Graduates of the Advanced Programs for International Dentists play a unique role in advancing NYUCD’s quest to become the dental institution with the greatest impact globally on the health of society. In this issue of Global Health Nexus, we profile five extraordinary graduates of the Advanced Program in Orthodontics for International Dentists and the impact they are having on global health and the dental profession. The five, who have roots in Argentina, Italy, Korea, Singapore, and Venezuela, were selected by Dr. Mladen Kuftinec, Director of the Advanced Program in Orthodontics. Says Dr. Kuftinec, It wasn’t easy to select only five outstanding graduates, but I feel that this group exemplifies some of the most notable qualities of our international alumni as a whole. They are dedicated, consummate professionals, who are also extremely caring individuals.
Dr. Wanda Haluza
Shortly after earning her dental degree in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1992, Dr. Haluza enrolled in NYUCD’s International Program in Orthodontics. Because she performed so outstandingly, she was invited to continue at the College as a Clinical Fellow in Orthodontics and then to enroll in the Advanced Education Program in Orthodontics, from which she graduated in 1996, subsequently becoming a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
In 1998, Dr. Haluza, her husband, and their young daughter, returned to Buenos Aires, where she opened a private practice specializing in orthodontics. Within a short time, news of her knowledge and skills spread, and she was recruited to become an Assistant Professor of Orthodontics at the University of Buenos Aires College of Dentistry. Since 1999, she has also been actively involved with organized dentistry in Buenos Aires and has lectured at numerous national and international meetings on topics including management of impacted canines, indirect bonding, and use of Essex retainers.
Recently, Dr. Haluza returned to NYUCD to visit and to expand her knowledge of surgical techniques. Where else, she asks, would I go, but to my second home where my professors and mentors guided me on the path to the success that I enjoy today?
Dr. Catherine Lee
A native of Malaysia, Dr. Lee earned her dental degree in Australia before coming to New York for specialty training in orthodontics at NYU, followed by a fellowship at the NYU Medical School’s Institute of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Today, she lives in Singapore, where she conducts two unique and highly successful orthodontic practices, in Singapore and in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Both practices provide care for healthy children as well as those with cleft-craniofacial conditions. Dr. Lee is also a consulting specialist in the area of cleft-craniofacial management in the Department of Plastic Surgery at Singapore General Hospital. Dr. Lee holds the distinction of being the first dentist to work alongside physicians in Singapore’s oldest and most prestigious hospital.
Dr. Lee is also the Director and Team Leader for the Singapore International Cleft-Craniofacial Reconstruction Center, a Board member of the International Society of Craniofacial Orthodontics, and an outreach volunteer to Laos, Indonesia, and East Malaysia, where she works with surgical teams specializing in craniofacial surgery. She has been instrumental in establishing and providing training for a Nursery Assistance Program for cleft-palate infants in Java, Indonesia, and for a cleft-craniofacial unit for the underserved at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore.
Dr. Jae Hyun Park
Dr. Park was a triple threat even before coming to NYUCD to study orthodontics. He earned DMD, MSD, and PhD degrees at KyungHee University in Seoul, South Korea; had been a successful general practitioner there for eight years; and held the title of Assistant Professor at KyungHee University’s dental school.
At NYUCD, Dr. Park continued to distinguish himself, graduating at the top of his Advanced Program in Orthodontics Class in 2002, with the distinction of receiving the Dean’s Research Award. There followed an MS degree in biomaterials from NYU; a Master of Science Resident Research Award and Postgraduate Resident Research Award; graduation from NYUCD’s Postgraduate Program in Orthodontics; and first prize as NYUCD’s representative to the Orthodontic Resident Scholars Program at the annual meeting of the American Association of Orthodontists.
Today, Dr. Park is a managing orthodontist for one of the largest orthodontic practices in Phoenix, Arizona, and an orthodontics faculty member at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.
Dr. Alberto Armenio
Dr. Armenio came to NYUCD in 1995 with a dental degree from the University of Bari in Italy. From 1997 to 1999, he was enrolled in the Advanced Program in Orthodontics for International Dentists, and also served as a Clinical Assistant and Teaching Fellow in Orthodontics. Back in Italy, he had attended the University of Naples from 2001 to 2005, earning formal specialty designation as an orthodontist.
Today, Dr. Armenio has a thriving orthodontics practice in Naples, Italy; he is on the faculty of the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Naples; he was awarded the National Association of Italian Dentists 2004 award for outstanding research; he has authored articles in national and international publications; he is an editorial referee for Progress in Orthodontics, the official journal of the Italian Association of Orthodontists, as well as editor of Ortho: The Italian Journal of Orthodontics; and he is a frequently invited speaker at major professional conferences. Dr. Armenio attributes his professional success to working with the best people at the world’s best dental school, the NYU College of Dentistry.
Dr. Jose Santiago Nuñez Machado
During Dr. Machado’s stay at NYUCD from 2002 to 2005, he evolved a plan that would allow him both to establish a profitable private practice and to bring much-needed orthodontic care to the underserved in his native Caracas, Venezuela, where only a handful of orthodontists are available to care for a population of nearly 30 million people.
During my three years at NYUCD, he says, I learned hands-on management of a high volume
practice, an experience that gave me a clear vision of how I could fulfill a lifelong dream: setting up a practice centered on orthodontics at competitive prices, while also providing access to this specialized area of care for the less fortunate and needy of Caracas.
The result was the opening in 2005 of Centro Nacional de Ortodoncia (CNO), a unique, high-volume, multiservice practice providing as many as 400 patient visits per day. CNO includes 10 dental units devoted to orthodontics, four units to general dentistry, and two units to surgery. CNO also provides a continuing education program in orthodontics for practicing dentists.
Just short of two years after opening our doors, CNO is filling a dire need in our community, while also becoming a profitable business venture, he says. I can hardly be more thankful to NYU, he says, for giving me this preparation for life in the area of my love and my expertise, orthodontics.