Halpern Wins AAOMS Humanitarian Award

Dentistry Today


The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) named Jerry L. Halpern, DDS, of New York the winner of its 2018 Humanitarian Award for Fellows and Members at its 100th Annual Meeting in Chicago in October. The award recognizes AAOMS fellows and members who have sacrificed substantial time and effort in their local community or on a global basis, improving quality of life for the public.

A clinical associate professor at the Touro College of Dental Medicine, Halpern was honored for his outreach efforts during the last eight years in the Dominican Republic. He is the oral surgeon-in-charge and president of the World of Smiles Foundation, a nonprofit organization that cares for 500 to 600 patients per service trip, with nearly 4,000 children treated to date.

Two or three times a year, World of Smiles and senior students from dental schools, oral and maxillofacial surgery residents, and general practice residents from New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and dentists from the New York Academy of Dentistry treat children from underserved areas.

Halpern and his residents provide surgical needs for children, staff, and family members on each trip. Through the foundation, a six-chair clinic was built at La Escuela Campo Nueva Esperanza school in La Romana, Dominican Republic, three years ago. With Halpern’s leadership, World of Smiles also provides continuing education to local students and dentists.

In 2010, Halpern received the AAOMS Presidential Achievement Award, which honors AAOMS fellows and members who have made significant long-term contributions to the specialty. He also has been recognized for helping identify victims of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in 2001, receiving a Congressional Certificate of Recognition for his efforts. 

Halpern is a clinical assistant professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and an assistant attending oral and maxillofacial surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He also is an assistant attending dentist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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