Touro College of Dental Medicine Joins Program That Treats Holocaust Survivors

Dentistry Today
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The Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM) is now partnering with the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program to increase underserved survivors’ access to oral healthcare and enhance their overall quality of life.

Dental care will be provided at the school’s 109-chair training facility on the campus of New York Medical College in Hawthorne, New York. The program is active in 22 North American cities and five dental schools, including TCDM, with more than 500 dentists participating.

“We at Henry Schein are pleased to welcome the Touro College of Dental Medicine, its faculty, and its students as they join our collective efforts to provide much needed oral healthcare to Holocaust survivors,” said Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and CEO of Henry Schein. 

“It is particularly rewarding to know that the next generation of dental professionals will have a greater understanding of the impact their skills can have on people in need, and we look forward to supporting their efforts to help this most deserving population,” Bergman said.

Nearly a third of Holocaust survivors in the United States live at or below the poverty level and often have special oral health needs as a result of little or no access to dental care as children during World War II, according to the Blue Card. 

In 2018, a projected total of 45,252 Holocaust survivors lived in the New York City metropolitan area, with approximately 40% of that population living below the poverty line. 

“As the only dental school outside the State of Israel under Jewish auspices, TCDM is a natural fit to help this segment of the population because of our commitment to improving oral health in the Hudson Valley region and our overall mission to perpetuate the Jewish heritage and serve society,” said dean Ronnie Myers, DDS.

“Integrating the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program into our service offering not only serves as a huge resource to survivor participants, but also serves as an educational experience for our students,” said Myers.

“We continuously strive to find ways to connect our students with community service, giving back, and teaching with a focus on empathetic holistic patient-centered care. This partnership is another way TCDM can positively impact our community, students, and patients by ensuring quality and accessible oral health services for those who need it most,” said Myers.

Launched in 2015 in response to the White House’s call to action to help vulnerable survivors age with dignity and support, the program provides pro bono oral care to the most economically vulnerable Holocaust survivors as well as individuals of any faith who are survivors of Nazi persecution and meet its eligibility requirements. 

Since its inception, the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health program has provided necessary, free dental care valued at more than $2.7 million to more than 1,500 economically vulnerable Holocaust survivors across North America. 

“Alpha Omega is thrilled that the Touro College of Dental Medicine has joined the program,” said Gary Scharoff, DDS, past international secretary at Alpha Omega Fraternity, immediate past president of the Ninth District Dental Association, and TCDM’s program liaison.

“It will be a tremendous benefit to Holocaust survivors located in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. Touro is aligned with us in our mission of providing expert dental care and restoring smiles to this deserving population,” Scharoff said. 

A main component of the partnership was to create additional educational opportunities for TCDM students to meet, interact with, and learn stories from these survivors, Through the partnership with TCDM, several patients already have been seen at Touro Dental Health.

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