International Partners in Health
NYUCD to Partner with University of Ghana Dental School

Initiative Is Part of Broader Plan to Link Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry, Global Public Health at NYU and the University of Ghana

In keeping with New York University’s vision of becoming a “global network university” with partnerships, joint programs, and campuses worldwide, the NYU College of Dentistry and the University of Ghana Dental School are planning a partnership that will foster dental faculty development at the University of Ghana and give dental students there access to NYUCD’s educational resources through both distance-learning and on-site programs. The partnership also aims to encourage collaborative research involving a diverse range of patients drawn from both institutions’ clinical populations. It is part of a broader plan to link nursing, medicine, dentistry, and global public health programs at both universities.

In January, Dr. Stuart M. Hirsch, Associate Dean for International Programs and Development, joined Dr. Robert Berne, NYU’s Senior Vice President for Health, and Dr. Hila Richardson, Professor of Nursing and Director of Undergraduate, Continuing Education, and Community Health Programs at the College of Nursing, and other NYU health officials, on a site visit to Ghana’s capital, Accra, to discuss the initiative and to meet with Dr. Nii Out Nartey, the Dean of the University of Ghana Dental School, the sole dental school in the country.

“This partnership between the University of Ghana and New York University has unlimited potential for students and faculty from all of our health schools and programs,” said Dr. Berne. “The enthusiasm at NYU and UG is high and we should have our first collaborations in place in the coming months.”

The dental schools’ partnership is scheduled to launch in September 2008, when a Ghanaian dental graduate will enroll in NYU’s three-year Advanced Education Program in Periodontics, and a second Ghanaian dental graduate will enroll in the MS Program in Biology/Oral Biology. Both graduates will be required to return to the University of Ghana after graduation to become, respectively, the dental school’s first full-time faculty member in the Department of Periodontics and the first faculty member in oral biology. In addition, the two schools plan to collaborate on research involving oral cancer and the link between periodontal disease and systemic conditions.

Additional programming could include NYUCD-provided distance learning in periodontics and prosthodontics utilizing satellite videoconferencing facilities located within the Rosenthal Institute for Aesthetic Dentistry.

“Collaborative teaching, research, and patient care are essential in a world in which health problems have no boundaries,” said Dr. Hirsch. “This partnership is an important step in helping to address health issues in our increasingly interconnected, global society.”

Established in 1989, the University of Ghana Dental School enrolls 12 students annually in each predoctoral year. In all of Ghana, a West African nation of 20 million people, there are only about 120 dentists.

Ghana is considered a model of political and economic stability among African nations, and NYU has had a presence in the country since 2004, when it established an undergraduate study abroad center based at the University of Ghana and at a second school, Legon and Aseshi University, also located in Accra. Forty-nine NYU students are currently enrolled in the Ghana study abroad program.