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3rd Annual NYC Oral Cancer Walk: Harlem Institutions Join SNDA, NYUCD in Walking to Stamp Out Oral Cancer

On Saturday, April 19, 2008, students from the NYU College of Dentistry chapter of the Student National Dental Association, from NYUCN, and from other local chapters of SNDA, once again organized and led a four-mile walk through Harlem to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of oral cancer. This year, the original organizers were joined by the Harlem Hospital Center, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Columbia University Medical Center, and Renaissance Health Care Network.

The 2008 event drew over 700 walkers, up from some 500 participants in 2007. The walk also continued its fund-raising success, bringing in over $30,000 to combat a deadly disease that kills over 7,000 American men and women each year, with African-American males bearing a disproportionate number of fatalities.

The walk included free oral cancer screenings and general health screening provided by the partnering institutions. Sponsors included the Oral Cancer Foundation, NYU College of Dentistry, the Oral Cancer Consortium of New York and New Jersey, ABC7, and the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation. An array of corporate sponsors were recognized with their logos on the walk’s official T-shirt.

NYUCD student organizers of the walk included Dr. Marcus Johnson, ’08, Aleks Baron and Dmitry Baron, both DDS Program Class of 2008; Ms. Mary Reichman, BS in Dental Hygiene Program Class of 2008; and Mr. Adam Palmer, DDS Program Class of 2010. The student organizers extend special thanks to Dr. Ross Kerr, Clinical Associate Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine, who has served as faculty advisor for the walk since its inception.

“Ross has provided brilliant advice, guidance, and inspiration for the students,” said Dr. Michael P. O’Connor, Executive Associate Dean for Administration & Finance. Dr. O’Connor, who was previously associated with Columbia University, reached out to the Harlem Hospital Center, which, in turn, attracted other Harlem institutions as partners.

“We were thrilled to be able to partner with such distinguished Harlem institutions,” said Executive Associate Dean O’Connor. “We look forward to continuing to partner on important community education and awareness initiatives.”

To watch a video of last year’s walk, please go to www.oralcancerwalknyc.org

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