Spring 2006 Table of Contents
International Partners in Health
Dominican Republic

The outreach team in action.

Dr. Stan Dawkins, Associate Professor of Cariology and Comprehensive Care, center. See story on Dr. Dawkins.

Outreach set to celebrate 10th anniversary

Next November, the annual NYUCD expedition to the Dominican Republic will celebrate its 10th anniversary of providing essential oral health services to needy Dominicans living in rural areas. The program was initiated in 1997 by Dr. Lidia Kiremidjian-Schumacher, who retired in December as Professor Emerita of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology after 33 years at NYUCD. Dr. Kiremidjian, a recipient of the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award – the University’s highest teaching honor – will continue to play a leadership role in the annual Dominican Outreach as the on-site coordinator.

“The only hope for improving these people’s oral health continues to rest with NYUCD’s ability to provide care and to work collaboratively with the Dominican government and the local dental society to develop effective dental public health programs,” says Dr. Kiremidjian. “The oral health needs of the Dominican population are severe beyond anything seen in even the most underserved areas in the United States. On every visit, I feel so proud to be helping NYUCD share its resources with the world. I’m extremely pleased that NYUCD has made a commitment to continue the Dominican Republic outreach program for the foreseeable future.”

During the 2005 visit, a group of 20 student and faculty volunteers worked eight hours a day for eight days to provide care to adults and children with extreme dental needs. As on previous visits, nearly 3,000 services were provided. Also as in previous years, NYUCD provided financing and supplies for the trip and Colgate-Palmolive’s Dominican Republic component provided a mobile unit and gift bags for distribution at all sites.

One of the participants, Marcus Young, Class of 2007, called the experience “unparalleled.” “At NYUCD, we see every possible oral health condition,” he said, “but in the Dominican Republic, we also get to see variations that can occur in a more homogenous society. It makes our education even richer.”