Dr. William Greenfield, a professor emeritus of oral and maxillofacial surgery
and former associate dean for hospital, extramural, and international affairs,
passed away in February at his home in Manhattan. He was widely known and
admired as NYUCDs Secretary of State.
A 1952 graduate of
NYUCD, Dr. Greenfield rose to national prominence as a leader in oral
and maxillofacial surgery, anesthesiology, and pain control before joining
NYUCD in 1976, where he developed an array of special programs in these
He also initiated NYUCDs decade-long annual free screening program
for New Yorkers in collaboration with WABC-TV; introduced essential dental
care programs for underserved New Yorkers, including the elderly, the
medically compromised, and the disabled; developed innovative programs
in environmental protection at the College; and strengthened the Colleges
ties to organized dentistry. For many years he was also chief of the dental
service and director of the advanced education program in oral and maxillofacial
surgery at Bellevue Hospital Center.
In the mid-1980s, Dr. Greenfield led the effort to internationalize the
Colleges student body by pioneering programs to provide global access
to NYUCDs intensive clinical training resources. During this period,
he created affiliations with more than 20 dental colleges worldwide and
positioned NYUCD as the leader in international dental education.
A man of diverse talents and interests, he served as president of the
American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, the New York State Dental Society
of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the New York State Society of Acupuncture
for Physicians and Dentists, the American College of Acupuncture, the
Doctors and Lawyers Gun Club, which he cofounded, and the
American Association of Military Surgeons (New York
section). A point of particular pride was his appointment as the only
dentist on former Governor Nelson Rockefellers Commission on the
Uses and Regulation of Acupuncture. He later chaired an NIH Consensus
Conference on Alternative Medicine.
Although he stopped practicing oral and maxillofacial surgery a number
of years ago, He continued to do surgery on peoples careers,
as one colleague put it. Another colleague noted that, beyond his many
professional achievements, Bill Greenfield defined decency.
He will be remembered for his remarkable ability to guide the destinies
of so many people around the world, and especially for his great diplomacy,
kindness, humor, and wisdom.