Aneta Mejia - Program Coordinator / General Dentistry Faculty
Rachel Hill - Program Coordinator | Imani Holland - Sterilization
Dr. Donna Shelley Director of Nursing Component
Erin Abu-Rish - Nursing Program Coordinator
Dr. Sukrita Matta - GMPH Student / Community Health Coordinator
Brittany Bluth - Nursing Student | Andrea Vogel -Nursing Student
Reprinted with permission from Global Health Nexus, Vol. 11, No. 1.
Dental and Nursing Students Bring Caries Prevention Program to Honduras
The Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing conducted their first joint community-based oral health screening, education, and prevention program outside of the United States in late April, when a team of 13 students, faculty, and administrators from both colleges traveled to Honduras on a six-day mission to prevent tooth decay in children.
Three pediatric residents and a dental hygiene student screened 232 three-to-six-year-old children in the villages of Nuevo Armenia, Choncó, and Boca del Monte in the mountains near the Guatemalan border. Two Spanish-speaking students from the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Program, who had been trained to work with underserved populations, and a student from the Master’s Program in Global Public Health with a concentration in Oral Public Health, provided the children with preventive oral health education and trained school teachers and community health workers from Arte Accion, a local non-profit organization, to apply fluoride varnish to children’s teeth every three months. Children with severe decay were referred to a temporary clinic erected by NYUCD in the regional capital of Copan Ruinas to handle emergency treatment for the children from the remote villages, as well as for extractions, restorations, root canals, sealants, and fluoride varnishes for 600 adults and children from Copan Ruinas and its suburbs.
Planning for the mission began in April 2008, when Dr. Donna Shelley, Director of Interdisciplinary Research and Practice, and Ms. Erin Abu-Rish, Nurse Coordinator of the College of Nursing mobile health van, interviewed 70 residents from the region, using qualitative research methods to identify healthcare needs in the area. They concluded that while much health care is needed, the greatest gaps are in oral health.
“Oral health problems are pervasive,” Ms. Abu-Rish said. “Oral hygiene is not generally practiced in the villages. Most people can’t afford to see private dentists, so they pull teeth themselves; they get abscesses."
“Based on our needs assessment, we decided that the most effective way to make a sustainable impact on oral health was to develop an education and prevention program targeting young children before they develop serious decay,” said Dr. Shelley. “When we returned to the area in April 2009 to implement the program, we gathered the children in their local schools and showed them a Spanish-language DVD produced by the nursing students, which demonstrated the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene as well as the proper way to use a toothbrush.
“Although the kids were mesmerized by the DVD, we don’t know whether any of them actually used the toothbrushes we distributed to them at the screening because this is not a common practice at home. When Arte Accion visits the schools to re-apply the fluoride varnish they will help the children decorate cups in which the children will keep their new toothbrushes. This is one way that teachers can make sure that the children’s teeth are brushed at least once a day.
“When a dentistry-nursing outreach team returns to the villages in April 2010 for a follow-up visit, we hope to see a 50 percent reduction in the spread of tooth decay among the children,” said Dr. Stuart M. Hirsch, Associate Dean for International Programs & Development, and the mission’s clinical director. “We also plan to provide basic treatments, such as extractions and sealants, while also arranging for those children requiring more extensive treatment to be transported to Copan Ruinas, where we will once again set up a clinic for patients requiring restorative, endodontic, and surgical care.”
In addition to Dr. Hirsch, Dr. Shelley, and Ms. Abu-Rish, the outreach team included Dr. Mark Wolff, Associate Dean for Pre-doctoral Clinical Education and Professor and Chair of the Department of Cariology & Comprehensive Care; Dr. Charles Larsen, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry; Dr. Paddy Smithwick, Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry, ’09; Dr. Christine Marcelo, Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry, ’10; Dr. Feras Bokhamsin, Advanced Program in Pediatric Dentistry for International Dentists, ’09; Ms. Nancy Duclonat, BS in Dental Hygiene, ’09; Ms. Brittany Bluth, BS in Nursing, ’09; Ms. Andrea Vogel, BS in Nursing, ’09; Ms. Sukrita Matta, MPH; Ms. Amanda Meissner, Program Administrator, Office of International Programs and Development; Dr. James Toppin, Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine; Dr. James Apltauer, Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology & Comprehensive Care; Dr. John Weise, Clinical Assistant Professor of Endodontics; Dr. Brendan O’Connor, Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery; Ms. Jill Fernandez, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry; Dr. Aneta Mejia, Instructor in Cariology & Comprehensive Care; and Ms. Rachel Hill, Program Director in the Office of International Programs & Development.
CALL OUT: “Based on our needs assessment, we decided that the most effective way to make a sustainable impact on oral health was to develop an education and prevention program targeting young children before they develop serious decay.” - Dr. Donna Shelley
Additional team members included Ms. Imani Holland, a sterilization technician; Dr. Marianna Delgado, Advanced Education Program in Endodontics, ’10; Dr. Sanjit Singh, Advanced Program in Endodontics for International Dentists,’09; Dr. Ismael El-Khouly Castilla, Advanced Program in Comprehensive Dentistry for International Dentists,’09; Dr. Takanori Suzuki, Advanced Program in Comprehensive Dentistry for International Dentists,’09; Ms. Karen Milkosky,’10; Mr. Ryan Lee,’10; Mr. Aaron Land,’10; and the following students from the DDS Program Class of ’09: Dr. Matt Shih, Dr. Cecilia Sorelle, Dr. Stacy Wolf, Dr. Andrew Young, Dr. William Wolff, Dr. Chinar Mahadkar, Dr. Nicholas Zeik, Dr. Lauren Petlick, Dr. Nicole Smith, and Dr. Dip Desai.
Syed M Fahd - 3rd yr | Manmeet Hothi - 3rd yr | Charles Leung - 3rd yr | Sarah Saucerman - 3rd yr | Michael W Wahl - 3rd yr
Dr. Patrick So - Pediatric Resident (2nd year) | Dr. Trinh Pham Pediatric Resident (2nd year)
Dr. Jaepil Kim - Pediatric Resident (1st year) | Dr. My Tran - Pediatric Resident (1st year)
NYUCD Faculty / Adminsitration
Dr. Stuart Hirsch Clinic Director | Dr. Peter Catapano - Pediatric Clinic Director | Jill Fernandez - Pediatric Faculty
Dr. Gayle Miranda OMS Faculty | Rachel Hill - Program Coordinator | Amanda Meissner - Program Coordinator
A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health
Dr. Maureen Romer - Pediatric Faculty
Cassandra Jones DDS Student (4th year)
Louisiana State University
Dr. David Treff - Pediatric Resident (1st year)
On May 29th, a team of eighteen motivated dentists and students ventured to the northwest extremity of the North American continent, Alaska. This was the second attempt to return to Alaska since the initial outreach in 2008. In March this year, the team was forced to turn back due to the volcanic eruption of Mount Redoubt. The NYUCD team, consisting of five dental students, four pediatric residents, and six faculty/staff members partnered with a fourth year student and one faculty member from A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, and a pediatric resident from Louisiana State University. The group traveled to two remote villages, Fort Yukon and Venetie, to perform comprehensive oral care and to educate the local adults and children on the importance of oral hygiene.
This pediatric dental outreach was sponsored by the Rasmuson foundation, a foundation devoted to improving the quality of life for Alaskans, as well as the Council of Athabascan Tribal Government, a local organization founded in 1985. The objectives of this outreach were to treat existing disease and to implement an infrastructure that would provide preventive care for local children throughout the following year. To sustain the oral healthcare of children in these two villages, sealants and fluoride varnish were applied.
The outreach team spent the first night in Fairbanks, the second largest city in Alaska, before traveling to the two villages to begin treatment. The team joined with Dr. Ron Adair, a general dentist who lives in Fairbanks and travels to Fort Yukon weekly, to provide care. Once the team adjusted to the 20 hours of continuous daylight, it was time to grocery shop. Due to limited transportation and manufacturing, most of the rural communities in Alaska have food imported and sold at extremely high prices; therefore a week’s supply of groceries was purchased and boxed for the bush before departing to Fairbanks.
Arriving in Fort Yukon on Sunday, May 31st, the dental outreach team officially entered the Arctic Circle and was greeted by Shannon Hardy, the only local dental assistant and Lona Ibanitoru, the Director of the Yukon Flats Health Center. They drove the team to the Yukon Flats Health Center, a new community health facility with five dental operatories which were not yet fully functional. The team set up separate clinics for pediatric and adult care in different areas in the health center. Dr. Adair, Ms. Hardy, and Ms. Ibanitoru educated the outreach team on the dental needs of Fort Yukon, which is home to approximately five to eight hundred people. Dr. Adair and the Yukon Flats Health Center are responsible for delivering dental care to the residents of Fort Yukon and several surrounding villages, totaling roughly 2,000 residents.
Upon arrival, Dr. Peter Catapano and Professor Jill Fernandez gave a presentation regarding oral healthcare to parents of children who would be treated. For three days, adults were assessed and treated for emergency care, such as extractions and restoration of decayed teeth. Children were treated for restorations, extractions, sealants and all received an application of fluoride varnish to protect their teeth against future decay. Dr. Adair received hands-on training by members of the NYUCD pediatric team as to how to apply fluoride varnish. He was given enough fluoride varnish to re-apply it every three months for one year, which will help ensure the sustainability of care. The outreach team completed care for 86% of the children treated in Fort Yukon.
On June 3, Dr. Adair and Ms. Hardy accompanied the team to Venetie in two charter flights. Venetie is a small village consisting of roughly 200 children and adults. One local community leader commented that most individuals of the village had not received care from a dentist in the last three years. The only local source of health care in Venetie is a small clinic staffed by a health aide. Residents of this village must fly to Anchorage or Fairbanks to receive dental or medical care. Most families rely on some form of government assistance, as there are not many jobs to be had in the small, isolated village. Education past high-school is not common for individuals living in this village.
Upon arrival in Venetie, The team was warmly welcomed with a celebration of local music and dance. Later that night, the team set up the outreach clinic in the gymnasium of the local school, and slept on air mattresses in the classrooms.
The dental clinic was divided into four pediatric operatories, four adult operatories, a radiograph station and an area for sterilization. The outreach team assessed and treated children and adults for two full days in Venetie. The local health aide and the school principal were trained on fluoride varnish application and given a six months’ supply so that they may repeat the process and sustain the care. 94% of pediatric treatment was completed. In addition, approximately 10 additional children and adults from Arctic and Circle, two even smaller and more remote villages, were flown to Venetie, courtesy of CATG, to have their dental emergencies tended to by the outreach team.
The outreach team was able to assess 291 children and adults living in Fort Yukon and Venetie in the five days of clinic. There were approximately more than 500 visits in total, and 88% of pediatric treatment was completed overall. The need for care was greater in Venetie, as shown by an average 3.4 carious teeth per child in Venetie, opposed to an average 2.6 carious teeth per child in Fort Yukon. NYUCD plans to return to other remote areas in Alaska that are in need of dental care, and to continue partnering with dental schools and local organizations to ensure the sustainability of care in each new location.
Logan Banner 4th yr | Aleksandr Baron 4th yr | Manik Bedi 4th yr | Mabel Coro 4th yr
Christina Currie 4th yr | Theodore Gialanella 4th yr | Amy Isenberg 4th yr | Pamee Shah 4th yr
Jin Wang 4th yr | Jessica Yeager 4th yr | Fan (Landon) Zhou 4th yr | Robert Block 3rd yr
Michael Weisner 3rd yr | Jenny Weng 3rd yr
Dr. Natasha Yegorov | Dr. Ignacio Aliaga
Dr. Stuart Hirsch Clinic Director
Dr. James Toppin - General Dentistry | Dr. Todd Ross - General Dentistry
Dr. Niven Tien - OMS | Dr. Prenard Mickens - Endodontics
Dr. Luis Cruz - Pediatrics | Dr. Aura Caldera - Pediatrics
Rachel Hill - Program Coordinator | Isaiah Morse - Sterilization
Dr. Jared Frisbie-Teel - 2nd yr Endodontics | Dr. Adam Monroe 2nd yr Endodontics | Dr. Sanjit Singh - International Endodontics
Dr. Jennifer LaSasso - 2nd year Pediatrics | Dr. Amy Honig - 1st year Pediatrics
Dr. Farrah Najib International Pediatric Resident
Reprinted with permission from Global Health Nexus, Vol. 11, No. 1:
Fourth Annual Mission to Nicaragua Addresses Soaring Caries Rates Among School Children
The sweet aroma of fresh-baked pastries greeted the members of an NYUCD outreach team as they arrived in March 2009 at a school in Chiquilistagua, near Nicaragaua’s capital city of Managua, to set up a temporary clinic for their annual weeklong outreach mission. The 32-member team soon discovered that a bakery was located on the school grounds, and that children from the school spent their recess and lunch break consuming cookies and cakes, as well as candy from a nearby snack bar.
“It was a vivid illustration of the easy access that many Nicaraguan school children have to refined carbohydrates,” said Ms. Rachel Hill, Program Administrator in the Office of International Affairs & Development and the mission’s coordinator, noting that the tooth decay rate among children at the school was 68 percent – among the highest rates in the world.
Dr. Aura Caldera, ’08, an Instructor in Pediatric Dentistry and the mission’s co-organizer, came to Nicaragua with a plan to combat the devastating effects of sugar consumption on children in Chiquilistagua, an impoverished town of 11,000 people and no dentist. She and her team provided 360 children with sealants and fluoride varnishes, and partnered with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health and the dental school at the Universidad Americana Managua to train their dental students to reapply the varnishes every three months for one year. The goal is to reduce the rate of tooth decay by one-half by the time NYUCD returns to Chiquilistagua in March 2010.
In addition to applying the sealants and varnishes, the NYUCD team screened and treated a total of 547 adults and children, providing extractions, restorations, and root canal therapy. Among the patients were children from a local special needs school.
In addition to Dr. Caldera and Ms. Hill, the members of the outreach team included Dr. Stuart Hirsch, Associate Dean for International Affairs & Development; Dr. James Toppin, Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology, & Medicine; Dr. Todd Ross, Clinical Assistant Professor of Cariology & Comprehensive Care; Dr. Niven Tien, Teaching Fellow in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery; Dr. Prenard Mickens, Clinical Assistant Professor of Endodontics; Dr. Luis Cruz, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry; Mr. Isaiah Morse, a sterilization clerk; and Ms. Amanda Meissner, Program Administrator in the Office of International Affairs and Development.
Additional members of the team included Dr. Jared Frisbie-Teel, Advanced Education Program in Endodontics, ’09; Dr. Adam Monroe, Advanced Education Program in Endodontics, ’09; Dr. Sanjit Singh, Advanced Program in Endodontics for International Dentists,’09; Dr. Jennifer LaSasso, Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry, ’09; Dr. Amy Honig, Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry,’10; Dr. Farrah Najib, Advanced Program in Pediatric Dentistry for International Dentists,’09; Dr. Natasha Yegorov, Advanced Program in Comprehensive Dentistry for International Dentists,’09; Dr. Ignacio Aliaga, Advanced Program in Comprehensive Dentistry for International Dentists,’09; Mr. Robert Block,’10; Mr. Michael Weisner,’10; Ms. Jenny Weng,’10; and the following students from the DDS Class of ’09: Dr. Logan Banner, Dr. Aleksandr Baron, Dr. Manik Bedi, Dr. Mabel Coro, Dr. Christina Currie, Dr. Theodore Gialanella, Dr. Amy Isenberg, Dr. Pamee Shah, Dr. Jin Wang, Dr. Jessica Yeager, and Dr. Fan (Landon) Zhou.
- Dominican Republic
Michael Bachman - 4th year | Justin Ben Zvi - 4th year | Benjamin Bush - 4th year
Paul Chen - 4th year | Thanh Do - 4th year | Amy Hoch - 4th year
Andrea Jordan - 4th year | Jennifer Lo - 4th year | Prospero Matos - 4th year
Loan Nguyen - 4th year | Jil Schaps - 4th year | Chris Verzosa - 4th year
Sandra Cohen - 3rd year | Alicia Schraner - 3rd year
Dr. Perrine Balland | Dr. Miriam Molins
Dr. Stuart Hirsch (Clinic Director & General Dentistry faculty)
Dr. Miriam Robbins (Intake Coordinator & General Dentistry faculty)
Dr. Kambiz Ghalili (General Dentistry faculty)
Dr. Lily Lim (Pediatric Clinic Director & faculty) | Dr. Heather Baumhardt (Pediatric faculty)
Dr. Paul Rosenberg (Endodontic faculty) | Dr. Amogh Velangi (OMS faculty)
Michael Jackson (Sterlization staff) | Eugenia Mejia (Intake staff) | Rachel Hill (Program Director)
Dr. Joe DiBernardo (Endo PG2) | Dr. Karrim Thurman (Endo PG1)
Dr. Shital Patel (Pedo PG2) | Dr. Kelly Kim (Pedo PG1)
Dr. Stephanie Winterer (International Pedo PG)
Reprinted with permission from Global Health Nexus. Vol. 11, No. 1:
Dominican Outreach Aims to Reduce Tooth Decay in Children by One-Third
February 2009 marked NYUCD’s 14th visit to the Dominican Republic and its first outreach to the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo since the program was founded 12 years ago. During the weeklong mission, a 31-member NYUCD outreach team provided more than 1,700 treatments to 720 adults and children, and inaugurated a program aimed at achieving a one-third reduction in children’s tooth decay in one year.
The team set up a temporary clinic in a public school in an extremely underserved area of this tropical island nation of sparkling beaches, lush forests -- and high rates of sugar consumption.
“More than two-thirds of the patients had tooth decay,” said Dr. Stuart M. Hirsch, Associate Dean for International Programs & Development, and the mission’s clinical director, “a sure sign of frequent snacking on refined carbohydrates.”
To arrest the process of decay before it becomes severe, Dr. Hirsch and his team provided sealants and fluoride varnishes to 363 children ages three to 12, and partnered with the Dominican Ministry of Health and Dr. Adolfo Rodriguez, President of the Dominican Dental Society, to train students from local dental schools at Universidad Iberoamericana and Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo to reapply the varnishes every three months for one year. The goal is to reduce the rate of tooth decay by one-third by the time NYUCD sends it next outreach team to Santo Domingo in February 2010.
“This is a successful preventive that model that we have used on other outreach missions – most recently in an underserved area in the upstate, New York, town of Hudson, where we have seen a significant decline in tooth decay rates since our first visit to the area in October 2008,” said Dr. Hirsch.
In addition to being the team’s first visit to the Dominican capital, the February 2009 mission marked the first time that faculty and residents from the Advanced Education Program in Endodontics made up part of the outreach team. The endodontists performed 65 root canal treatments and worked closely with DDS students, pediatric dentistry, and oral and maxillofacial surgery residents, and dentists from the Advanced Programs for International Dentists to coordinate restorative treatment. All told, the multidisciplinary team completed 479 restorations as well as 553 extractions. “Everyone worked with amazing efficiency,” Dr. Jil Schaps, ’09, recalls. “One 13-year-old girl arrived at the temporary clinic holding her hand over her mouth to hide embarrassing black spots on her teeth, and left with a broad smile after her two root canals and two composite restorations – which ordinarily involve several visits to a dentist – were completed in just four hours.”
In addition to Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Schaps, the members of the outreach team included Dr. Miriam Robbins, Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology, & Medicine; Dr. Michael Ghalili, Clinical Associate Professor of Prosthodontics; Dr. Lily Lim, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry; Dr. Heather Baumhardt, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry; Dr. Paul Rosenberg, Professor and Chair of the Quartararo Department of Endodontics; Dr. Amogh Velangi, Clinical Assistant Professor of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery; Mr. Michael Jackson, a sterilization technician; and Dr. Eugenia Mejia, Director of Admissions.
Also participating in the outreach were Dr. Joe DiBernardo, Advanced Education Program in Endodontics, ‘09; Dr. Karrim Thurman, Advanced Education Program in Endodontics ‘10; Dr. Shital Patel, Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry, ’09; Dr. Kelly Kim, Advanced Education Program in Pediatric Dentistry, ‘10; Dr. Stephanie Winterer, Advanced Program in Pediatric Dentistry for International Dentists, ’09; Dr. Perrine Balland and Dr. Miriam Molins, Advanced Program in Comprehensive Dentistry for International Dentists, ’09; Ms. Sandra Cohen and Ms. Alicia Schraner, DDS ’10; Ms. Rachel Hill, Program Administrator for the Office of International Programs and Development, and Class of 2009 DDS Program graduates Dr. Michael Bachman; Dr. Justin Ben Zvi, Dr. Benjamin Bush, Dr. Paul Chen, Dr. Thanh Do, Dr. Amy Hoch, Dr. Andrea Jordan, Dr. Jennifer Lo, Dr. Prospero Matos, Dr. Loan Nguyen, and Dr. Chris Verzosa.
- Dominican Republic
The 13th Dominican Republic outreach was held November 8 – 16, 2008, at the Centro de Atencion Primeria Veragua, in the northern province of Puerto Plata. The NYUCD team of 25 consisted of 13 fourth-year DDS students, 2 pediatric residents, 2 international comprehensive dentistry students, and 8 faculty/staff members. This was the final program directed by Dr. Lidia Kiremidjian-Shumacher, who has been an invaluable leader of the DR Outreach for its eleven years of existence.
The need for dental care and other affordable health care services in the Dominican Republic is great, given that 42% of the population live below poverty level. With a 2007 per capita GDP of $6,000 and unemployment over 15%, it is easy to see that many individuals will go years, or even a lifetime, without care due to lack of access and resources. NYUCD has taken the global outreach program to the DR for 11 years and has made a great impact in the Puerto Plata province. The fall 2008 program was no exception; with over 3,000 procedures performed and hundreds of lives touched, it was a shining example of a service learning experience for NYUCD students.
In preparation for the outreach the team attended an orientation session, where the purpose and goals of the program were discussed and the participants were given insight into the history, culture, and demographics of the area in which they would be working. An additional training session, led by Dr. Roy Sonkin and Dr. Richard Weledniger, certified all participants in the use of the Nomad Portable X-Ray Unit and corresponding Dexis software. This would allow the students to take digital radiographs of patients’ mouths when necessary, thus expanding their capacity to provide top-notch dental services, even in a remote location.
Upon arrival in Puerto Plata, the team was greeted by the warm Dominican sun, a welcome change from the chilly New York City weather. The clinic was set up on Saturday in a facility with several small rooms, allowing space for a waiting room, a triage area, 2 restorative rooms, an oral surgery room, a pediatric room, a radiograph room, and a supply storage room. The 25 duffel bags and hard cases that the team had spent 3 days packing and 2 hours checking in at Newark airport were unpacked and the empty urgent care clinic was transformed into a fully operational dental facility.
We were fortunate enough to have the help of Glenn Herdman, an American staying in Cabarete, who volunteered for the week at the clinic to make sure that the generator continued to supply electricity to our portable drills, suction units, sterilization equipment, and computers. Sherry Herdman, N.P., also volunteered her services to help complete the medical histories and take vitals of every patient seen to ensure the best quality of care.
Dr. Richard Weledniger created a wireless network with 3 computers so that the digital X-rays could be accessed quickly and easily from the various treatment rooms. Teresa Echavarria set up a sterilization area on the patio of the clinic and trained a few local women on the instrument sterilization procedure so that they may duplicate the process when the Veragua clinic opens for regular local business.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were spent working in the clinic, where 4th year students diagnosed and treated patients while they worked in very hot temperature and humidity and without the luxuries of a typical dental clinic. There was a constant and steady patient flow thanks to the combined talents of Dr. Kiremidjian-Schumacher, who oversaw patient triage, and Dr. Roy Sonkin, who has been the clinic director for three years. Once word of our services spread, patients began to line up as early as 4:30am in an attempt to ensure their space in line for treatment later that day.
Wednesday brought a well-deserved day of rest, and Thursday the team was back in the clinic in full force. The team had the opportunity to treat several interesting cases, particularly in oral surgery, under the expert guidance of Dr. Raid Sadda. The pediatric team, led by Dr. Lily Lim, managed to treat hundreds of brave children, most of whom had never seen a dentist. Dr. Stuart Hirsch led the students through a rigorous anterior esthetic crash course, making sure that every student had the opportunity to complete a difficult case under his tutelage.
A total of 3,207 procedures were performed on 596 adults and children. These services included 921 restorations, 729 extractions, 309 X-rays, 187 prophylactic treatments, 185 fluoride varnishes, 246 sealants, and 34 minor surgeries. Students worked independently and together, under the expert leadership of the faculty and staff, to make the final outreach to Puerto Plata a transformational experience for all.
After a half day of clinic on Saturday, the team packed up the equipment and instruments, cleaning the clinic and returning it to the state in which it was found. They left behind several disposable items as donations to the clinic, items that were previously lacking. They also left behind a town full of confident, healthy smiles that will not soon forget their interaction with NYUCD.
The team presented Dr. Kiremidjian-Schumacher with a plaque to recognize her 13th and final DR Outreach Program. The plaque read, “Presented to Dr. Lidia Kiremidjian-Schumacher to honor more than a decade of untiring effort and continued dedication to the New York University College of Dentistry Dominican Republic Outreach Program. We honor your vision, wisdom, and humanitarian commitment as a compassionate mentor, devoted educator, and beloved friend…. from the Faculty, Students, and Staff of NYUCD.” Dr. Kiremidjian will be missed, and she is wished all the best in her retirement!
NYUCD would also like to acknowledge the long-standing support of the Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, who once again provided reliable security at the clinic and transportation to and from the clinic site. In addition, we are infinitely thankful to the Cabarete Palm Beach Condos for their hospitality in providing a home-away-from-home for the NYUCD team, with impeccable accommodations and food. Muchas gracias!
NYUCD will return to the Dominican Republic in February 2009 to begin a new Outreach Program in Santo Domingo.
4th Year Dental Students
Nancy Ajam, Boki Chung, LeeAnn Clark, Karima Daniel, Stephen DeBenedetto, Jerame Hafen, Vanessa Lugo Hart,
Gene Lee, Maria Luba, Luisa Perez, Ecio Pozzi, Zachary Sonkin, Marielena Torres-Ricart
Dr. Lidia Kiremidjian-Schumacher – Program Director | Dr. Roy Sonkin – Clinical Director/General Dentist Faculty
Dr. Richard Weledniger – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Stuart Hirsch – General Dentist Faculty
Dr. Lily Lim – Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Raid Sadda – Oral Surgeon Faculty
Rachel Hill – Program Coordinator | Teresa Echavarria –Sterilization
Dr. Christina Abreu – Pediatric Resident | Dr. Az Ahmadi-Ardakani – Pediatric Resident
Dr. Maria Cuevas - International Programs Student | Dr. Chintan Gandhi - International Programs Student
Photos by Dr. Richard Weledniger
4th Year Dental Students:
Sherwin Benlevi | Nausheen Ekram | Jennifer Frangos | Jennifer Hardesty | Brian Rooney | Tatyana Vazemiller
Hygiene Students :
Vincent Wong | Joseph Padula
Rachel Hill – Program Director | Jill Fernandez – Pediatric Clinic Director | Dr. Amr Moursi - Pediatric Faculty
Dr. Charlie Larsen – Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Stuart Hirsch – Clinical Director and General Dentistry Faculty
Dr. Rich Vogel – General Dentistry Faculty | Dr. Maurice Edwards – Oral Surgery Faculty | Lauren Meyers - Staff
Dr. Ryan Owaski | Dr. Jane Yu | Dr. Angela Lee | Dr. Nicky Treesh
This fall NYUCD partnered with the Healthcare Consortium of Columbia County and Columbia Opportunities Head Start program in Hudson, New York, for an outreach program that would provide much-needed dental care to Head Start children and their families at no cost.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the median household income for Hudson was $24,279, compared to a national median income of approximately $42,000 per household. In the same respect, 25.6% of families in Hudson live below the federal poverty line. A quarter of Hudson’s population is under age 18, so children are particularly affected.
Children enrolled in Head Start are required to have a dental screening within 90 days of enrollment, but many of the children in the Hudson area are un-insured or under-insured and therefore do not have access to dental services. Many of the dentists in the immediate area do not accept Medicaid, the primary source of healthcare coverage for many of the patients we would see.
NYUCD is proud to have brought our long-standing Outreach Program to our own backyard, and we plan to return to Hudson every 3 months to re-apply fluoride varnish for Head Start children, creating a sustainable model for oral disease prevention.
The Hudson Outreach Team met at NYUCD at noon on Sunday, October 19, to pack three vans full of supplies for a five day clinic. It was a brisk, sunny day and the drive to Hudson was illustrated with the bright red, yellow, and orange foliage that is typical of autumn in New York. Crossing the Rip Van Winkle Bridge provided breathtaking views of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River, a sight for sore eyes just two and a half hours outside New York City.
Upon arrival at Crosswinds at Hudson, a working families’ housing development, we immediately set to work transforming the community room into a professional-looking dental clinic, complete with portable dental units and chairs. With a separate pediatric treatment room and Chinese screens dividing each station in the adult treatment room, it was the most elegant outreach set-up NYUCD has achieved. The NYUCD “Smiling Faces, Going Places” Mobile Dental Van was parked on-site as well.
That evening our team was first introduced to the local community, as Dr. Amr Moursi introduced the purpose and goals of the Hudson Outreach Program to 100+ parents, explaining the benefits of the fluoride varnish we would apply to each child and demonstrating the knee-to-knee approach in treating children. Professor Jill Fernandez-Wilson presented “Growing Up Cavity Free,” an educational piece covering the basics of oral health and hygiene, providing tips for how parents can positively impact the oral health of their children.
On Monday, October 20, we opened the clinic and screened nearly 160 children that were bused in by 11 different Head Start groups from Columbia and Greene Counties. Additionally, we saw 30 adults that day for emergency care. Of the children seen, almost half were scheduled to return later in the week for additional care, a rate nearly twice that of children in NYC.
Throughout the week, word of our services spread in the small town and each day we saw more and more new patients, several of whom confessed that they had not seen a dentist in 20 years or more due to no health and/or dental insurance coverage. Many parents of the Head Start children accompanied their kids for their follow-up appointments, often bringing the child’s siblings or other relatives for an exam and treatment. Services rendered included fluoride varnish for all children, plus prophies, restorations, extractions, and X-rays as necessary.
NYUCD students and residents worked side-by-side with faculty members to provide complete care for a total of 170 adult patient visits and approximately 300 pediatric patient visits. Each patient not only presented a new challenge or learning experience for the students, but also gave that student a chance to make a difference in that person’s life.
On Friday, October 24, the NYUCD clinic at Crosswinds was paid a special visit: Hudson Mayor Richard Scalera issued a proclamation recognizing the efforts of NYUCD. With a warm invitation to return and a sense of pride in our accomplishments, the team packed up the remaining supplies and just as quickly as we set up the clinic we turned it back into a community room for the Crosswinds residents. A few hours later, we were back in NYC, astonished at the difference we had made and eager to return in the Spring.
Luciana Ares – Comprehensive Dentistry International Student | Jennifer Frangos 3rd Yr | Andrea Jordan 3rd Yr | Tanya Karnavy 4th Yr | Prospero Matos 3rd Yr | Katayoun Mohajerani 4th Yr
Lisa Nguyen 4th Yr | Veneuska Ocando – Comprehensive Dentistry International Student | Nadeem Paroo 4th Yr | Deepika Reddy 4th Yr | Brian Rooney 3rd Yr
Hyun Sam Shin 4th Yr | Michael Teng 3rd Yr | David Treff 4th Yr | Jennifer Watkins 3rd Yr
Lauren Meyers – Program Director | Dr. Stuart Hirsch – Clinical Director/General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Aneta Mejia – Program Director/General Dentist Faculty | Dr. James Apltauer – General Dentist Faculty
Dr. Kambiz Ghalili – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Petros Panagos – Oral Surgeon Resident | Dr. Stephanie Strickland – Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Pernard Mickens – Endodontic Faculty
Erin Abu-Rish – Nursing Faculty | Donna Shelly – Research Collaboration | Ashley Mevi - Research Collaboration | Imani Holland - Sterilization
Dr. Kee Kwak – Pediatric Resident | Dr. Jane Yu - Pediatric Resident
Post-Graduate Endodontic Students
Jared Charles Frisbie – Endodontic Resident | Adam Monroe – Endodontic Resident | Janathan Withanachchi – Endodontic Resident
Myrline Rose Belzince – Nursing Student | Christine Anne Caligtan – Nursing Student
After three years since New York University College of Dentistry’s last visit to Copan Ruinas, Honduras, a team of 35 nursing and dental students, staff and faculty returned to the city’s center to provide dental care and put into motion a comprehensive community health and education assessment. The team gathered at the College on Friday, March 29th in preparation for their departure on a week-long visit to the beautiful foothills of Copan. The outskirts of this area is primarily inhabited by indigenous people linked to their Mayan ancestors. The city itself is economically driven by tourism and farming. Despite the revenue generated by these economic resources, access to dental and healthcare is extremely limited as the few practitioners in Copan are either grossly overwhelmed by the communities needs or have chosen to go into private practice, making it virtually impossible for residents to pay for services with their $29-per-month salaries.
As a result, a team of researchers and nurses conducted a community assessment by means of participant observations, key informant interviews and focus groups. In addition, they performed a community landscape asset mapping to identify the community’s capacity for service delivery and to better understand the environmental factors that may influence health behaviors and impact health outcomes. Overall, the team met with 65 community members over the course of the week, which included 27 health care providers, 6 NGO’s, 14 teachers, 5 government officials and 9 parents. All of these individuals were referred through a “snowball” technique known as the RAP method. This method enables information to be gathered as one individual is referred by another until unanimous information about specific issues or topics is obtained.
According to a 2002 census report that was conducted by the local government as well as through community mapping, it was learned that Copan has a population of 29,593 with nearly 44% under the age of 12. The vast majority of the population lives in the aldeas, or small villages, in the surrounding areas of Copan. These villages are nestled into the foothills and are often difficult to get to due to the poor road systems leading to these outlining areas. In fact, transportation by automobile during the rainy season is non-existent as pathways get washed away. Repeatedly, the most pressing health concerns that were identified included infectious diseases, poor hygiene, environmental irritants, poor nutrition and maternal/infant mortality. Furthermore, it is estimated that 45% of the population has no potable water source, greatly increasing the need for healthcare due to poor water conditions. In addition, oral health arose as one of the most significant health problems in terms of access to care and prevention. Although it is apparent that there is a need for a stronger dental and healthcare infrastructure, less then 10% of the government’s budget is allocated to resolving these issues, further perpetuating a disparity in access to care. More in next section...
Raed Abou-Yazbeck 4th Yr | Amy Do 4th Yr | Aura Caldera 4th Yr | Kimberly Clark 4th Yr | Michael Cote 4th Yr | Maria Hoang 4th Yr | Michelle Katz 4th Yr | Adam Merriam 4th Yr | Sarah Parel 3rd Yr | Justin Seaman 4th Yr | Marielena Torres-Ricant 3rd Yr
Ernesto Vera 4th Yr | Lin Zhang 3rd Yr | Christos Lolis - Comprehensive Dentistry International Student | Carla Zamora – Comprehensive Dentistry International Student
Deborah Morris – Program Director | Dr. Stuart Hirsch – Clinical Director/General Dentist Faculty
Dr. James Toppin – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Maureen McAndrew – General Dentist Faculty
Dr. Meir Kozlovsky – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Scott Rothenberg – Oral Surgeon Resident
Dr. Sumitra Golikeri – Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Paul Rosenberg – Endodontic Faculty
Carina Katigbak – Nursing Faculty | Ike Morse - Sterilization
Dr. Jordan Buzzell | Dr. Jennifer LaSasso | Dr. Jeannie Nguyen
Post-Graduate Endodontic Students:
Dr. Michael Baharestani | Dr. Christopher Bauer | Dr. Jaehoon Lee | Dr. Nicholas Williams
Elzbieta Galanty | Nicole Simmons
Dr. Stuart Hirsch – Clinical Director / General Dentistry Faculty | Lauren Meyers – Program Director
Dr. Amr Moursi – Pediatric Faculty | Jill Fernandez-Wilson – Pediatric Staff | Dr. Gayle Miranda – Oral Surgeon Faculty
Dr. Heather Baumhardt – Pediatric Resident | Dr. Jordan Buzzell – Pediatric Resident
Dr. Dr. Tina Pham – Pediatric Resident | Dr. Patrick So – Pediatric Resident
The Rasmuson Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to supporting well-managed, non-profit organizations in Alaska, recently funded a pediatric dentistry proposal designed by NYUCD. The proposal’s goal was to develop and implement a dental care model that would significantly decrease the dental disease of school children in remote Alaskan villages. The plan was to treat existing disease and implement a preventive program that included fluoride application, sealants, and oral hygiene education for children, parents, and teachers. In addition, local dental therapists and/or health aides would be taught to apply fluoride and sealants on an ongoing basis.
Based on studies of the effects of fluoride and sealants, it is predicted that the program would result in at least a 50% decrease in dental disease in one year. Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) identified the Eskimo village of Kasigluk as the village that the NYUCD dental team would visit. This was based on the proximity to Bethel, the number of school children, and the past interactions of YKHC and the village. The YKHC dental administration obtained invitations for the group from the village’s tribal elders and the principal of the local school.
Nine NYUCD faculty members, pediatric residents, and staff flew to Bethel, Alaska on February 2, 2008, and were greeted by dentists from YKHC as well as by Jerry Drake, a representative of the Bethel Community Services Foundation (BCSF). Jerry’s support included securing lodging, air transportation to and from the village, local transportation, and obtaining last minute supplies, including water. The team lodged in Bethel for the night and the next morning was given a very helpful orientation by YKHC dentists, outlining the dental needs of the communities they visit, YKHC’s involvement in providing care to these remote villages, the cultural differences between the west and the communities’ tribal heritage, and the expectations that YKHC had for NYUCD’s visit to Kasigluk.
Our group was joined by Dr. Sarah Shoffstall, the acting director of the YKHC dental clinic, and two dental assistants. Sarah and an assistant visit Kasigluk once a year, for two weeks, and treat approximately 50 patients per week. Due to the lack of resources, limited care is performed and treatment is not completed on each patient. The size of NYUCD’s team was determined by what the dental “surge” required in order to complete the care of all the school children in the village up to age 12.
Three caravan planes flew the three YKHC and nine NYUCD members to Kasigluk along with enough equipment, dental supplies, and food to sustain a dental clinic for one week. The school principal was very supportive of the project and invited the team to stay in the school, which had flush toilets, showers, and internet connectivity. Our dental clinic, set up in the Kasigluk Community Center, consisted of four pediatric stations, one adult station, a radiographic area, and a sterilization area.
The first half of our initial day was spent providing dental screenings and applying fluoride varnish to 105 students at the school. Treatment for these students began that Monday afternoon at the community center. Parents accompanied their children during the treatment appointments and were dentally educated during these visits. At the same time, a team of four dentists went to a second school in the village and screened 51 additional students. Sara and her YKHC team knew many individuals from past visits and were essential to making contact with patients, scheduling appointments, and keeping a steady patient flow.
On Tuesday, the team continued its pediatric care at school #1 and began adult care, which was primarily urgent care and consisted of extractions and restoring broken and grossly decayed teeth. On Tuesday afternoon, teachers participated in an interactive, in-service dental education program presented by the pediatric faculty. The goal was to complete treatment on all of the children and by the end of Wednesday approximately 90% of the screened children from school #1 through the age of 12 had completed care.
At 8:30 am on Thursday, February 7, Jill Fernandez and Dr. Amr Moursi gave grade appropriate dental education presentations to the school children and we began to treat students from school #2. The health aides were invited to the dental clinic and were taught by the pediatric faculty to apply fluoride varnish and received hands-on patient training. The team left 1,000 units of fluoride varnish to enable the health aides to continue the program throughout the year. Sara will also return to the village during the year to apply sealants on newly-erupted teeth.
Friday completed the clinical activity. Ninety percent of the children who were screened in school #2 were provided complete care. Over the course of five clinic days, 182 patients were treated: 135 children and 47 adults. In total, there were 321 patient visits.
The Team’s Experience
Our team of nine brought all our own food, sleeping bags, air mattresses, and other provisions. We slept in the school, which had flush toilets and showers, as compared to the community center, which did not have either. Kasigluk is an extremely poor, isolated, closed community, where people often live out their lives without often venturing outside the confines of the village. Higher education is virtually non-existent. Indeed, in the entire community only one person will graduate high-school this year. With not much of a local economy, people depend on welfare.
In a total population of 600, including 180 children, many community members suffer from chronic sinus problems. Children use chewing tobacco called iqmik, which they hold in their cheeks all day. Most adults have rampant cavities and loose teeth. There are two health aides who reside in the village, but no dentists or physicians. The nearest hospital is in Bethel.
Temperatures varied between 30 and 50 degrees below zero. On the day we had planned to leave, a ground blizzard made visibility impossible and we had to spend an extra night in Kasigluk. The team has since returned back to New York City with a greater understanding of the oral healthcare needs that are present even within United States.
Michael Bachman 3rd Yr | Nausheen Ekram 3rd Yr | Sowjanya Gade 4th Yr | Todd Cameron Hanna 4th Yr | Marcus Johnson 4th Yr
Calvin Jung 4th Yr | Joo Hyeong Kim 4th Yr | Rajsekahar Mukkamala 4th Yr | Lisa Bui Nguyen 4th Yr | In Sik Oh – 4th Yr
Renate Eneid Marie Saunders 4th Yr | Matthew Lee Shih 3rd Yr | Emam Solmaz 3rd Yr | George Wu 4th Yr
Dr. Stuart Hirsch – Program Director/General Dentist Faculty | Lauren Meyers – Program Director/Staff
Dr. Ralph Cunningham – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Melanie Kapetanakos – General Dentist Faculty
Dr. Haig Rickerby – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Raid Sadda – Oral Surgeon Faculty | Dr. Steven Caldroney – Oral Surgeon Faculty
Dr. Charlie Larson – Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Stephanie Strickland – Pediatric Faculty
Dr. Joanna Cheung – Pediatric Resident | Dr. Marshall Chey - Pediatric Resident
On Saturday, January 19th, 2008 a team of 15 DDS students, 2 pediatric residents, 1 oral surgery resident, 3 general dentist faculty members, 1 oral surgery faculty member and 1 pediatric faculty member arrived at JFK airport at 7am to prepare for a 10am departure to the parish of Clarendon in May Penn, Jamaica. The team met the healthcare professionals of Healthcare International (HCI), an NGO that initiated the dental and medical outreach to Jamaica. In addition, the team was met by dental students, an oral surgery resident and pediatric faculty member from Columbia University several dental students from Michigan. With dental equipment and instruments in tow, the team proceeded to check-in at the Jamaica Air counter. The NYUCD team coordinated shipping the majority of its disposable dental supplies ahead of time through HCI and passed through check-in and security with minimal difficulty.
The outreach team arrived at May Penn airport after a brief 3.5 hour flight. Upon arrival the team was met by members of the May Penn Rotary Club who helped facilitate moving the group through customs and then collect its luggage at the carousal. Once all of the luggage was accounted for, it was required that it be searched by customs for authenticity since everything from extension cords to electric drills were carried with the team.
On Monday, January 21st NYUCD met in the hotel lobby at 7:30am and traveled nearly 50 minutes to its first clinical site with a medical team comprised of HCI members. The site was a church of modest proportions located in the hills outside of Clarendon. Pews had already been pushed aside and curtains hung to divide the church into separate working areas for both teams. As this was the first time that the team had to establish a clinic, the group gathered to review the layout of the room and take particular notice of the location of electrical outlets. NYUCD claimed the front right curtained area of the church to set-up its pediatric treatment room while the surgical area was set-up along the back wall of the church and the restorative area was along the back-right wall of the room.
Operations began to run smoothly. Drs. Ralph Cunningham and Melanie Kapetanakos took a role in the triage area, identifying patient needs and moving patients through the clinic to receive treatment. Dr. Haig Rickerby supervised the restorative area. Drs. Raid Sadda and Steven Caldroney continued to supervise and interact with the student assigned to the surgical area and Dr. Charles Larsen and the 2 pediatric residents continued to provide care to the children who came to the clinic.
On Tuesday, January 22nd, the team departed for its second site. The site was a small school located in the hills of the Parish of May Penn. Although it appeared isolated and difficult to get to, there was a large population of adults willing to make their way to the clinic. Furthermore, the school had a student population of 300 students. The dental team utilized two separate classrooms, one for pediatrics and the other for restorative, surgical and sterilization. A third classroom was used for medical care by HCI. The facilities were more than adequate and the principal indicated that they would enjoy having us stay for an entire week, explaining that there is a large enough demand in the community and that there were two smaller schools with 150 students in one school and 80 students in the other.
The following day the dental and medical teams departed for their 3rd clinical site. This day was unique as the pediatric team was divided into 2 groups. One group, which included Drs. Larsen, Strickland (who had recently arrived) and Chey as well as 3 DDS students, visited the School of Hope, which was a special needs school with approximately 65 students. Complete care was provided to each child.
The second pediatric team was led by a Pediatric Resident, Dr. Joanna Cheung, at a middle school that was 40 minutes from the hotel along with the rest of the dental and medical team. Again, the dental team procured 2 classrooms in the same fashion as the previous days. Initially, patients were few, but by mid-morning, the clinic was overwhelmed by the demand for care. Dr. Cheung managed the pediatric clinic incredibly well and maintained her composure despite the high volume of students brought to the clinic at one time. The pediatric team was grateful that the other pediatric team from the School of Hope rejoined them after lunch. All of the teams had a busy day.
The forth day of clinic was used to transition the dental and medical teams from the southern Parish of May Penn to the northern coastal area of Ocho Rios. In transit, both the dental team and medical teams set up at a church that was 2 ½ hours from where we departed. The church was rather large with a single congregation area. One side of the church was designated to NYUCD and the other to UNDMJ and Michigan. The back area of the church had a stairwell up to a balcony where the pediatric team set-up their clinic. Adjoining the main room was a closed room where the medical team was stationed. The dental teams used the pews for their clinic chairs and supplies were placed on tables that ran down the middle of the church. Sterilization was set-up at the front of the room. As soon as the teams were ready to go, the doors were opened to the community. The Pastor was incredibly gracious for our visit, noting that there was a great demand for dental care (“thousands” of people in the area) and that they would be willing to have us visit for a longer period of time and would make their church available.
The final clinic day was scheduled at a nearby school that was approximately 20 minutes from the hotel. This school of 300 children, grades K-4, had been visited the previous year. The team divided into two and a second school was visited nearly 20 minutes from the first. The preventive program that was implemented the year before was continued with the application of fluoride
Nishita Gandhi – 3rd Yr | Karin Grinbaum – 3rd Yr | Henna Hussain – 4th Yr | Bindu Kansagra - 4th Yr | Scott Karafin - 3rd Yr
Jasminder Kaur - 4th Yr | Matthew Malek – 3rd Yr | Lauren Mills – 3rd Yr | Sarita Ojha - 4th Yr | Sejal Patel – 3rd Yr
Karanbir Sandhu – 4th Yr | Shukan Shah - 3rd Yr | Olga Siarheyeva – 4th Yr | Joseph Varga – 3rd Yr | Collisha Wright – 3rd Yr
Dr. Girish Shah – Program/Clinical Director | Salimah Walani – Program Manager/Nursing Faculty | Dr. James Toppin – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Elliott Dombroff – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Michael Turner – Oral Surgeon Faculty
Dr. Sumitra Golikeri – Pediatric Resident (Faculty)
Dr. Natasha Khurana – Pediatric Resident | Dr. Amarjeet Temburni – Pediatric Resident | Jennifer Jennings – Nursing Student | Karen Roush – Nursing Student
New York University Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing recently returned from another successful visit to India after its second annual outreach program. A team comprised of 15 dental students, 2 pediatric dental residents, 2 nursing students and 6 faculty members lived among the community of Mandvi, located in the Gujarat region of India. The partnership between Shree Bidadda Sarvadoya Trust and NYU, with the cooperation and support of the village of Mandvi, enabled this team to bring much needed dental and health care to its inhabitants as they rang in the 2008 New Year.
The program took place from December 28, 2007 to January 6, 2008, but despite the short trip, the impact on the community was great and the experience for the students was immeasurable. The team provided dental exams to 1,249 people with providing a total of 317 fluoride varnish applications and 3,231 sealants, as part of a pediatric preventive program, as well as 802 amalgam/resin fillings, 119 extractions and 152 cleanings. Dr. James Toppin, a faculty member at the College of Dentistry and participant of the India outreach program, relays his memory of the program:
- Dominican Republic
Our twelfth outreach program to the Dominican Republic was conducted from November 10, 2007 through November 18, 2007 in La Cienaga and surrounding villages in the Province of Puerto Plata. A total of 3,593 treatments were provided by 14 NUYCD students (2 third-year students and 12 fourth-year students), two International Program dental students, two Pediatric residents, and 7 NYUCD faculty/staff. The services rendered included: 684 full exams, 268 sealants, 245 fluoride varnishes, 949 restorations, 546 extractions, 11minor surgeries, 570 x-rays, 267 prophylactic treatments, and 53 miscellaneous treatments. Since inception of the program in 1997, we have provided a total of 33,427 treatments to people who have no access to dental care. These results make this outreach effort a most satisfying humanitarian experience.
As in the previous years, the ability of our team to deliver oral health services was fortified by the addition of a Pediatric team of faculty member, Dr. Lily Lim, and residents, Drs. Danielle Funny and Christina Abreu. In addition, a family nurse practitioner, Ms. Sherry Herdman from Jones Memorial Hospital, Wellsville, New York helped to perform initial medical screenings. Because of their inclusion, the services provided to the very young children, the elderly and the chronically ill patients were enhanced by an additional grade of outstanding professionalism. Due to the unusually high number of syncopes among patients receiving treatment, which we believe were induced by lack of food, the collaboration between the oral surgery team and the nurse practitioner had an invaluable impact on our performance.
The inhabitants of the village of La Cienaga and the surrounding communities belong to an extremely poor segment of Dominican society and have no accesses to medical or dental care. Consequently when given the opportunity to receive free care, their eagerness to be treated escalated to levels our team members had not seen before nor could imagine. The tropical rain downpours, in some instances 24h/day, and the flooding were not a deterrent; they waited in line, in the rain, in ankle deep water and refused to leave in the hope that maybe, somehow, they receive care. Needless to say, the impact of this scenery on our students resulted in an escalation of their efforts to the point of complete exhaustion and the joy of fulfillment! One team member indicated that “it made me appreciate how lucky we are…it was a pleasure to be able to help so many people who otherwise would not have received healthcare.” The gratitude of the recipients was expressed in tears of joy, hugs, little presents of figurines, and smiles. The performance of the 2007 team members, who had to endure the cramped clinical setup and tension, ranks as the top performance in all years of this oral health program in the Dominican Republic. Without a doubt, our team could not have made this enormous humanitarian contribution without the outstanding guidance of Dr. Roy Sonkin who, again, proved to be an outstanding teacher, leader and clinician.
The principal sponsors of the outreach program conducted in November 2007 were NYUCD, Dominican Air Force (our main sponsor in the Dominican Republic), and Cabarete Palm Beach Condos which again, as in all prior years, provided free hotel accommodations and the invaluable services of their management and staff, by making the local arrangements for the program, preparing the outreach site prior to our arrival and being present and assisting on location throughout the program. In addition, NYUCD would like to thank Dr. Richard Weledniger for his continued dedication to documenting its outreach experiences on the www.nyucd.phanfare.com website.
Carlos Castro-Perdomo – 4th Yr | Evelyn Escobedo - 4th Yr | Joshua Foxson – 4th Yr | Christine Karapetian - 4th Yr
Peter Mann - 4th Yr | Prospero Matos - 3rd Yr | Andrew Meram - 4th Yr | Adam Merriam - 4th Yr
Lynette Page - 4th Yr | Chandra Pham - 4th Yr | Zach Sonkin - 3rd Yr | Jeff Suh – 4th Yr
Sarfaz Verjee - 4th Yr | Matthew Walla - 4th Yr
Dr. Lidia Kiremidjian-Schumacher – Program Director | Dr. Roy Sonkin – Clinical Director/General Dentist Faculty
Dr. Fred Dubrowsky – General Dentist Faculty | Dr. Lily Lim – Pediatric Faculty | Dr. Claudine Agosta – Oral Surgeon Faculty
Professor Judith Cleary - Staff | Teresa Echavarria – Staff/Sterilization
Dr. Christina Abreu | Dr. Danielle Funny
Dr. Berta Ministral | Dr. Yuki Saito
Charles Roy – 4th Year DDS Student | David Treff – 4th Year DDS Student | Reem Hemantharaju – 4th Year DDS Student
Sheena Lambert – 4th Year DDS Student
Dr. Miriam Robbins – Clinical Director | Lauren Meyers – Program Director | Dr. Brendan O’Connor – Oral Surgeon
Dr. Amr Moursi – Pedodontics Faculty | Jill Fernandez-Wilson – Pedodontic Staff
Dr. Zhemeng Wang – Pedodontics Resident
On Sunday, August 19th, four D.D.S students, one pediatric resident and six faculty and staff met in NYU College of Dentistry’s main lobby to begin a journey that would take them past the Serengeti of southeastern Africa to Songea, a remote village in the southwest region of Tanzania. Traveling nearly 16 hours by plane and another 17 hours through the Tanzanian countryside by car, the NYU dental team finally arrived at their final destination at 1am. In a region populated by nearly 1.5 million inhabitants with only three dental professionals to provide care, the dental team had their work cut out for them as they opened up their clinic doors the very next morning.
NYU’s partner group, Miracle Corners of the World’s (“MCW”), actualized a vision to provide the community of Songea with the skills and knowledge to lead healthier lives by establishing a program of “local change through global exchange.” As a result, NYU has been providing care at MCW’s dental clinic in Songea for the past several years. The 2007 program expanded beyond solely providing emergent care by including a pediatric team that implemented a preventive program of oral hygiene education, fluoride varnishes and sealants to the children of Songea. During the course of the week, nearly 400 patients were seen with a total of 1,300 treatments rendered. More than half of those patients were children who will be less likely to suffer from oral disease and more apt to living healthier lives because of the preventive care provided.
The dental team worked with the local MCW members and community to facilitate the activities of the clinic. Several of the community members also acted as translators for the doctors, breaking down the language barrier between Swahili and English, as well as assisted the doctors as they treated their patients. An MCW member was trained to apply fluoride varnish and sealants after our departure in order to maintain continuity in care and enough supplies were provided for this activity until our return in 2008.
The impact that the experience had on the dental team was not only rewarding, but influential as well. A senior dental student said after returning from the program on August 19th, “I feel so fortunate to have been selected to experience this trip. It was life-changing.” The immersion into the Tanzanian culture, the disparity of health and dental care and the relationships developed through the program have forever shaped the way healthcare is approached and dentistry will be practiced by the team.
Considered to be one of the poorest countries in Central America, Nicaragua’s need for oral healthcare continues to exceed its supply of dental professionals and financial resources. As a result, New York University College of Dentistry decided to return to Centro Escolar de Chiquilistagua, a small school located in the rural village of Chiquilistagua, Nicaragua. Home to more than 11,000 inhabitants with no local dentist, the College was welcomed back for its second annual dental outreach, which took place on Sunday, March 18, 2007 through Saturday, March 24, 2007. During the course of this week, a total of 751 patients were seen and 1,828 treatments provided.
The outreach allowed 35 students, faculty and staff (15 NYUCD students (6 third year students, 8 fourth year students and 1 international student), 2 pediatric residents, 6 post-graduate endodontic students, 2 nursing students, 1 oral surgery resident, 1 pediatric faculty member, 1 endodontic faculty member, 1 nursing faculty member and 6 general dentistry faculty/staff members) to travel, with supplies and equipment in tow, to Nicaragua to gain a valuable global health perspective that will greatly influence the way they provide future care. The services rendered included 25 prophies, 152 fluoride varnishes, 557 sealants, 351 restorations, 364 extractions, 56 root canals/57 post and/or core build-ups and 266 x-rays. In addition, oral hygiene awareness presentations were given to the local school children and teachers and a fluoride varnish and sealant program was initiated to provide the children in the community with preventive care.
Centro Escolar de Chiquilistagua provided rooms for treatment areas to be set up, including triage, nursing, restorative, surgical, pediatric and endodontics. In addition, a sterilization area was set up in the kitchen of one of the classrooms, which allowed the instruments to be prepared for use on an ongoing basis. Patients would be brought in through the triage and nursing stations and then called upon depending on their treatment plan. The restorative area was comprised of six electric drills that allowed an equal number of students to provide care to their patient. Three faculty members rotated throughout the area to supervise and work hands-on with each student as they restored a tooth. The surgical area was set up in the same room and supervised by an oral surgeon who interacted with the three students as they treated their patients for emergency care. A nearby classroom hosted the pediatric department, which was comprised of one pediatric faculty member and two pediatric residents interacting with 2-3 DDS students to provide acute care as well as preventive treatments in the form of fluoride varnishes and sealants. In these ways, the outreach program enabled the community to break the belief cycle between parent and child that oral facial pain and tooth loss is a natural consequence of life.
The addition of both the nursing station and endodontics department proved to be invaluable assets to the programs success. The nurses improved upon the triage area by examining each patient, providing treatments for specific healthcare needs, giving additional health education and moving patients through the clinic. The endodontics department saved nearly 60 permanent teeth, which would have otherwise being extracted, including one seven year old child’s two permanent front teeth – implants would not have been an option for this young child.
A very important outcome of this outreach program is the profound effect that it had on the NYU faculty, staff and students who participated; their thoughts about the world are forever changed, providing them with a unique, global perspective on healthcare, meanwhile, affording them an educational experience that strengthens their appreciation for and practice of dentistry and healthcare.
- Give Kids A Smile Day NYUCD
NYUCD served as the national host for fifth annual GKAS - Dr. Richard I. Vogel kicked off the day's events with some eye-opening statistics.
- about a third of American children are without insurance coverage;
- uninsured children are 2-1/2 times less likely to receive dental care than insured children and three times more likely to have dental needs than kids with coverage;
- 25 percent of all children suffer 80 percent of the tooth decay;
- between 4 and 5 million children are impaired in their ability to eat, sleep and learn because of dental health problems;
- 51 million school hours are lost each year to untreated dental caries.
"And children distracted by dental pain do not score as well on tests as healthy children and have lower self-esteem," noted Dr. Vogel, interim dean, College of Dentistry, New York University. Dr. Vogel and the NYU dental school served as national hosts to an event aimed at spotlighting the needs of all those children: the ADA's 5th annual Give Kids A Smile Day, Feb. 2. At NYU, the day began with a media briefing that featured leaders of organized dentistry, faculty and dental industry representatives—and ADA mascot Dudley the Dinosaur.
The briefing attracted New York's NBC affiliate, WNBC, plus local stations Channel 9 and New York One. GKAS was featured nationally the day before, Feb. 1, on ABC's Good Morning, America.
"We're determined that children get started on a lifetime of good oral health and have the opportunity to realize their full potential," Dr. Kathleen Roth, ADA president, told the gathering at NYU. Later she noted with a smile, "It's an important day."
On hand for the event was a member of the New York City Council, Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, who harkened back to the troubling facts cited by Dr. Vogel. "I could have been one of those statistics," she confided. The councilwoman has been hailed for her work in helping to ensure that area dental clinics remain open and operating, and for recognizing that "what we do in government has a long impact on a child's life."
Others who helped usher in the big day included:
- Dr. James B. Bramson, ADA executive director;
- Stanley Bergman, president and chief executive officer of Henry Schein, one of the founding GKAS corporate sponsors;
- Steve Kess, vice president for professional relations at Henry Schein and chair of the GKAS National Advisory Board;
- Dr. Foti Panagakos, director of professional relations, clinical studies, at Colgate-Palmolive, a new GKAS sponsor this year, providing take-home oral care products for thousands of children;
- Jeff Kassler and Scott Klayman, leaders in the practice development area at CareCredit, also a new GKAS sponsor and founding donor (with a $100,000 contribution) to a just-established GKAS fund within the ADA Foundation;
- Bob Joyce, president, Americas, Danaher Dental Equipment Platform, who represented the DEXIS Corp., another founding corporate sponsor of GKAS;
- Dr. Amr Moursi, chair of NYU's Department of Pediatric Dentistry.
As the dignitaries talked to the media in a ground-floor auditorium, the real meaning and purpose of the day was beginning to take shape on the fourth floor. With about 20 operatories available, the floor had been decked out with balloons and signs to greet children arriving from local schools for screenings and treatments. Dr. Moursi estimated that about 60 faculty members, dental students and volunteers were there to treat an expected turnout of about 150 children for the day-long event. One of the best things about the work he does, said Dr. Moursi, "is the outreach, the community involvement in helping provide access to the needy." He and all the other professionals on hand were plainly delighted to be helping out—suggesting that they may benefit from the GKAS experience almost as much as the kids. (Copy from ADA by James H. Berry - Pics by RMW)
Mepa Desai - 4th Year | Christopher Egede – 4th Year | Rozaliya Fatakhova - 4th Year | Jasmine Hanjrah - 4th Year
Marcus Johnson - 3rd Year | RamKumar Katikaneni - 3rd Year | Alina Lukashevksy – 4th Year
Lisa B. Nguyen – 3rd Year | Ashish Patel - 4th Year | Justin Seaman – 3rd Year
Vivien Valdez - 4th Year | Marc Weizenberg - 4th Year | Esther Yang - 4th Year
Amilcar David & Dante Goodwin
Dr. Ralph Cunningham – Clinical Director | Dr. Melanie Kapatanakos – Prosthetics | Dr. Haig Rickerby
Dr. Raid Sadda – Oral Surgery | Dr. Charlie Larsen – Pedodontics | Lauren Meyers - Staff
Dr. Heather Baumhardt – Pedodontics Resident & Dr. Zhemeng Wang – Pedodontics Resident
In October 2006, Dr. Girish Shah and Ms. Lauren Meyers, programs administrator in the Office of International Programs and Development, made a pre-program site visit to Gadhsisa school, where they met with Bidada Sarvodaya trustees, volunteers, local officials, community leaders, and school principal to plan for the outreach.
The Shree Bidada Sarvodaya Trust, a charitable non-profit organization, was established in 1974 and has a 31-year history of humanitarian service in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India. They have over the years treated more than 2 million people through their 60-bed hospital located in the town of Bidada. Every year, the hospital holds a large medical camp (outreach) for three weeks in January during which 18,000 to 20,000 patients from over 1,200 villages located throughout the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan receive services free of charge. Despite the number of patients treated in Bidada, there is still a large population in Kutch with limited access to health care services. Bidada Sarvodaya Trust’s long term approach to addressing a large portion of this underserved population is the development of a preventive healthcare program for children. In June 2005, the Bidada Sarvodaya Trust initiated the Child HealthCare Project, which in a span of six months examined over 12,000 students in 34 villages in the sub-districts of Mandvi and Mundra in Kutch. This project included basic screening, as well as education on personal hygiene and proper nutrition. January 2006 marks the commencement of Child Health Initiative (CHI), the permanent extension of the Child Healthcare Project. The CHI will provide medical, dental and ophthalmic screenings, preventive care, education and referrals to specialty services as a comprehensive approach to continuity of care.
The NYUCD team arrived in Mumbai (Bombay) India, by Air India on December 30 2006 with dental supplies, instruments, and equipments. Special arrangements were made with Air India to allow excess luggage at no cost for this humanitarian mission. Also with the help of Indian Consulate in New York and local government officials, it was a smooth sailing through the customs in Mumbai. Next day the team left for Bhuj by Jet Airways. Once again, special arrangements were also made with Jet Airways, allowing us to carry excess luggage at no cost. They also, but they also opened check in counter for our team. Upon arrival at Bhuj Airport, Mr. Devchand Furia from Sarvodaya Bidada Trust, Dr. Savla, his assistant, and other volunteers welcomed us. Then the team traveled approximately 35 Km. to Gadhsisa, the site for the dental outreach. Upon arrival, after quick refreshments, we started setting up a temporary clinic at Gadhsisa school. The school provided us with six large size class rooms for storage, work stations, conference rooms and etc. The school did a superb job in modifying the wooden lounge chairs by adding on headrests, mimicking a dental chair, and they also installed sinks in two class rooms.
Next morning, Monday January 1, 2007, in the holy presence of religious and spiritual leaders, trustees of Bidada Sarvodaya Trust, community leaders, businessmen, and villagers a welcoming ceremony was performed at the school. Lighting of candles to mark the occasion, cultural programs, Rangooli, traditional dances performance by a troupe of children featured presentations. The enthusiasm and dedication with which the children performed was very impressive.
We then started registration and screening the school children. Then they were taken to appropriate rooms for needed dental services. During five days, the team worked with local school principal, school trustees, community leaders & members, and school volunteers.
During the outreach of 4 1/2 days, then NYUCD team screened 1027 patients, performed 625 restorations, 324 extractions, 683 sealants, 168 prophys (cleanings), 36 scaling & root planning, and 86 x-rays. Some patients had never seen a dentist, while others had a history of irregular visits, mainly to treat tooth decay that had already reached an advanced stage. Some of patients presented with mild to severe fluorosis stains on their teeth.
There was also an educational component: faculty and students gave presentations to schoolchildren on oral health, and provided oral health education/promotion and prevention programs to school teachers, teaching the importance of oral health.
The team trained young boys and girls (16-22 years of age), first by giving them class room lecture for approximately 11/2 -2 hrs followed by hands on experience. They assisted during the dental procedures and also they were taught how to clean teeth and apply dental sealants. Then they were asked to see the patients (children) to do the same procedures, which in my opinion, went extremely well. This was well received and they all were eager to learn and would like to learn in the future.
On our last day, the community and Bidada Srvodaya Trust held a send off ceremony, and thanked us for our services. There were speeches of appreciation and certificates of excellence of services were presented to each of the participants. Photography by Lauren Meyers.
- Dominican Republic
New University College of Dentistry’s eleventh outreach program to the Dominican Republic was conducted from November 11, 2006 through November 19, 2006 in Veragua and surrounding villages in the Province of Espaillat. A total of 3,279 treatments were provided by 13 NUYCD students (2 third-year students and 11 fourth-year students), two International Student Program residents, two Pedodontics residents, and 6 NYUCD faculty/staff. The services rendered included: 575 full exams, 407 sealants, 43 fluoride varnishes, 1,056 restorations, 393 extractions, 45 minor surgeries, 579 x-rays and 181 prophylactic treatments. Since inception of the program in 1997, we have provided a total of 27,441 treatments to people who have no access to dental care. These results make this outreach effort a most satisfying humanitarian experience.
What distinguished this trip from all previous engagements was the composition of out team and the nature of the services we could provide. The addition of the two Pedodontics residents and Dr. Amy Truesdale, Pedodontics faculty, made it possible to provide expertise in the handling and treatment of very young children, which we could not provide in our previous trips. In addition, for the first time, we had the services of a family nurse practitioner, Ms. Sherry Herdman from Jones Memorial Hospital, Wellsville, New York, and her assistant. She was stationed in the triage area and reviewed the patients’ medical histories, recorded their blood pressures, provided wound treatments, e.g., diabetics, treated rashes and ring-worm infections, and provided support for patients who fainted because of dehydration and/or lack of food.
Another improvement in our delivery of care was made possible by the inclusion of a portable dental x-ray unit which generated images that were immediately displayed on the screen of a computer. This not only helped to more accurately diagnosis suspected lesions, but it also provided an excellent teaching tool for the benefit of our students.
Our dental treatment facility was set up in the local school of Veragua. This is a much underserved community which our team had visited in April 1999. However, the community had not forgotten the “dentistas” from New York University! Our services were well remembered and generated enormous crowds of patients willing to wait for days in the hope for a chance to be treated. As reflected in the total number of services provided to this community, our team was extremely efficient and delivered the greatest number of services in our 10-year history of providing oral health services in the Dominican Republic. The personal and educational impact of this experience on the members of our team will be life-long. Photography by Dr. Roy Sonkin and Site Layout by Dr. Richard Weledniger.
New York University College of Dentistry conducted its first annual Nicaragua Outreach Program on Sunday, March 5, 2006 through Saturday, March 11, 2006 at Centro Escolar de Chiquilistagua, a local school in Chiquilistagua, Nicaragua, to provide dental services and education to its students and the local community. A total of 578 patients were seen and approximately 1,000 treatments were provided by 13 NYUCD students (2 second year students, 3 third year students and 8 fourth year students), 2 Pediatric residents, 2 International Program residents (one of whom was a Pediatric resident), 1 fellow, 1 Oral Surgery resident and 5 faculty/staff members. The services rendered included 181 sealants, 54 fluoride varnishes, 359 restorations and 330 extractions. A total of 193 full-mouth treatments were completed. In addition, oral hygiene awareness presentations and continuing dental education seminars were given to the local school and dental university (UAM) respectively.
As one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, Nicaragua struggles to emerge from a depressive state. Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, and its surrounding towns have been badly damaged by natural disasters over the past decade, making it difficult to establish a quality affordable dental healthcare system. As a result, Chiquilistagua, a town of 10,000 inhabitants with no local dentist, posed a strong staging point for NYUCD’s dental outreach.
After walking through the site and setting up the triage, pediatric, restorative, operative and sterilization areas, NYUCD was prepared to open the doors of the clinic for the first time. One of the largest assets to the programs set-up was the addition of a separate Pediatric Department and the use of two portable units. This allowed for the separate specialized treatment of young children with the support and supervision of our Pediatric residents and faculty member. Another additional benefit to the program was the use of six new portable hand-units with twelve hand-pieces that were rotated regularly. As a result, 5 work stations were set-up in the restorative area of the clinic. One difficulty that was encountered early on was in the sterilization department. The Statim that was brought from NYUCD frequently rejected the water quality despite having been filled appropriately with distilled water- a commodity that was difficult to attain in such an impoverished area. Fortunately, this did not inhibit the clinic from performing its operations. Consequently, the sterilization unit functioned relatively smoothly and, in turn, two local people were hired to aid in sterilization for the remainder of the week.
It was evident that the clinic had been well received by the public as the line that awaited us on the third day had increased dramatically, proving that word was spreading throughout the community about our services. By 9:30am that day, new patients had to be turned away due to the overwhelming response. The majority of patients were children and women, since most of the men who support their families were unable to attend the clinic during daytime hours. The demand for dental care was so great that several patients who had arrived early to wait for services fainted from low blood-sugar levels. Although some patients had had previous dental care, many needed additional treatments due to a lapse in routine dental visits.
We performed quadrant dentistry and multiple extractions on adults while the pediatric team provided all the fourth graders with sealants and fluoride varnishes in addition to educational presentations emphasizing the benefits of comprehensive routine oral hygiene to the entire student body. A local physician was also taught by the Pediatric Department on how to apply fluoride varnishes and made the commitment to provide this service to the students on a regular basis throughout the year.
Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming need for extractions and restorative attention the scheduled sealant program to the third graders was suspended in order to treat the advanced decay. An eleven year old girl with Down’s syndrome who needed extensive treatment due to years of neglect was also seen. In order to give effective, safe care, a papoose was constructed out of a beach towel. The child quickly relaxed as a result and allowed the dental team to provide the necessary care. In another instance, a couple was given a pre-natal consultation, describing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and its affect on the oral health of their baby. Some of the more unique cases seen included what appeared to be a cemetoblastoma, an osteo lesion and overwhelming decay from where extractions took place and root tips remained as well as areas where crowns had worn away. All of these situations provided great opportunities for the student participants and those dental students who helped to assist from the local Universidad Americana (UAM) learn and practice dentistry.