Updates from NYU Dentistry regarding the current status of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on our education, patient care, and research.

COVID-19 Coronavirus: NYU Dentistry Info and Resources

May 24, 2021

Memo to: All Students, Faculty, and Staff

From: Health Screening Unit

Re: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements and Proof of Vaccination Processes

COVID-19 vaccination card

Dear Colleague,

The following provides a summary of the COVID-19 vaccination requirements and proof of vaccination processes.

First, NYU’s decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all students takes effect on July 1, 2021 for all College of Dentistry students.

Students attending on-campus classes may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons; such requests require review and approval by the University. Additional details about this process will be forthcoming.

Second, NYU requires that all members of the community (students, faculty, and staff/administrators) who have been vaccinated must upload proof of vaccination. Members of the NYU Dentistry community must upload proof of vaccination in TWO places:

If you have already submitted proof of vaccination to both sites, please do not resubmit.

Third, effective June 7th, students and employees who have uploaded their proof of vaccination, had it reviewed, and are determined to be fully vaccinated will be exempt from NYU’s ongoing testing program. Unvaccinated individuals will be required to continue ongoing testing and will be required to quarantine following close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Questions? Please refer to this vaccine requirement FAQ page.

Sincerely,

Yvelande Couamin, FNP
Senior Director, Health Screening Unit

Robert Glickman, DMD
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Relations

 


April 21, 2021

Memo to: All Students, Faculty, and Staff

From: Health Screening Unit

Re: REMINDER: COVID-19 Vaccination Record and Annual Health Assessment

COVID-19 vaccination card

Dear Colleague,

As you know, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) requires that all personnel employed or providing services at a hospital or clinic are required to provide an annual health assessment, which includes completion of an Annual Health Assessment Form and Tuberculosis Screening compliance. Our office is updating our Annual Health Assessment form to include information on COVID-19 vaccination.

  • If you have completed your COVID-19 vaccination, please scan your vaccination card and upload the file here so that we can update your records accordingly. This is needed regardless of where you received your vaccine; since we don't share the same system as NYU Langone, all personnel who received the vaccine there still must upload a scan of their vaccination card in order to update their NYU Dentistry Annual Health Assessment. (If you've already provided this, no further action is required at this time.)
  • If you have not received the COVID-19 vaccine and wish to do so – but have been unable to schedule an appointment – please let us know and our office can help to schedule it for you.
  • If you have any concerns or questions about the vaccine, please let us know and we can provide information and guidance to address your concerns.

Thank you for your help.

Sincerely,

Yvelande Couamin, FNP
Senior Director, Health Screening Unit

Robert Glickman, DMD
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Relations

 


January 25, 2021

Dear D1 and D2 Students

Please note that as of this week, all D1 and D2 students must submit weekly COVID-19 testing in order to complete the Daily Symptom Check and to enter NYU buildings.

Weekly testing now mandatory for D1 & D2 students
Weekly testing now mandatory for D1 & D2 students

NYU offers two testing methods for current students and employees; these two tests are the only acceptable methods for weekly COVID-19 testing:

  • Binx saliva test: Binx kits are available to pick up in the Schwartz lobby at 345 E. 24th Street.
  • NYU BioReference: Appointments must be scheduled (students can make appointments here).

If you are not up-to-date on your testing requirement, you will not be able to enter NYU buildings, as you won't have access to the Daily COVID-19 Screener and your NYU ID card will be deactivated. Please be sure to complete and submit each weekly test by WEDNESDAY -- this week and in subsequent weeks -- in adequate time for the results to be available for you to be cleared to enter the building.

If you have questions regarding NYU's testing requirements, please contact studentlink@nyu.edu.

If you have symptoms, were exposed to COVID-19, or traveled to a NY-state restricted location, please notify the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team.

We thank you again for doing your part to keep each other safe.

Sincerely,

Michael P. O'Connor, EdD, MPA
Executive Vice Dean

Robert S. Glickman, DMD
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Relations
 



January 12, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

As a reminder, with many students planning on being onsite at the College next week, please take note of the required COVID-19 testing protocols below that all students and employees who are onsite must follow in order to enter NYU buildings and maintain the health and safety of our entire community.

New and returning students: Return-to-campus testing

Participation in the community testing process is mandatory for anyone who needs to enter NYU buildings, and two (2) negative tests must be completed by new and returning NYU Dentistry students: one "pre-arrival" test within 14 days of your return date, and one "first-day" test on the day you return.

NYU offers two testing methods for current students and employees; these two tests are the only acceptable methods for return-to-campus testing:

If you are not up-to-date on your testing requirement, you will not be able to enter NYU buildings, as you won't have access to the Daily COVID-19 Screener and your NYU ID card will be deactivated. Please be sure to complete and submit the pre-arrival test in adequate time for the results to be available for you to be cleared to enter the building.

If you have symptoms, were exposed to COVID-19, or traveled to a NY-state restricted location, please notify the COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team.

IMPORTANT: Mandatory COVID-19 Safety Protocol & Guidelines Meeting

New and returning students (D1, D2, DDS Advanced Standing, and new Dental Hygiene and CDE students) must attend a mandatory COVID-19 Safety Protocol & Guidelines meeting with Dr. Glickman (attendance will be taken):



On-going testing

Biweekly Binx saliva testing protocols remain in place. Therefore, all students and employees who have been onsite since the week of January 4th must resume the biweekly Binx saliva testing protocol, based on the date of their last test. New and returning students must follow the same protocol: once the first-day test is completed, the next Binx saliva test must be completed within the subsequent two-week period.

If you have questions regarding NYU's testing requirements

Safety protocols and vaccination program

All policies and procedures related to infection control, social distancing, appropriate facial coverings, and testing remain in force. Some members of our community have already been vaccinated and we are working to expand that number as soon as we are allowed to do so.

We thank you for doing your part to keep each other safe.

Sincerely,

Michael P. O'Connor, EdD, MPA
Executive Vice Dean

Robert S. Glickman, DMD
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Relations
 


 

December 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

While you received an important communication from the University last week regarding winter recess testing, our procedures at the College of Dentistry are somewhat different because our winter recess differs from that of most of the University. Please take close note of the required testing protocols below that all students and employees who are onsite must follow in order to maintain the health and safety of our entire community.

We wish you all a safe and healthy holiday season!

Sincerely,

Michael P. O'Connor, EdD, MPA
Executive Vice Dean

Robert S. Glickman, DMD
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Relations

Binx Saliva Test
PCR Tests

How are we going to do this?

Binx saliva tests will need to be conducted **FROM YOUR HOME** and mailed in DURING WINTER RECESS at the end of December.


So ...

Starting Monday, December 14th:

Binx saliva test kits along with mailing labels will be available to pick up in the Schwartz lobby (and will remain available through Dec. 23rd).

14/23

To access the building between Dec. 24th and Jan. 3rd, OR to RETURN during the week of Jan. 4th:

Your Binx saliva test MUST be conducted on either Dec. 26th or Dec. 27th — and you’ll need to mail it IMMEDIATELY to ensure that it can be analyzed in time for you to be cleared to enter the building (provided results are negative, of course).

And ...

You must be tested again onsite, on either Monday, Jan. 4th or on Tuesday, Jan. 5th.

26/27

     

4/5

*But, if you've traveled to a restricted state

(If at all possible, please avoid traveling to a restricted state!)

  • First, per the instructions above, you must complete the Binx saliva test on either Dec. 26th or 27th and mail it in.
  • Then, since quaranting rules haven’t changed, 72 hours before you leave that restricted state you must take a PCR test (if this 72-hour timing coincides with Dec. 26th or 27th, then you’re covered with the Binx saliva test you'll be mailing in). If it DOESN’T coincide with those dates, you’ll need to take another PCR test ON YOUR OWN — and submit the results.
  • Then, upon arriving in New York, you must quarantine for 4 or 5 days and THEN take another test (and again submit a negative result, of course). After all THREE negative tests have been submitted, then you’d be cleared to return to the building.

Print Winter Recess Testing Protocol PDF



November 25, 2020

Memo To: D1 and D2 Students

From: Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: URGENT: Important Change for D1 and D2 Students

 

Dear Colleagues:

If there is one thing we have learned during the past nine months, it’s that nothing is predictable in a pandemic. Another is that we must be flexible and able to adapt to new challenges at very short notice.

Over the past week in New York City, the COVID-19 positivity rate reached a critical threshold, just slightly passing the 3% mark (currently 3.01%); while this rate is still low, what is most concerning is that the cases are rising at a rate of 5.8%, which is more than twice the rate of growth over the prior week.

Thanks to the cooperation of our entire community, the precautions we have taken at NYU Dentistry have enabled us to maintain a very low positivity rate, one that is significantly lower than that of New York City; however, we know well that that can change within a matter of days, as people return from Thanksgiving travel. In fact, health officials are predicting an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving weekend.

Accordingly, I am writing to you today to let you know about a decision that the College’s senior leadership has made to keep our community safe, ensure our students’ academic progress, and continue our clinical care operation in the face of an anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases.

Specifically, all D1 and D2 students are asked not to return in-person to the College on Monday, November 30. Instead, D1 and D2 students should continue remote learning activities and plan to be on site at the College and ready to return to preclinical activities on January 19, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. These students will have the opportunity to make up any preclinical experiences that they missed during the period from November 30 to December 18.

This change affects only D1 and D2 students; all other students are to adhere to the return dates indicated in their program’s Academic Calendar.

Please understand that this is not a decision that we have arrived at lightly. We have done so with the aim of keeping positivity rates at the College low by reducing the number of people coming into our building, while enabling the DDS Class of 2021 to graduate on time and the Class of 2022 to move forward with their clinical requirements. Simply put, we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risk so that we can avoid a lockdown. We recognize that this is not an ideal situation, but it is one that is designed to continue to keep our community safe and to remain operational.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


 

November 16, 2020

Memo To: NYU Dentistry Community

From: Robert Glickman and Glenn Marrus

Subject: COVID-19 ALERT: Compliance and Vigilance

COVID-19 ALERT: Compliance and Vigilance

Dear Colleague:

This past week has brought news of dramatic increases in COVID-19 rates throughout the country. And while we remain grateful that we, as a community, have been very diligent thus far about following the policies and procedures outlined in the Health & Safety Plan that are so critical to maintaining a safe environment, we must all remain super-conscientious, as Dean Bertolami mentioned in his email on Friday, to ensure that we take every precaution to prevent the spread of the virus during these trying times. Specifically:

Wear your mask and all PPE properly

  • Once in the building, wear ONLY the PPE provided by the College — cloth masks and personal KN95 masks are not proper PPE and must not be donned.
  • Make sure masks and N95 respirators fit snugly on your face. If additional fit testing is required because of a change such as facial hair growth, follow the instructions provided for N95 Fit Testing/Equivalents on the Health & Safety Plan page.
  • Do not wear masks or respirators below your chin or pulled down under your nose, and do not remove them when you are speaking.
  • Keep your mask on when talking on your cell phone; you can be heard through your mask.
  • When you momentarily remove your mask to eat or drink, immediately place it back over your face. Do not leave it off for extended periods of time even when resting, unless you are by yourself.

Stay safe during breaks

  • Limit time in the Commons and other shared spaces — and adhere to the "one person per table" rule.
  • Make sure to practice appropriate social distancing at all times and in all locations.
  • Remove your mask only when actively eating or drinking — replace your mask when you’re finished eating or drinking.
  • As much as possible and weather permitting, eat meals outside in courtyards or other outdoor spaces.

Continue to practice hand hygiene

  • Wash your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  • Remember not to touch your face.
  • Use hand sanitizer when you are not able to wash your hands, especially after exiting public transit or whenever you are on the go.

Avoid congregating in groups — within the College and outside of the College.


SPEAK UP if you see non-compliance with any mandatory protocols.

  • Only YOU can prevent exposures and positivity!
  • If you are not comfortable addressing someone who is non-compliant, tell a faculty member, tell a manager, tell a Public Safety Officer — tell someone, please. It’s the only way that we will be successful in keeping each other safe.

We are fortunate that, to date — thanks to the rigorous testing protocols that the University has put in place — NYU Dentistry has had a positivity rate far below the city as a whole (approximately 0.39% positivity, based on ~8,500 tests of students and employees and 34 positive results).

In addition, of the ~500 tests that have been provided to patients whose dental care requires aerosol-generating procedures, there have been zero positive results; this has been very encouraging, and we attribute this outcome to the strict adherence to prescreening protocols that have been put into place.

It is incumbent upon all of us to see that we maintain this rate of success. We are extremely grateful for the cooperation and commitment of our entire community. We can do this.


Sincerely,


Robert Glickman, DMD
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Relations

Glenn Marrus, MBA
Assistant Dean for Compliance and Emergency Response

 



November 13, 2020

Memo To: All students in all academic programs

From: Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: Important Follow-up Information about Thanksgiving - Testing & Quarantining

The Path Forward

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to follow up on the email you received on Wednesday from the University titled “Important Information about Thanksgiving — Testing and Quarantining.” NYU Dentistry strongly endorses the message’s principal public health goal for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend; namely, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I am writing because I want to underscore the part of that message which states that “students in graduate and professional programs should consult with their dean's office to ensure [travel] will not have an adverse impact on completing their degree.”

What that means for you, as a student in a professional program whose curriculum does not permit you to stay home until January, is that if you do decide to travel you risk consequences that could seriously jeopardize your academic progress and delay promotion or graduation.

Accordingly, I want to strongly discourage you from traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In addition, given that COVID-19 rates are rising both in New York and nationally, I would like to take this opportunity to discourage you from making travel plans for the winter recess as well.

I am well aware of how disappointing and disruptive it can be not to be able to travel at this time. But I hope you agree that we must all be super-conscientious about doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, the flu season has traditionally started to peak around Thanksgiving. In order to protect our academic community, the patients we serve, and your personal academic progress, it is essential that Thanksgiving travel be avoided. Moreover, as aspiring healthcare professionals, I know you understand that there are circumstances in which it may be necessary to make personal sacrifices for the greater good.

Let me add that while NY State recently changed its requirements for the length of quarantine following travel to restricted states, travel restrictions can change rapidly and with little notice, and missed sessions due to failure to follow travel and quarantine rules are unexcused absences and cannot be rescheduled. I hope I can count on you to carefully weigh the risks and potential consequences of Thanksgiving travel in making your decisions.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 



October 29, 2020

Memo To: NYU Dentistry Community

From: Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: IMPORTANT: INFORMATION FOR ALL STUDENTS REGARDING WINTER AND SPRING ACADEMIC CALENDARS

Academic Calendar

Dear Colleague:

Since it appears likely that, barring any surprises, the remainder of the academic year will look very much like the present, the academic leadership of the College has made some changes to the Academic Calendar for the period of January through June 2021. These changes have been made to enable you to fulfill the requirements for graduation in a timely manner.

The College has made great strides in ramping up patient care and student clinical experiences following the resumption of clinical care several months ago. However, the time lost by the suspension of onsite educational activities in Spring 2020, in compliance with University and New York State Executive Orders, and the continuing building occupancy restrictions, mean that there is an urgent need to find additional opportunities to expand hands-on clinical experiences for DDS, PG, and Dental Hygiene students, and there is no time whatsoever to lose.

Like so many colleges and universities across the country, NYU Dentistry is strongly encouraging students not to travel during the winter holidays. If you travel to a restricted state, you will be required to quarantine for a 14-day period upon your return. Details can be found in the Personal Travel section on the NYU Travel Policy page. If you travel to countries with US entry restrictions, there is a high level of uncertainty about whether you will be readmitted to the US. Such consequences could seriously jeopardize your academic progress and delay promotion or graduation.

Accordingly, it is essential to your academic progress that you follow the instructions below for your specific program — and continue to stay informed via the NYU Returns web hub, especially in reference to quarantine requirements for returning to NYU buildings after any travel.*
 

Winter Break

The last day of classes is December 18, 2020. On January 4, 2021, all didactic classes/seminars or didactic portions of clinical and pre-clinical courses will start remotely. The return dates for classes with an onsite clinical or pre-clinical component are listed below.

DDS Program*

  • D3 and D4 students must be onsite and ready to return to all clinical and simulation activities on January 4.
  • D1 and D2 students must be onsite and ready to return to preclinical activities on January 19, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

PG Programs*

  • All NYU Dentistry-based PG program students at all levels must be onsite and ready to return for clinical activities on January 4.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residents will follow their own programmatic schedule.

Dental Hygiene Programs*

  • All Dental Hygiene students must be onsite and ready to return for clinical activities on January 25.
  • An elective Board prep course will be offered remotely from January 4 to 24, 2021.

International Programs*

  • All International Programs students must be onsite and ready to return for clinical activities on January 4.
     

 

Spring Break

Based on the dangers inherent in traveling at this time and the urgent need to prioritize time spent in the clinics and pre-clinical labs — and to align with University policy and guidelines — Spring Break for 2021 will be suspended. This decision was not taken lightly. In order to provide all students in clinically-based degree programs with sufficient opportunities to participate in clinical experiences of the highest quality, we must use every available moment to achieve the following outcomes:

  • To have 100% of Y grades eliminated for D4s by December 31, 2020.
  • To have D4s eligible for graduation by May 15, 2021.
  • To have Dental Hygiene students eligible for graduation by May 15, 2021.
  • To have D3s eligible for promotion by June 30, 2021.
  • To have PG programs students eligible for graduation by June 30, 2021.

These necessary changes in the Academic Calendar will enable the College to provide the most comprehensive educational experiences possible and to remain in compliance with both CODA and NYS Department of Education standards that govern our educational programs.

I thank you for your steadfastness, forbearance, and community-mindedness as we navigate this most unusual year. As always, be safe and well and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*Travel and quarantine rules apply to all students in all academic programs: DDS, PG, Dental Hygiene, and International. If you need to quarantine after traveling, you must complete the quarantine period before your mandated return date. Missed sessions due to failure to follow travel and quarantine rules are unexcused absences and cannot be rescheduled. Such consequences could seriously jeopardize your academic progress and delay promotion or graduation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 


September 23, 2020

Memo To: NYU Dentistry Community

From: Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: Thanksgiving travel

 

Dear Colleagues:

Now that fall has arrived, and with it the start of the flu season, public health officials have begun to issue warnings that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. This means that getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever, and should be done without delay. It also means that all non-essential travel should be avoided, as it increases your risk of getting and spreading both COVID-19 and the flu.

Given this guidance, I am writing to urge all the members of our academic community — students, faculty, administrators, and staff — not to engage in non-essential travel at all during this period, and, in particular, to strongly discourage you from traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Even before the pandemic, the flu season has traditionally started to peak around Thanksgiving. In order to protect our academic community and the patients we serve, it is therefore essential that Thanksgiving travel be avoided. Please keep in mind that travel restrictions can change rapidly and with little notice. Depending on where you go, you may encounter challenges in departing a country or area, or face difficulties when you try to return. If you travel to a restricted state, you will be required to quarantine for a 14-day period upon your return, per the Personal Travel section on the NYU Travel Policy page. If you travel to countries with US entry restrictions, there is a high level of uncertainty about whether you will be readmitted to the US. If you are a student, such consequences could seriously jeopardize your academic progress. If you are an employee, they could impede the College’s clinical and academic operations.

Above all, please remember your obligation as a member of a healthcare institution to protect our patients and colleagues. I hope that I can count on you to fulfill that responsibility.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

 

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


September 10, 2020

Memo To: NYU Dentistry Community

From: Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: Welcome back

Moving Forward, Together

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to welcome all of you back after summer break. I hope that you have been able to enjoy some rest and relaxation despite the uncommon times in which we are living.

On Tuesday, we entered a new phase in our gradual, phased-in approach to ramping up patient care to pre-COVID-19 levels by restarting all the Group Practices for D4 students, as well as bench and sim labs for D3 and D2 students.

We are well positioned to take these steps. Thanks to the Task Force on Resumption of Operations, which was established immediately after the College suspended on-site education and patient care on March 13, we have put in place plans for a return to in-person, on-campus activities accompanied by an effective set of health and safety standards.

Quarantining, mask-wearing, physical distancing, the wearing of PPE, avoiding gatherings, frequent hand sanitizing, COVID-19 testing, using stairs instead of elevators, Zoom-enabled classrooms — all of these measures will help to check the spread of the virus and safeguard our community’s health and that of our neighbors.

Let’s take a brief look at where we were, where we are, and how far we’ve come

  • On September 8, we marked 179 days since the pause in on-site education and patient care at the College.
  • Before March 13, we averaged more than 1,100 patient visits a day, and more than 2,000 students and employees were on-site every day.
  • From March 13 to June 29, with the majority of our faculty, other employees, and students working remotely:
    • We initiated a groundbreaking Telehealth Service program so that we would not leave our patients without access to a dentist. Over the course of one weekend, a 24-hour hotline was established, and providers from every dental specialty were available for phone consultations to minimize in-person visits to hospitals and urgent care facilities. The service provided assistance to approximately 200 patients daily, administering consultations, prescriptive medications, and, when warranted, making referrals to Bellevue Hospital Center for on-site emergency dental care.
    • By mid-June we were able to provide an additional 40 DDS students in the Class of 2020 with University-approved access to the campus to complete their clinical requirements, thus enabling us to graduate nearly 98 percent of the Class of 2020.
    • On June 29, with the approval of the University’s leadership, the College transitioned from using the Telehealth Service exclusively to seeing a small number of urgent care patients in person — 40 per day at the start — and in full compliance with all required health and safety rules.
    • Between mid-July and the end of August, we resumed specialty care in endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, and the Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities.
    • During this period, we were also able to conduct WREB and CDCA licensing exams for more than 120 students and to provide non-clinical simulation exercises for rising D4 students.
    • In addition, our research labs were among the first at the University to reopen and are nearly fully operational.

As of August 31, we were seeing 240 patients a day for urgent care and specialty care. Now, with the resumption of the DDS clinics, we are cautiously optimistic that we will double that number by the end of the month. In addition, providers from the Department of Oral Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology, and Medicine are continuing with the Telehealth service for oral medicine and orofacial pain patients.

None of this would have been possible without the tremendous leadership, efforts, skill, and resilience of so many of our faculty, staff, and students. These members of our academic and clinical care teams have been playing a critical role in ensuring the academic progress of our students and a safe environment for everyone.

In that regard, I want to recognize the extraordinary efforts, dedication, and flexibility that were demonstrated by the chairs and faculty in all of the programs to quickly modify and adapt their courses to synchronous and asynchronous delivery methods; to revise the order of courses in order to deliver as much of the didactic portion of the curriculum as feasible during the period of remote instruction; to develop a new classification system to determine eligibility for competency assessment, and to provide innovative alternative methods of assessment, which led to our ability to graduate nearly 98 percent of the DDS Class of 2020 and virtually 100 percent of the PG Programs Class of 2020 on time.

With COVID-19 still very much a presence in our lives, we recognize that fall 2020 will be an unusual semester, one marked by a new, hybrid learning curriculum and filled with new safety protocols that are vital to keeping each other safe.

Still, there is reason to be optimistic. During this uniquely challenging period, in addition to resuming on-site education and patient care, we have moved forward with a number of major initiatives that were in progress when they were temporarily halted by the pandemic. These are highlighted below.

Metro Community Health Centers. Metro Community Health Centers (MCHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), will officially open a general medical clinic on the first floor of the Schwartz building on October 1. The center will be operated and staffed by physicians from MCHC, and will offer primary and specialty medical care as well as behavioral health services to primarily low-income and underserved patients, including medically and behaviorally complex patients. Like NYU Dentistry, the new FQHC facility will accept patients with Medicaid.

In addition to reducing barriers for NYU dental patients in accessing medical and behavioral health care, it will also provide a unique interprofessional education opportunity for our students that integrates dental and medical care. Our partnership with MCHC will make medical care come alive for dental students by working side-by-side with physicians in medically managing the student’s own assigned dental patients who do not have alternatives for general health care. In addition, COVID-19 testing will be available.

NYU Dentistry Brooklyn Patient Care. Construction has been completed on our new patient care facility in Downtown Brooklyn‘s City Point area. Like our main campus in Manhattan, it will offer services at reduced cost and accept Medicaid. In addition to providing comprehensive dental care for patients, the Brooklyn facility, which will open in October, will also provide a new model for dental education — an innovative “mentor-protégé” program in which advanced dental students work closely alongside faculty and get real-time feedback. The Brooklyn dental education program marks phase two of a four-month pilot program conducted at the College in summer 2019, which found that this model led to optimal learning, teaching, and patient care experiences, as well as increased efficiency. Faculty and students were able to see at least three times as many patients as are typically seen in the dental school clinic, which translated to more efficient appointments and saving patients’ time.

AHEAD Virtual Symposium: Achieving Health Equity through Access for All with Disabilities. The College will host “AHEAD: Achieving Health Equity through Access for All with Disabilities,” a symposium in webinar format, on Friday, October 2, from 8:45 am to 1:30 pm. The event will bring together experts in the areas of health care advocacy, access, and funding at the state and federal levels for people with disabilities. Neil Romano, chairman of the National Council on Disability — a nonpartisan federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on disability policy — will be the symposium’s keynote speaker. Timothy Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics, Anastasia Somoza, disability rights advocate and community liaison in the Disability, Civil, and Human Rights Division Office of New York City Council, John Kemp, president & CEO of The Viscardi Center, and Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman & CEO of Henry Schein, Inc., are also among the event’s speakers.

Facilities

  • Having made the decision to adopt a hybrid teaching environment — in-person and Zoom-enabled — until we are able to reconvene safely in person, the Task Force on the Zoom-enabled Technology Classroom was immediately established. The Task Force moved quickly to outfit a number of rooms at the College with Zoom technology, which provides the capability for professors to effectively teach students in the classroom and those who are online in a way that allows all students to feel that they are participating equally and actively in the class. Such an environment is vital to enabling us to meet various curricular needs in a manner that ensures appropriate social distancing while expanding flexibility in the face of impediments to travel that students and faculty may face.
  • The College’s Elevator Replacement project got underway in June, when the first elevator was taken off-line. Notably, in recognition of the critical nature of this project to serve our patient and student needs, we received a special exemption from the University to proceed with the construction phase. The project, which will take just over a year to complete, will result in the modernization of all the elevators in the Schwartz and Weissman buildings.
  • Also underway is the Sterilization Upgrade project. The College’s existing three large capacity sterilizers are at the end of their life span. Since they struggle to provide the needed quantity of instruments, they are a factor in limiting the number of patients the College can admit on a daily basis. The project will increase the total number of sterilizers from three to four large capacity, high throughput, highly energy efficient sterilizers.

Dianne Sefo, clinical associate professor of dental hygiene and dental assisting, has been named chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting, effective September 1, 2020. Professor Sefo had been serving as interim chair of the Department since September 1, 2019, following Dr. Cheryl Westphal Theile’s retirement. In her new position, Professor Sefo will focus on expanding programming in dental hygiene and dental assisting, including exploring new degree concentrations and articulation agreements with other programs; developing a Dental Hygiene Continuing Education Program; and continuing to foster research on the dental hygiene and dental assisting professions, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dental hygiene clinical education.

Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, when some members of our community came forward with personal experiences of racial insensitivity and discrimination from peers and others on campus, I made the decision to create the NYU Dentistry Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The goal of the Task Force, which is chaired by Associate Dean John McIntosh, is to expand and improve processes to achieve optimal diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To this end, the Task Force will conduct a climate assessment of diversity issues to get accurate feedback on what the environment is truly like for people of color. This assessment will include a review of NYU Dentistry results from the University-wide culture survey, abbreviated anonymous surveys, individual interviews, and focus groups designed to get a full picture of the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Once the assessments are completed, if needed, we will provide recommendations for specific changes.

We are in the early stages of selecting the members of the Task Force, which will include a cross section of individuals from various constituencies — students, faculty, administrators, and staff within the College of Dentistry.

Patient Advertising Campaign. On September 8, a new patient advertising campaign got underway to recruit patients to both our Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses. A very engaging series of ads will run through November in newspapers and at subway stations, bus shelters, and on Link charging stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, at Queens. The objective of the campaign is twofold: to recruit patients to the new Brooklyn facility and to persuade people that it is safe to return to the Manhattan campus for care. The theme of the campaign is “NYU Dentistry Patient Care is Back!”

I look forward to continuing to provide updates as we move forward. As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves. 

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

Moving Forward, Together

AUGUST 31, 2020    

Memo to: NYU Dentistry Community

From: Offices of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs & Academic Support Services, and Clinical Affairs  

Subject: Returning to Campus: Information and Resources

 

Returning to campus: Stay informed

Dear Colleague:

As we look forward to more of our NYU Dentistry community reconvening onsite soon, albeit in a phased-in manner, and as we have all been receiving important emails from the University leadership regarding the return to campus this Fall, we would like to address questions that have arisen regarding information specific to the College of Dentistry’s return to campus and where that information can be found.

  • All students, faculty, and staff at the College of Dentistry must be in compliance with all protocols contained within the NYU Returns web hub as well as those that are Dentistry-specific, which are linked from the Dental COVID-19 Resources card on NYU Home (it's suggested that you add that card to your "favorites" on NYU Home*). Both of these portals serve as important “living” resources, in that they contain links to information that is updated regularly. Students are strongly encouraged to read all communications, check NYU Classes, the Dental COVID-19 card, and the NYU Returns web hub for updates frequently, and comply with all changes and guidance as they occur.
  • The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page linked from the Dental COVID-19 Resources card contains new information relevant to the return to onsite education and patient care. The FAQs will continue to be updated regularly with the most recent issues noted at the top of the page.

Please note that all onsite activity has been planned utilizing the flexibility allowed by regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies that govern professional education. The College is poised to adapt to changes to the current restrictions as indicated, and contingency plans are in place to proceed as restrictions are lifted or in the event that more stringent conditions need to be applied. Again, please stay informed by regularly checking the portals mentioned above.

Finally — and importantly — the policies, protocols, and mandated trainings that have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of our community during the phased return of patient care since June 29th have yielded successful results, thanks to the diligence and compliance of our faculty, students, and staff who have been working cooperatively to keep each other safe while onsite over the summer months, thereby forging the path forward for all of us. Let’s all work together to keep that momentum going.

We thank you for your cooperation.

– The Offices of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs & Academic Support Services, and Clinical Affairs

* See NYU Home tips, FAQs, and all NYU Dentistry-specific cards.
 

Keep each other safe

    


August 14, 2020

Memo To: NYU Dentistry Community

From: Robert Glickman and John McIntosh

Subject: IMPORTANT: New COVID-19 Testing Deadline for Building Access, and Update on Resuming Patient Care

 

Resuming Patient Care

 

Dear Colleagues:

Effective Saturday, August 22, the University will enter a new phase of COVID-19 testing for access to University buildings — requiring all students and employees to get tested and submit verification online before entering NYU buildings (there are separate test result submission forms for employees and students). Please note that this date was pushed back from the earlier deadline of August 15, as noted in previous communications from the University. We urge you to take the time to read carefully the entire NYU Returns website, which provides important information on Safety and Health, Coronavirus Testing and Prevention, and the NYU Mobile Daily COVID-19 Screener for Campus Access, among other guidance. It is incumbent upon each and every one of us to follow the University’s guidelines as well as our College’s updated procedures and protocols.

Update on Resumption of Patient Care

In the period since the College resumed patient care on June 29 — beginning with seeing just 40 patients a day in the Urgent Care treatment area — we have been gradually expanding our patient-care capacity. And we are pleased to report that the past several weeks have brought the successful resumption of our specialty care programs – Endodontics, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, and of the Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities — allowing us now to see well over 150 patients a day for both urgent care and specialty care. In addition, providers from the Department of Oral Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology, and Medicine are continuing with Teledentistry service for oral medicine & orofacial pain patients.

As we continue our phased resumption of clinical operations, including the return of DDS students to the Group Practices, we are cautiously optimistic that we will more than double the number of daily patient visits by September 30, fulfilling the needs of so many New Yorkers who rely on us for their oral health care — and who are adapting to our new intake procedures, remaining socially distanced as they arrive for morning appointments. (See photo below).

 

August 13 queue outside College

 

None of this progress would have been possible without the tremendous efforts, skill, and dedication of so many of our faculty, staff, and PG students. These members of the clinical care team are playing a critical role in ensuring that enhanced infection control protocols and procedures are being meticulously followed in order to maintain a safe environment for everyone, while continuing to make procedural changes to improve our services and to adapt and learn as we move forward.

We are in this together, and together we must keep each other safe.


With gratitude and respect,

Robert S. Glickman, DMD
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Relations

John D. McIntosh, MPA
Associate Dean for Clinical Administration and Clinical Revenue Management

 


August 5, 2020

Subject: NYU Dentistry Returns: DDS Program

 

the path forward

 

Dear Colleagues:

All of us at NYU Dentistry are looking forward to welcoming you to campus in September. We have done a great deal of planning and preparation to ensure that we are compliant with all federal, state, city, and University regulations required to reconvene safely to continue the semester. As we look ahead to the coming academic year, we know the risk from COVID-19 cannot be eliminated; however, with conscientious adherence to the safety and health protocols that have been put in place, we believe it can be managed effectively.

Accordingly, as we are now one month away from the anticipated September 8 start date of blended classes for the DDS program — and as the University has finalized its policy for quarantining and guidance for testing, which applies to all students, within the last several days — I am writing to inform you that you will receive schedules on or before August 21, and each class will also receive class-specific details in a separate email. Because each class has specific phase-in requirements, it’s important that you take note of what’s relevant to your class as you make plans to return. Highlights of NYU’s policy for quarantining and guidance for testing are as follows:

  • All students coming from or having spent time in the 14 days prior to departure in states designated by NY State as “restricted” or coming from international points of departure must quarantine in New York for two weeks before entering any NYU academic or administrative buildings. Students will be required to attest that they completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine — as well as submit a negative COVID-19 test — before coming to campus. Details will be forthcoming on the University website.
  • We strongly recommend that students coming from outside the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) but not from restricted states also arrive and quarantine for two weeks before entering any NYU building.
  • We strongly recommend that students coming from outside the tri-state area be tested before beginning their travel to New York.
  • Students from the tri-state area must be tested no more than 14 days before they plan to first enter any NYU academic or administrative building.

Please also continue to monitor the College’s COVID-19 FAQ page for updates specific to the College of Dentistry.

We are optimistic that our planning and your compliance will help keep everyone in our community safe, and that we will have a successful return to campus. Indeed, maintaining the safety and health of everyone in the NYU Dentistry community in the coming year is a mutual responsibility; we must work together to keep each other safe.

As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, and as much as we all yearn for certainty amid evolving circumstances, our plans to move forward remain subject to city, state, and federal public health guidelines, as well as approval by the University and the New York State Department of Health.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.


Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean



 

Subject: NYU Dentistry Returns: Dental Hygiene Programs

Dear Colleagues:

All of us at NYU Dentistry are looking forward to welcoming you to campus in September. We have done a great deal of planning and preparation to ensure that we are compliant with all federal, state, city, and University regulations required to reconvene safely to continue the semester. As we look ahead to the coming academic year, we know the risk from COVID-19 cannot be eliminated; however, with conscientious adherence to the safety and health protocols that have been put in place, we believe it can be managed effectively.

Accordingly, as we are now one month away from the anticipated September 2nd start date of blended classes for the dental hygiene programs — and as the University has finalized its policy for quarantining and guidance for testing, which applies to all students, within the last several days — I am writing to call your attention to this policy. It’s important that you take note of what’s relevant to you as you make plans to return.

Highlights of NYU’s policy for quarantining and guidance for testing are as follows:

  • All students coming from or having spent time in the 14 days prior to departure in states designated by NY State as “restricted” or coming from international points of departure must quarantine in New York for two weeks before entering any NYU academic or administrative buildings. Students will be required to attest that they completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine — as well as submit a negative COVID-19 test — before coming to campus. Details will be forthcoming on the University website.
  • We strongly recommend that students coming from outside the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) but not from restricted states also arrive and quarantine for two weeks before entering any NYU building.
  • We strongly recommend that students coming from outside the tri-state area be tested before beginning their travel to New York.
  • Students from the tri-state area must be tested no more than 14 days before they plan to first enter any NYU academic or administrative building.
  • Here is the direct link for students to submit test results to the University. Tests results must be submitted prior to initial entry.

Please also continue to monitor the College’s COVID-19 FAQ page for updates specific to the College of Dentistry.

We are optimistic that our planning and your compliance will help keep everyone in our community safe, and that we will have a successful return to campus. Indeed, maintaining the safety and health of everyone in the NYU Dentistry community in the coming year is a mutual responsibility; we must work together to keep each other safe.

As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, and as much as we all yearn for certainty amid evolving circumstances, our plans to move forward remain subject to city, state, and federal public health guidelines, as well as approval by the University and the New York State Department of Health.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 



 

Subject: NYU Dentistry Returns: PG Programs

Dear Colleagues:

While many continuing PG students have recently been involved in the College’s phase-in of urgent and/or limited continuing care to patients, the incoming PGY-1 students have been actively engaged in the PG core and specialty-specific foundational didactic courses through remote learning during this period. All of us at NYU Dentistry are looking forward to welcoming all of you to campus in September. We have done a great deal of planning and preparation to ensure that we are compliant with all federal, state, city, and University regulations required to reconvene safely to continue the semester. As we look ahead to the coming academic year, we know the risk from COVID-19 cannot be eliminated; however, with conscientious adherence to the safety and health protocols that have been put in place, we believe it can be managed effectively.

Accordingly, as we are now one month away from the anticipated September 8 start date of blended classes — and as the University has finalized its policy for quarantining and guidance for testing, which applies to all students, within the last several days — I am writing to call your attention to this policy, the highlights of which are summarized below. Please pay specific attention to the schedules that you receive, and most especially to the communications and directives that you receive directly from each of your programs. Several of the Advanced Education Programs have standardization training sessions scheduled to begin in late August. If you are scheduled for such sessions, you must take that into account in your travel/quarantine plans. Because each Advanced Education Program and each class therein has specific phase-in requirements, it’s important that you take note of what’s relevant to your class as you make plans to return.

Please note the following:

  • If you have not already done so, you MUST download the NYU Mobile app, complete the COVID-19 symptom check questionnaire, and present the app's "cleared to work" authorization to the Public Safety Officers upon entering the building each day you are scheduled to be at the College.
  • You MUST complete all mandatory online trainings specified by the Office of Clinical Affairs before returning to the College; and MUST attend all assigned in-person trainings arranged by your program with the Office of Clinical Affairs.
  • All PGY1s and PGY3s MUST complete the online portion of CPR re-certification no later than August 31 and MUST attend their assigned in-person training session in order to participate in clinical assignments.

Highlights of NYU’s policy for quarantining and guidance for testing are as follows:

All students coming from or having spent time in the 14 days prior to departure in states designated by NY State as “restricted” or coming from international points of departure must quarantine in New York for two weeks before entering any NYU academic or administrative buildings. Students will be required to attest that they completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine — as well as submit a negative COVID-19 test — before coming to campus. Details will be forthcoming on the University website.

We strongly recommend that students coming from outside the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT) but not from restricted states also arrive and quarantine for two weeks before entering any NYU building.

We strongly recommend that students coming from outside the tri-state area be tested before beginning their travel to New York.

Students from the tri-state area must be tested no more than 14 days before they plan to first enter any NYU academic or administrative building.

Please also continue to monitor the College’s COVID-19 FAQ page for updates specific to the College of Dentistry.

We are optimistic that our planning and your compliance will help keep everyone in our community safe, and that we will have a successful return to campus. Indeed, maintaining the safety and health of everyone in the NYU Dentistry community in the coming year is a mutual responsibility; we must work together to keep each other safe.

As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, and as much as we all yearn for certainty amid evolving circumstances, our plans to move forward remain subject to city, state, and federal public health guidelines, as well as approval by the University and the New York State Department of Health.

Should you have any questions related to this information, please contact your Program Director for guidance.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


July 13, 2020

Memo To: NYU Dentistry Community

From: Robert Glickman and John McIntosh

Subject: Resuming Patient Care: Two Weeks In

Resuming Patient Care

Dear Colleagues:

With new and necessarily modified procedures in place to ensure the health and safety of our entire community, the College of Dentistry resumed Urgent Care services by appointment only for a limited number of patients on Monday, June 29th. These modifications include enhanced infection control protocols and procedures that are critical to maintaining a safe environment for everyone.

While there are and will continue to be challenges in providing clinical care in the current environment, we are pleased to report that the tremendous efforts and dedication of so many of our faculty and staff have made it possible for us to see approximately 250 patients with urgent dental needs in our first two weeks back. As we move forward with our phased reopening of clinical operations, our hope is to increase that number gradually in the coming weeks, starting with the specialty areas.

Please keep in mind that in order to move forward, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to follow the new social distancing and infection control procedures. We all must remain aware of everything going on around us — and have the confidence to speak up if we see that a protocol is being breached or a required procedure is not being followed. By remaining constantly vigilant, we will be able to keep each other safe. So please, if you see something, say something.

As we continue to welcome back our patients, our obligation is to provide the safest and best care we can; our opportunity is to create the kind of environment in which we would all want to receive treatment.

Over the past two weeks, we have made some procedural changes to improve our services, and we will continue to learn and adapt as we move forward. Following are some of the updated processes/protocols that already have been instituted:

Entrances

  • Patients arrive at the main entrance at 345 E. 24th Street.
  • Employees and students arrive at the 25th Street entrance (338 E. 25th St.), and must proceed to the Public Safety desk to present their “cleared to report to work” confirmation from the NYU Mobile app (please refer to the Health & Safety Plan for details on this and other important information).
  • For the time being, the First Avenue entrance is closed; we expect to reopen it in September, but more information on that will follow.

Infection Control

  • We have secured the necessary PPE required to provide care in the safest environment possible.
  • We have been limiting procedures that produce aerosols.
  • Plexiglass barriers have been installed in all appropriate areas where person-to-person contact is necessary.
  • All employees and students must complete the mandated training modules before entering the building (please refer to the Health & Safety Plan for details).
  • Cleaning and disinfecting regimens by facilities staff have been greatly increased.
  • Health and safety reminders are posted throughout the building and in the elevators.

New Process for Patient Appointments

  • All patients are prescreened no more than 24 hours before their appointment, must check in with the Patient Service Representative desk just inside the revolving doors (at the bottom of the stairway), and be screened onsite with a temperature check at the top of the stairway. There are no walk-in appointments, and patients are being advised to arrive alone. The only exception is if a caregiver is needed. Please see the Resuming Patient Care Services page to learn more about what information is being provided to patients who are seeking appointments.
  • If a patient asks you for an appointment, please inform them that we are providing a limited number of urgent care appointments at this time, and that they should call Urgent Care (212-998-9660). You may also direct them to the website for more information.

 

Resuming Patient Care Signage

As a reminder, entrance to the College is restricted to authorized personnel only. We are working hard to limit building occupancy levels in order to maintain the appropriate social distancing requirements. If you have any questions about your return to work date, please contact your department Chair, supervisor, or Human Resources and Faculty Services.

All relevant information/links can be found on the Dental COVID-19 Resources card on NYU Home. And as always, please refer to the NYU Dentistry Clinic Manual page for our current clinic manual policies.

We appreciate the cooperation of our entire community as we move forward with resumption of patient care, and we tip our hats to the deeply committed team of faculty and staff who have been setting the bar very high for the rest of us as they’ve readied the College for this current phase of our plan.


With gratitude and respect,

Robert S. Glickman, DMD
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Hospital Relations

John D. McIntosh, MPA
Associate Dean for Clinical Administration and Clinical Revenue Management

 


June 18, 2020

Subject: A Message from Dean Charles N. Bertolami  

the path forward

Dear Colleagues:

This is the last of the weekly Dean’s Messages for the 2019-2020 academic year. As information regarding the fall semester and other matters of importance becomes available, we will be issuing periodic announcements and updates.

To that end, I’m pleased to report that the past week has brought very good news on several fronts. First, we received permission from the University to reopen both of our Dental Faculty Practice locations, effective June 29, and we will also be able to begin seeing small numbers of Urgent Care patients in a gradual, phased-in manner at the College, thereby enabling us to advance our commitment to improve the health of the highly diverse populations in New York City. Second, we received word that an exciting new partnership that aligns with this important part of our mission has received approval from the NYC Department of Health: Metro Community Health Centers (MCHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), has been approved to open a general medical clinic on the first floor of the Schwartz building in the coming months.

The center, located in Suite 1B adjacent to the Septodont Auditorium, will be operated and staffed by physicians from MCHC and will offer primary and specialty medical care as well as behavioral health services to primarily low-income and underserved patients, including medically and behaviorally complex patients. MCHC currently has five federally qualified health centers throughout New York City; the new center at NYU Dentistry, its sixth, will be the first in Manhattan. Like NYU Dentistry, the new FQHC facility will accept patients with Medicaid and those without insurance coverage.

Metro Community Health Center

Expanded Access to Health Care for Patients

MCHC is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home and specializes in supporting patients with Intellectual and developmental disabilities. This specialization complements the care provided by the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities (OHCPD), a treatment center dedicated to providing dental care for people with disabilities across the life span.

Metro Community Health Center’s new facility at NYU Dentistry will benefit many New Yorkers, but particularly our patients. The center will reduce barriers for NYU dental patients in accessing medical and behavioral health care, as our students and staff can help to ensure smooth transitions from our dental clinics to these critical services.

A Meaningful Interprofessional Education Opportunity for Our Students

In addition to expanding access to coordinated services for patients, the new health center will provide a unique interprofessional education opportunity for our students that integrates dental and medical care. Having dental care and medical care under one roof is uncommon but logical, given that oral health and general health are fundamentally intertwined. Our partnership with MCHC will make medical care come alive for dental students by working side-by-side with physicians in medically managing the student’s own assigned dental patients who do not have alternatives for general health care. Two of MCHC’s centers already have training programs for NYU dental students, and the new health center will provide an additional training opportunity where students currently learn and care for patients.

Until we are in touch again, be safe and well, take good care of yourselves, and enjoy the summer.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean


June 11, 2020

Subject: A Message from Dean Charles N. Bertolami  

the path forward

Dear Colleagues:

Since I wrote to you last week, some members of our community have come forward with personal experiences of racial insensitivity and discrimination from peers and others on campus. I am grateful for these individuals’ candor and heartened by their desire to work together to be part of a solution.

A key part of the solution is ensuring diversity within our community, and the College continues to invest in diversity recruitment programs for both faculty and students. Since 2017, we have been ramping up a specific faculty development initiative aimed exclusively at recruiting faculty members from underrepresented backgrounds. During the first three years of this initiative — which was conceived by and is completely funded by the College — we have already committed nearly $4 million, and we are investing $2 million per year in this initiative for the foreseeable future. Indeed, our five-year plan for the College affirmed this commitment, bringing it to a total of approximately $14 million.

We are also working to strengthen student diversity recruitment programs. Our Saturday Academy, cofounded in 2012 by two recent alumna who are now faculty members — Dr. Lorel Burns and Dr. Cheryline Pezzullo — is a college preparatory program aimed at increasing diversity in dentistry by introducing underrepresented high school students to the profession while simultaneously preparing them for the college application process. Accompanying a five-fold increase in funding, the program has grown from its pilot phase of approximately 10 high school students annually to last fall’s enrollment of 30 high school students, and we are delighted that one Saturday Academy alumna will be joining us at the College this fall for her first year of dental school.

The College’s Dental Assistant Certificate Program (DACP) will begin its fourth year of operation this fall. This six-month, tuition-free, workforce development program has as its goal to provide an opportunity for motivated unemployed or underemployed individuals (especially patients) to gain the skills needed for a career as a chairside dental assistant. Thus far, virtually all have found employment.

In addition, we have been in discussions for the past year with the leadership of CUNY and Medgar Evers College to assess how we can strengthen the pipeline of underrepresented students by integrating aspects of both of our programs.

Moving Forward

To further enhance our efforts to create an environment in which all members of our community — students, faculty, administrators, and staff — can thrive, I have invited Associate Dean John McIntosh and Assistant Dean Dr. Eugenia Mejia to lead a task force to address our campus climate with regard to diversity and inclusion, and they have both graciously accepted this invitation to serve as chair and co-chair, respectively.

John, who serves as associate dean for clinical administration and revenue cycle management, has long excelled as a leader in bringing diverse groups of people together and effecting change. He also has a personal history of outreach to minority youth, whose lives he has transformed in meaningful ways.

Eugenia, who serves as assistant dean for admissions and enrollment management, has been instrumental in establishing and supporting Saturday Academy and the Dental Assistant Certificate Program, and she represents the College on diversity issues at ADEA and at Washington Square. Her experience and advocacy will add immeasurably to the task force’s operations.

I am confident that John and Eugenia are exactly the right people to lead this task force, and I look forward to working with them and with all of you to advance our values of diversity and inclusion.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


June 4, 2020

Subject: An Update from Dean Charles N. Bertolami  

the path forward

Dear Colleagues:

Before I share the latest updates on the College’s re-entry plans, I want to acknowledge that this is taking place in the context of a national crisis, a too-familiar time of anger and pain over recent incidents of racial injustice. As President Hamilton said in his message earlier this week: “Once again, we find ourselves filled with sorrow, outrage, and grief over the loss of yet another Black person's life at the hands of law enforcement that was tragic, unjust, and avoidable.” I encourage you to read his full message if you have not already: https://www.nyu.edu/about/leadership-university-administration/office-of-the-president/communications/a-message-from-andrew-hamilton-5-31-20.html

There can be no question that the brutal death of George Floyd is a tragedy for our nation, and an act that strikes against all that we consider to be a civil and humane society — one that stands against discrimination and violence, and, in the case of our own community, is dedicated to healing.

During this difficult time for our country, and particularly the Black community, including our own students, faculty, and staff colleagues, we need to be mindful of the impact of this tragedy and its aftermath on their lives and to reaffirm our support for them.

To those in our community who may feel overwhelmed by recent events, please know that we are committed to working together to uphold our values of diversity and inclusion.

Moving Forward

Moving Forward

Earlier this week, we welcomed Governor Cuomo’s announcement that, effective June 1, the mandate requiring dental practices in New York to provide only emergency care had been lifted, thereby allowing dentists to resume offering a full range of patient care.

As we move to complete Phase I of Re-entry next week, enabling a small cohort of Class of 2020 students to return to campus to complete requirements for graduation, we are also gearing up for Phase II, by offering education and training to all members of our community in preparation for the gradual resumption of patient care, which will begin with small numbers of patients being treated for urgent care.

Speaking of education and training, I ask all students, faculty, and staff to be sure to complete the mandatory “Dentistry and COVID-19 Training” Tutorial now available on NYU iLearn and NYU Classes.

Your participation will help to make NYU Dentistry among the safest places to be for our entire community — students, faculty, staff, and the patients we serve.

To that end, we are making some changes to our processes and our physical environment to help protect our patients and all the members of our community, such as adopting new prescreening and screening procedures for all personnel entering the dental center; requiring face coverings at all times in our buildings; installing plexiglass barriers for front desk personnel in clinical settings; and limiting occupancy levels not only in our buildings but also in settings within our buildings — elevators, restrooms, etc. — to allow for social distancing. We are confident that these measures will go far in ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone at the College.

“I” Grades Amendment to DDS Academic Standards and Policies for the Classes of 2022 and 2023

In recognition of the interruption of education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has modified its policies regarding grades of “I” (incomplete) in preclinical course requirements for the Classes of 2022 and 2023 in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Due to the unprecedented, exigent circumstances, students in the Classes of 2022 and 2023 did not have the opportunity to complete sufficient pre-clinical work prior to the end of the semester to receive final grades in clinical courses. Accordingly, members of the Class of 2021 may carry “I” grades in pre-clinical courses until such time as the Governor’s Executive Orders are lifted and a safe phase-in to the NYU Dentistry facilities is accomplished in accordance with all University and State mandated regulations. It is anticipated that students will clear all “I” grades on or before the end of the fall semester in December 2020.

The entire amendment is posted on the DDS Academic Standards & Policies (Class of 2022 and Onward).

Reminder: Summer Housing Availability for All Students in All Programs

Working closely with the University, the College has arranged access to University Summer Housing on a weekly basis from May 24 through August 15. The housing is available to all students in all programs who may have to remain in the city for a number of reasons. There is no minimum or maximum length of stay within those dates.

Interested students should complete this form to provide their contact information and estimated dates. University Housing will follow up with details on the summer housing process and the fees associated with it.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


MAY 28, 2020

Subject: An Update from Dean Charles N. Bertolami  

the path forward

 

Phase I of Re-Entry Approved: Class of 2020 Students with Outstanding Requirements Needed for Graduation Can Return to Campus on Monday, June 8

I am extremely pleased to report that the College of Dentistry has received permission from the University to allow a small cohort of D4 students with outstanding graduation requirements to return to campus starting on June 8. This will provide those students with specific deficiencies who were ineligible to complete certain competencies or requirements remotely with an opportunity to qualify for a May diploma and move forward with the next stage in their professional lives. The students whose deficiencies have been defined as eligible to challenge their remaining requirements in this manner have been or will be notified by the course directors/department chairs of their eligibility status. In conjunction with the Office of Clinical Affairs, led by Associate Dean Robert Glickman, the specific faculty and departmental leadership will provide the eligible students with specific instructions to follow.

I want to thank the University for agreeing to our request to accommodate the needs of our qualified students during this unprecedented period.

I also want to thank Dr. Andrea Schreiber, senior associate dean for education, who proposed a non-clinical alternative to complete requirements in compliance with the temporary flexibility afforded by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). The proposal was endorsed and adopted by the New York State Academic Dental Centers (NYSADC). The New York State Department of Education (DOE) has agreed to follow CODA’s recommendations and final approvals once they are released.

Coming Soon: Zoom-enabled Classrooms

Zoom

With COVID-19 still very much a presence in our lives, and our commitment to the safety of our entire community as the basis for our actions, we have made the decision to adopt a hybrid teaching environment — in-person and Zoom-enabled — when we are able to reconvene in-person (subject to government health directives). Such an environment will enable us to meet various curricular needs in a manner that assures appropriate social distancing while expanding flexibility in the face of impediments to travel that students and faculty may face.

In taking this step, we are aligning with University policy expressed in a May 19, 2020, letter from the NYU Provost to undergraduates titled "The 2020-21 School Year — Safety, Academics, Flexibility," in which she discusses plans being developed by the University to offer students options for taking classes this fall, including offering classes in a mixed mode to enable both students and faculty to participate either in-person or remotely.

Our goal is to provide the capability for professors to effectively teach students who are in the classroom and those who are online in a way that allows all students to feel that they are participating equally and actively in the class. Because Zoom technology enables classrooms to be linked, this means that all students can see the presentation (including various image sources), see one another, and ask questions of the professor. Professors will be able to teach a Zoom-hybrid class either in person or from a remote location.

The classrooms that will be outfitted immediately with this technology are rooms 202, 210, 220, and 230 at 433 First Avenue and Septodont auditorium at 345 E. 24th Street. We are also exploring other spaces on campus that could be adapted to host Zoom classes, including Nagle Lecture Hall, other classrooms, and conference rooms.

Reminder: Dentistry and COVID-19 Training Now Available in NYU iLearn

iLearn

In preparation for the resumption of preclinical and clinical operations, the Office of Compliance and Emergency Response has developed the first in a series of mandatory tutorials. The initial tutorial is now accessible via iLearn and linked from the Dental COVID-19 Resources card on NYU Home. Students should have access to the tutorial via NYU Classes within the week.

“Dentistry and COVID-19,” provides an overview of Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus, as per CDC Guidelines. The 45-minute tutorial focuses on identification of specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, and routes of transmission. It explains how exposure prevention and control in the delivery of dental care can be achieved by recognizing, understanding, and utilizing engineering, administrative, work practice controls, and types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), all in compliance with OSHA guidelines.

Additional tutorials will follow and will include specific guidelines and practices that will be required for the delivery of patient care.

NYU Alumni Couple to Receive Prestigious NYU Alumni Changemaker Award

Grossman Family

Dr. Jay Grossman, second from right, and Dr. Briar Flicker-Grossman, center, with family members
 

Jay Grossman, DDS, Class of 1988, and his wife, Dr. Briar Flicker-Grossman, MSW, Silver School of Social Work, Class of 1986, have been selected to receive the prestigious 2020 NYU Alumni Changemaker Award. The Alumni Changemaker Award recognizes a select group of NYU alumni whose accomplishments help build a better world. The Grossmans are one of two alumni couples who are sharing the award this year, the first year couples were named.

Chosen by the NYU Alumni Association Board from crowdsourced nominations, these alumni are the best of the best: entrepreneurs and visionaries who save lives, reduce suffering, and bring hope to the marginalized.

The Grossmans were chosen for their extraordinary efforts and dedication to Homeless Not Toothless, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free, high-quality dental care to the homeless, foster youth, veterans, and other underserved groups in Los Angeles — he as founder and CEO of the organization and she as vice president. Inspired by the Grossmans’ example, more than 100 Los Angeles-area dentists have donated their professional services to these groups, resulting in more than $5 million in pro bono Homeless Not Toothless Services provided to date.

In being selected to receive this award, Dr. Grossman joins two other NYU Dentistry alumni, Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, DDS Program Class of 1992, and currently the Helen L. Kimmel Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health, and a preeminent facial transplant surgeon; and Mr. Jean Paul Laurent, Dental Hygiene Program Class of 2013, founder and CEO of Unspoken Smiles Foundation, which brings dental supplies, volunteer dentists, and dental hygiene education to some of the world’s most underserved communities.

Both Dr. Rodriguez and Mr. Laurent were recipients of the inaugural NYU Alumni Changemaker Award, which was established in 2018.

We congratulate Dr. Grossman and Dr. Flicker-Grossman on this well-deserved distinction, and on all Dr. Grossman does to bring honor to his alma mater.

As always, be well and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


MAY 21, 2020

Subject: A Message from Dean Charles N. Bertolami  

Dear Colleagues:

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak upending so much in our lives, there remain reasons to celebrate. I’m thinking in particular of our immense pride in the Class of 2020 graduating students in all programs. Over the past week, we saluted their achievements and wished them well virtually as they prepare for the future. These celebrations are highlighted below.

Dean’s Student Awards

The Dean’s Student Awards Ceremony, held on Friday, May 15, brought together approximately 300 members of our community to celebrate the high degree of academic excellence, clinical skills, leadership, and service demonstrated by so many DDS students over the past four years. Peer Mentors, Peer Tutors, Admissions Ambassadors, and Teaching Assistants were also recognized for their service to the NYU Dentistry community. The full program can be viewed here.

NYU Dentistry Online Tribute to the Class of 2020

On Monday, May 18, the College recognized graduating students in all degree programs with a virtual celebration. While it’s not a replacement for a graduation ceremony — which we are now making plans to hold in May 2021 — I’m pleased that it provides an opportunity for fellow students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, and friends to offer good wishes to the Class of 2020.

Graduating students representing the DDS, PG, dental hygiene, and master’s programs shared memories of their learning experiences and the bonds that they forged with one another in the celebratory video. Even in these very unusual circumstances, they have embraced the challenges of a demanding curriculum and have demonstrated resiliency in adapting to this unprecedented period in our lives. The online tribute can be viewed here.

University-wide Virtual Celebration of the Class of 2020

A virtual celebration of graduating students throughout the University premiered on May 20, 2020.

The online event saluted students graduating from all NYU schools through remarks and videos, and concluded with a symbolic conferral of degrees by President Hamilton. An in-person Commencement will be rescheduled. Click here to view the event.

In other news . . .

Summer Housing Availability for All Students in All Programs

Working closely with the University, the College has arranged access to University Summer Housing on a weekly basis from May 24 through August 15. The housing is available to all students in all programs who may have to remain in the city for a number of reasons, including completion of clinical requirements for graduating students. There is no minimum or maximum length of stay within those dates.

Interested students should complete this form to provide their contact information and estimated dates. University Housing will then follow up with details on the summer housing process and fees associated with it.

Summer Schedules

Summer schedules for D2, D3, and D4 students have gone out. D1 students will receive their schedules on the second day of orientation, on July 7. Dental hygiene students already have their summer schedules and other programs have delayed their start until September or are updating students’ schedules individually.

The Coming Weekend

On this Memorial Day weekend, unlike any that we have known, I want to wish all the members of our academic community a healthy, calm, and relaxing experience — a true respite from the challenges of the past several months. As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,
Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean


 


MAY 14, 2020

Subject: An Update on Re-entry Plans from Dean Charles N. Bertolami  

The Path Forward

Dear Colleagues:

In recent days, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been saying that when the "New York on Pause" period ends tomorrow, May 15th, New York will not open all at once, but rather in phases — and as he emphasizes, "intelligently." This approach is also at the heart of our plan with respect to resuming in-person education and clinical activities at the College. And here I’d like to reiterate what that looks like for us now and in the coming months.

On Resuming Preclinical and Clinical Activities

We are actively engaged in efforts to return both graduating and continuing students in all programs to our campus as soon as we are authorized to do so by the University, the New York State Department of Health, and city, state, and federal agencies. And we are committed to doing this in a way that safeguards the health and well-being of all the members of our community.

A top priority is re-entry for D4 students to allow them to complete simulation requirements needed for graduation. We hope and expect to be able to do this within the coming weeks, pending appropriate authorizations. In preparation for this phase, we are disseminating training modules to our community on PPE, mandates, and education; finalizing and disseminating prescreening and training protocols; undertaking facility modifications to ensure social distancing and health promotion, including the installation of plexiglass barriers/shields, floor markings, and additional hand sanitizing stations; and arranging for necessary supplies, equipment, and staffing. When we are able to resume operations, our facilities will look very different, as they must in order to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

For continuing students in all programs, we are hopeful that we will be able to resume in-person classes in the fall, but we are also preparing for the possibility of having to continue remote instruction beyond August.

To that end, the department chairs and course directors have been rethinking and innovating their approach to teaching their subject matter in a way that maximizes student learning and engagement in a virtual environment. This approach has led to a reconfigured schedule that involves not only decompressing the curriculum for the summer and fall by frontloading as many didactic courses as possible, but also provides opportunities for some extremely creative solutions to challenging issues. For example, the updated schedules for the summer months, which will be going out soon, provide a reduced schedule in June for rising D3 students, which will give them more time to study for their boards.

Additional initiatives include redesigning the Head and Neck Anatomy lab to be held virtually, if necessary, in the fall, utilizing digitized images of the plastinations and slice materials that are unique to the College’s collection. Short of being able to physically touch the materials, the labs will be conducted very much in the way they have always been — as small, interactive learning groups. The revised curriculum will also include the use of digital dentistry experiences in prosthodontics. This will enable teeth that are typically set manually for edentulous patients to be set digitally using a state-of-the-art platform while achieving the same objectives.

Accordingly, whether we are able to be back on campus in the fall or will need to continue with remote instruction beyond August, our core commitment remains the same: To be able to move forward with our education program as we await guidance from the various regulatory agencies regarding resumption of in-person instruction, and to deliver to all students the comprehensive, didactic education and hands-on clinical training that they expect and deserve. We anticipate that, once we resume, we will be able to expand clinical activities to seven days a week to meet all of our objectives.

Dentistry and COVID-19 Mandatory Initial Tutorial

To enable all members of our community to prepare for the resumption of preclinical and clinical operations, the Office of Compliance and Emergency Response has developed the first in a series of mandatory tutorials, which will roll out within the next several days.

The initial tutorial, “Dentistry and COVID-19,” provides an overview of Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus, as per CDC Guidelines. The 45-minute tutorial focuses on identification of specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, and routes of transmission. It explains how exposure prevention and control in the delivery of dental care can be achieved by recognizing, understanding, and utilizing engineering, administrative, work practice controls, and types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), all in compliance with OSHA guidelines.

Additional tutorials will follow and will include specific guidelines and practices that will be required for the delivery of patient care. As they become available, all tutorials will be accessible via iLearn and will be linked from the Dental COVID-19 Resources card on NYU Home, and students will be directed to an NYU Classes site.

Elevator Modernization Project Underway

The College’s Elevator Modernization Project is set to begin immediately, with the first elevator car coming off-line in mid-June. Notably, in recognition of the critical nature of this project to serve our patient and student needs, this project recently received a special exemption by the University to proceed with the construction phase. This project, which will take just over a year to complete, will result in the modernization of all the elevators in the Schwartz and Weissman buildings.

Recent Changes to DDS Academic Standards & Policies

During this period of terrible upheaval in all of our lives, we have sought to mitigate the potential negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our students’ academic progress when and where we can. In recent weeks, this has resulted in the following amendments to our Academic Standards and Policies for Predoctoral Students, with the most recent amendment listed at the top:

  • "Y" grades: An amendment that allows students in the Class of 2021 to carry an unlimited number of “Y” grades in clinical courses without penalty until the Governor’s Executive Orders are lifted and a safe phase-in to the NYU Dentistry facilities is accomplished in accordance with all University and State mandated regulations.
  • Temporary remediation eligibility: An amendment that provides temporary remediation eligibility for DDS students in the classes of 2023, 2022, and 2021 and is specific and limited to student performance on examinations administered during the period from March 9, 2020, through the end of the spring semester.
  • Part II of National Boards: An amendment that states that members of the Class of 2020 who have completed all other academic requirements — save for having passed the National Board Testing Examination (NBDE II) — may be awarded a May 2020 diploma.

The entire amendments are posted as appropriate on the DDS Academic Standards & Policies (Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021) and the DDS Academic Standards & Policies (Class of 2022 and Onward).

Achievements, Honors, and Good News

Online Tribute to the Class of 2020

We are planning to share a virtual celebration of the Class of 2020 on Monday, May 18th. The celebration video, which will go live at 11:00 am on the Virtual Celebration web page, features several members of the class who share their experiences at NYU Dentistry. Please mark your calendars and tune in at that time. While it's not a replacement for graduation — which we are making arrangements to hold as an in-person ceremony in spring 2021 — we hope you will agree that it captures the spirit and camaraderie of this very special class at this very unusual time. And in the days leading up to our video tribute, members of our community are sending good wishes to the Class of 2020, which are being shared on social media and on the Virtual Celebration web page. Please take a moment to read through these special messages, and if you haven’t already done so, join in the celebration by sharing a wish for our graduating class by completing this form. >>>

OKU Hosts Highly Successful Annual Convocation and Induction Ceremony via Zoom

On May 7, the College’s Omega Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon held its 91st Annual Convocation Ceremony and Induction Ceremony. Over 130 people attended via Zoom and 48 members of the Class of 2020 were inducted as new members. It is a tribute to the innovative spirit of the entire OKU leadership that they were able to host such a spectacular event and a welcome recognition of the academic excellence demonstrated by the newest inductees.

Ginette Lamarre to Receive 2019-2020 Distinguished Administrator Award

Ginette Lamarre, outreach coordinator for the Community-based Dental Education Program, has been selected to receive the University’s Distinguished Administrator Award for 2019-2020. The award recognizes outstanding administrative and professional performance and inclusive excellence that help NYU meet its strategic initiatives and contribute to the attainment of University goals.

Ginette is responsible not only for organizing the dental care outreaches, but also for ensuring that students are able to satisfy their clinical requirements in this area. More recently, she has expanded the outreaches to include prison reentry programs, foster care programs, and productive collaborations with the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities, the Elly and Steve Hammerman Health & Wellness Center Initiative for Women with Disabilities at NYU Langone Health, and the Queens Veterans Administration shelter.

We couldn’t be prouder or happier that Ginette has received this extremely well deserved all-University honor.

New Issue of Nexus Online Now

And finally, a ray of sunshine has pushed through the gray clouds of late: I am pleased to share with you the current issue of NYU Dentistry’s flagship magazine, Global Health Nexus, which takes as its theme “Advancing Dentistry, Transforming Lives: The Evolution of Oral Health Care for People with Disabilities.” In it, you’ll find articles by some of the many individuals whose guidance, wisdom, and skills helped to make the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities (OHCPD) a reality, as well as features on some of the patients and families who are benefitting from the center’s resources and an interview with Dr. Ron Kosinski, the center’s clinical director, about his vision for the OHCPD. I hope that you enjoy this special issue, which also highlights the many achievements of our faculty, students, and staff and the robust grants and philanthropy that are supporting our patient care and research programs.

As always, be safe and well, and take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,
Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean


 


MAY 7, 2020

Subject: An Update from Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Dear Colleagues:

With the health and safety of the entire College of Dentistry community as overriding priorities, the College’s Task Force on Resumption of Operations has developed a plan to proceed with a very deliberate, carefully phased-in approach to resuming preclinical and clinical activities over the coming weeks and months.

In developing the roadmap for re-entry, the Task Force fielded a number of questions from various members of our community, and, as mentioned in previous messages, has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions. Listed below are just a few of these "FAQs," along with key details of the processes and procedures planned for the resumption of in-person activities.

When will students, faculty, and staff / administrators be returning to the College of Dentistry and resuming in-person academic and clinical activities?

While remote instruction will continue through August, the schedule for the resumption of in-person didactic and clinical activities remains dependent on the lifting of University and governmental restrictions. Once we receive authorization to return to campus, we will do so quickly and in compliance with all regulatory guidelines and mandates.
 

Will all students and employees return to the College at the same time?

No, the re-entry process will be conducted in phases, in order to allow for, among other things, the following:

  • adequate social distancing / reduced building and elevator occupancy levels;
  • repurposing facilities to allow for screening areas / processes for all those entering the buildings;
  • accommodating the schedules of senior students with outstanding clinical requirements to be completed in time for a May diploma.

What protocols and procedures will need to be followed before someone can return to the building?

Prior to entry, all personnel (including patients) must complete a prescreening questionnaire; students and employees also must complete multiple COVID-19-specific infection control / PPE training modules.
 

What new procedures will be in place for those returning to the College?

Following are some of the new processes and protocols being planned for re-entry:

  • Daily screening process / authorization to enter: Patient care hours will be by appointment only, and no walk-in traffic or visitors will be permitted. All personnel entering the building will undergo daily screening for health status confirmation and temperature checks. Students and employees must be on a daily approved list for entry (authorization to enter will be granted by appropriate departments / programs) and must present their NYU ID for entry. Patients must present text or email confirmation of appointments for entry.
  • Options for eliminating, reducing, or containing aerosol production during patient care: Environmental, PPE, and disinfectant protocols are all being updated specifically for COVID-19 considerations by the Office of Clinical Affairs, in accordance with current guidance from the University, the ADA, and the NY State Department of Health.
  • Daily PPE in-person training: The Office of Compliance and Emergency Preparedness and the Office of Clinical Affairs will be conducting daily in-person PPE training and ensuring absolute adherence to COVID-19-specific infection control procedures. Sufficient PPE supplies will be available for all College personnel.
  • One-way, dedicated egress for the dental center: The dental center has three separate points of entry, each with its own street address. Our roadmap currently calls for patient arrival via the 25th St. entrance (338 E. 25th St., Schwartz building); student and employee arrival via the First Ave. entrance (421 First Ave., Weissman building); and all traffic exiting via the main Schwartz lobby (345 E. 24th St.). Stay tuned for information regarding access to other NYU Dentistry locations.

Additional FAQs are listed on the FAQ web page. Please continue to check this page for updates, and visit the Dental COVID-19 Resources card on NYU Home for more information.


Temporary Remediation Eligibility for DDS Students Noted on Amendment to the Academic Standards and Policies

In recognition of the potential negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, the College’s senior leadership has adopted an amendment to the NYU Dentistry Academic Standards and Policies that is specific and limited to student performance on examinations administered during the period from March 9, 2020, through the end of the spring semester. Courses for which the final examination was administered prior to March 9, 2020, will be evaluated for remediation according to the written Academic Standards and Policy for the respective classes.

Students in the Classes of 2023, 2022, and 2021 who have not achieved a final passing grade in a pre-clinical didactic course completed between March 9th and the end of the spring semester 2020 will be permitted to remediate the failed course through examination. Again, this amendment applies only to courses completed between March 9, 2020, and the end of the spring semester.

This plan provides all students, who have the potential to achieve, the opportunity to participate in a remedial period. The remedial program must be accomplished within a designated "remedial period" which will be at the end of the academic year.

Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of achievement at the end of this period will be promoted to the next academic year. Students who do not achieve a passing grade will be considered for dismissal or will be required to repeat the academic year upon review of the full academic record by the Class Promotions Committee (CPC). The entire amendment is posted on both the DDS Academic Standards & Policies (Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021) (PDF) and the DDS Academic Standards & Policies (Class of 2022 and Onward) (PDF).
 

Traditions, Along with the New Normal

NYU Dentistry Online Tribute to the Class of 2020 Scheduled for May 18

Although we have had to postpone this year’s Graduation Ceremony because of the current health crisis, we are planning to share a virtual celebration of the Class of 2020 on May 18. The celebration video features several members of the class who share their experiences at NYU Dentistry. While it's not a replacement for an in-person ceremony — which we will have at the appropriate time — I hope you'll feel that it captures the spirit and camaraderie of a very special class.
 

All-University Celebration for Class of 2020

The May 20 All-University Celebration for the Class of 2020 will be a half-hour online tribute to graduates of all schools within NYU, including remarks, videos, and special messages for the Class of 2020. It will conclude with the official conferral of degrees. A link to the Celebration will be posted online and emailed to graduates.
 

2020 Annual Research Days Competition Reinvents itself to Meet the Moment

In this challenging time, when flexibility and adaptability are so essential to moving forward, it’s gratifying to report that the College held a very successful virtual 2020 research poster competition.

The event, held from April 29 to May 2, showcased the work of 191 pre- and postdoctoral dental students, dental hygiene students, international programs students, master’s degree students, and research scholars. Presentation viewing and judging in real time were made possible via Zoom.

Forty-nine awards were presented by the Office of Research. For the complete list of winning presentations, visit the Annual Research Days website.


Telehealth Service Continues to Grow and Evolve

Seven weeks ago, in an effort to maintain continuity of care for our patients and provide access for other New Yorkers to urgent and emergent care, the College expanded its Telescreening activities. This initiative was spearheaded by the dedicated staff from Patient-centered Care services and faculty from all departments. Our Telehealth service now provides assistance to hundreds of patients each day and allows for photo-sharing and teleconferencing via Zoom to assist in diagnosis and proper referral and treatment, depending on specific patient care issues.

I’m extremely pleased that we continue to adapt to better serve our fellow New Yorkers.

As always, be safe and well, and please take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


APRIL 30, 2020

Subject: A Message from Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Dear Colleagues:

In addition to the weekly communications that we share with you regarding our two highest priorities — our plans to ensure our students’ academic progress and to protect the health and safety of all the members of our academic community during the current health crisis — we have also been communicating with our incoming students to let them know that instruction will continue to be conducted remotely through August.

We share this with you because we want all the members of our community to feel secure in the knowledge that their education will move forward as scheduled, as it will for our continuing students, and that all of our students will receive the comprehensive didactic education and hands-on clinical training that is the hallmark of an NYU Dentistry education.

We remain hopeful that we will be able to resume in-person classes in the fall. But we are also preparing for the possibility of having to continue remote instruction beyond August. That said, we are actively engaged in an effort to return continuing students to our campus as soon as we are authorized to do so by the University, the New York State Department of Health, and city, state, and federal agencies. We will have more information about that timetable in the coming weeks, and we will be sharing an “FAQ” (frequently asked questions) web page within the week that covers additional plans for the coming months. Stay tuned.

 

The Profession Looks to the Future

While we as a country are far from out of the woods with respect to resuming normal activities, there is a sense of cautious optimism that we as a community and a profession are starting to embrace.

That thought was in my mind when I received a “toolkit” with interim recommendations from the American Dental Association’s (ADA’s) Advisory Task Force on Dental Practice Recovery. The “Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit” provides thoughtful guidance designed to support dentists who are returning to work after the COVID-19 closures and practice restrictions. It recognizes that different areas will return to a more familiar style of practice at different times, and under different circumstances — and that each dentist will need to combine their clinical judgment with their assessment of the incidences of COVID-19 cases in their area, the needs of their patients, and the availability of any necessary supplies to re-engage in the provision of elective dental care.

From my perspective, the document underscores the resiliency of the dental profession and our commitment to protect the health and safety of our patients. I hope you will feel as I do, that it also underscores how privileged we are to serve our community in ways that only a dentist can.

As always, be safe and well, and please take good care of yourselves.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


APRIL 23, 2020

Subject: Planning for the Coming Months

Dear Colleagues:

As the College transitioned to remote instruction and operations on March 13, a task force was immediately established to plan for the moment when official authorization would allow us to resume in-person teaching, learning, and patient care. We are now in the process of finalizing a plan that, first and foremost, protects the safety and well-being of all of our employees and students. Highlights of the plan follow.

Like all the schools at NYU, NYU Dentistry is prepared to continue remote instruction through the months of July and August. That said, we are engaged in an effort to return students to our campus as soon as we are authorized to do so.

Ensuring the academic progress of all of our students — along with safeguarding their health and well-being — is our highest priority. With that objective in mind, we have created a strategic, phased-in approach to continuing to provide our students with the very best education.

Fortunately, NYU Dentistry is privileged to have among its faculty some of the most innovative thinkers in dental education, and they are taking advantage of the benefits of remote learning to decompress the curriculum by frontloading didactic courses to the extent possible. This reframing of aspects of the curriculum will enable us to move forward with our education program as we await guidance from the various regulatory agencies regarding resumption of in-person instruction.

Once we are able to resume in-person didactic education and clinical activities, we will do so in a safe and responsible manner and all the resources will be in place to fulfill our students’ expectations and needs. To put it another way, all students will receive the comprehensive didactic education and hands-on clinical training that we are committed to deliver.

Equally important, when that moment arrives, we will be in compliance with all federal, state, local, professional, and regulatory guidelines and mandates, including properly prescreening everyone prior to entry and reconfirming health status with onsite screening that will include temperature checks, appropriate distancing, absolute adherence to infection control procedures, and access to personal protective equipment. To ensure that all the members of our community are familiar with all policies and procedures in this regard, we will institute ongoing education and training. Critical to the success of our plan is adherence to a phased-in approach that may involve limiting occupancy levels in our facilities. COVID-19 has created many extraordinary challenges, but we feel confident that this approach provides a realistic blueprint for moving forward. I am eager to share with you news of exactly when we will be able to proceed.

To help answer additional questions about plans for the coming months, an “FAQ” (frequently asked questions) web page will be posted within the next week or so. Stay tuned.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


APRIL 22, 2020

Memorandum to: All DDS and Dental Hygiene Students

From:      Dean Charles N. Bertolami and the Academic Department Chairs

Subject:  Our Decision Concerning Grading Plans

 

Dear Colleagues:

Recognizing that the coronavirus has upended so many aspects of all of our lives, we have given serious consideration to requests to offer a pass/fail option to DDS and dental hygiene students for the remainder of this academic year. For a variety of reasons, outlined below, we came to the unanimous decision to retain our existing, graded, system of evaluation. We made this decision based on our conviction that it is in the best academic interests of our students to do so, and we have shared our decision with NYU Provost Fleming.

Our reasons are as follows:

  • Under ordinary circumstances, all of our didactic courses are given both in-person and also remotely through a longstanding podcasting system. The vast majority of our students opt for the podcast rather than attending lectures in person. Accordingly, the transition to Zoom and podcasting is not a significant change for students from our existing operation. The dental school has never previously allowed students the choice of taking a course on a pass/fail basis.
  • Absent attendance at our clinics and preclinical simulation laboratories, students have had considerably more time for study. In the examinations administered thus far, student performance has increased significantly above normal.
  • Because our students are required to conform to the standards of both the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and the New York State Education Department (SED), we are now seeking approval for a plan demonstrating comparability between our virtual simulation proposal and our usual in-person clinical- and simulation-based competency testing. To add another variable at this point — a change in our system of evaluation from grading to pass/fail — would further endanger the approval we seek from CODA and SED. If our virtual format plan is not approved, it will place at risk our ability to graduate students in May. Furthermore, because much of dental education is delivered asynchronously, many students have already completed their requirements on a graded system and it would be problematic for some students to be eligible for a pass/fail evaluation when others have already been graded.
  • The ability of NYU dental graduates to gain admission to post-DDS specialty training programs will be severely compromised under a pass/fail system.

Furthermore, in order to maintain the integrity of the examination process, we made the additional decision to eliminate backward navigation on examinations but not to decrease the nominal time for examinations, which remains as stated in the syllabus.

As the College’s academic leadership, we are 100 percent dedicated to providing you with the best education possible, and part of that depends on evaluating your academic progress in a manner that allows you to demonstrate the high level of competence that is synonymous with an NYU Dentistry education. We greatly appreciate your understanding and offer you our respect for your resiliency.

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

Louis Terracio, PhD
Interim Chair, Dept. of Biomaterials

André V. Ritter, DDS, MS, MBA
Chair, Dept. of Cariology & Comprehensive Care

Dianne L. Sefo, RDH, MEd
Interim Chair, Dept. of Dental Hygiene & Dental Assisting

Asgeir Sigurdsson, DDS, MS
Chair, Dr. Ignatious N. and Sally Quartararo Dept. of Endodontics;
Interim Chair, Ashman Dept. of Periodontology & Implant Dentistry

Richard Niederman, DMD, MA
Chair, Dept. of Epidemiology & Health Promotion

Nigel Bunnett, PhD
Chair, Dept. of Molecular Pathobiology

Denise A. Trochesset, DDS
Chair, Dept. of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine

Robert Glickman, DMD
Chair, Dept. of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Olivier Nicolay, DDS, MMSc
Chair, Dept. of Orthodontics

Amr M. Moursi, DDS, PhD
Chair, Dept. of Pediatric Dentistry

Leila Jahangiri, DMD, MS, BDS
Chair, Dept. of Prosthodontics
 


APRIL 16, 2020

Memorandum to: All Students in All Academic Programs, Faculty, Administrators, Staff


Good News for the DDS Class of 2020

In our efforts to ensure continued academic progress for our students and resolve issues where and when we can, the College’s faculty and administration have adopted an Amendment to our Academic Standards and Policies for Predoctoral Students. The amendment states that members of the Class of 2020 who have completed all other academic requirements — save for having passed the National Board Testing Examination (NBDE II) — may be awarded a May 2020 diploma. This outcome recognizes that the pandemic has resulted in the closure of all testing centers nationwide for an indeterminate period of time, and that this exigent circumstance is beyond the control of students.


Potential Eligibility for May 2020 Graduation through Alternative Clinical Assessments in Lieu of Clinical Competencies

The Office of Academic Affairs and the Department Chairs are developing plans to offer non-clinical, simulation-type competencies that would create assessments which are considered to be equivalent to a clinical, patient care-based exam for students who have met the adjusted minimum clinical thresholds set by each department in acknowledgment of the disruption to clinical experiences caused by the pandemic. These plans recognize that there can be no compromise regarding completion of all graduation requirements and competencies. Details of the plans are outlined in the message of April 10, 2020, from the Office of Academic Affairs titled “Important Communication to D4 Class on Eligibility for May Graduation through Challenging Alternative Clinical Assessments in Lieu of Clinical Competencies.”

The College’s senior academic leadership will propose these alternatives to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) for approval. It is important to note that these changes cannot be made by the College unilaterally. NYSED and CODA — the regulatory agencies governing education, licensure, and accreditation — must approve any changes made to the curriculum and the methods by which all requirements and competencies for graduation will be satisfied absent the ability to do so during the provision of patient care.

In this regard, based on CODA’s newly released guidance for all programs — DDS, PG, and Dental Hygiene — we are cautiously optimistic about the response from both CODA and NYSED. The guidance reads as follows:

The Commission reminds each educational program that it has an obligation and responsibility to ensure that its graduates of the Class of 2020 are competent and that the program complies with CODA’s Accreditation Standards. Programs may choose to apply the discipline-specific temporary flexibility in a number of ways, which results in comparable assessment and evaluation of the Class of 2020 student/resident/fellow to ensure that each Class of 2020 student/resident/fellow is eligible for graduation from a CODA-accredited program. Programs are encouraged to confer with institutional administration to ensure that the overall program objectives, course and program requirements, and program competencies are fully satisfied in determining a student’s/resident’s/fellow’s eligibility to graduate in the Class of 2020. If the Class of 2020 student/resident/fellow has not satisfied the aforementioned program expectations, additional time and/or experiences in the program may be necessary.

CODA has stated that it is not entertaining inquiries from students about this guidance. But please know that we will continue to share additional information as it becomes available.


On Resuming Preclinical and Clinical Activities

In the face of a relentless stream of COVID-related news, the last several days have brought encouraging reports that, for New York State at least, “the worst,” according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, “is over, if we continue to be smart.”

Within this framework of cautious optimism, a working group has been created to develop a plan to resume preclinical and clinical activities as soon as it is prudent to do so. All students in all academic programs will receive ample notice of the resumption date and will have ample time to return. We will work with students every step of the way to make the process as easy and convenient as possible, and there will be no penalties applied in the event that students face challenges to their plans to return. This is indeed a frustrating time for us all; please know that we are all in this together and are working toward the same goal.

Here is where we stand now: While New York State and City officials see plateauing hospitalizations as a hopeful sign for the coming weeks, it is important to understand that we are far from out of the woods. Protecting the health and safety of our entire community — patients, students, faculty, administrators, and staff — is fundamental to the success of our plan. Accordingly, we will proceed with extreme caution and the most meticulous planning.

That said, as I’ve noted in previous messages, this decision cannot be made by the College exclusively. Our ability to reopen is subject to city, state, and federal public health guidelines, as well as approval by the University and the New York State Department of Health.

Let me add that planning for the progression of the curriculum for D1, D2, and D3 students, and for continuing PG and DH students, is a complex and ongoing process, and a final plan will be contingent on the details of a phased resumption of clinical activities.

I will provide regular updates as our plans to resume clinical activities take shape, guided always by our ability to ensure that when we do resume, it will be safe to do so.


On a personal note ...

I want you all to know that I recognize your dedication, patience, and professionalism during this generation-defining situation. I am confident that, when we do reopen, NYU Dentistry will be steadier, safer, more secure, and better prepared for whatever comes, thanks to everyone’s efforts.

 

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


APRIL 9, 2020

Memorandum to: All Students in All Academic Programs, Faculty, Administrators, Staff

 

Regarding Resumption of Regular Activities

While so many of our community members have expressed their eagerness to return to normal activities and their hope that in-class instruction could resume according to the April 20th timeframe that was mentioned in my memo of March 13th, the weeks and months ahead remain uncertain.

As the past few weeks have demonstrated, contingency plans to minimize disruption of education are subject to change as dictated by the evolution of the pandemic. COVID-19 has caused great disruption and heartache on many levels. And now we must acknowledge that the College of Dentistry unfortunately will not be able to resume regular teaching and learning activities on April 20, as we had hoped. Accordingly, remote instruction will continue until city, state, and federal public health guidelines make it possible for people to meet safely in groups. Once we have approval to resume in-person instruction, we will let you know immediately so that those studying and working remotely can make plans to return.

In the meantime, please know that although COVID-19 means that in-person classes are prohibited, we remain intensely committed to your academic progress. And I promise you this: When we are able to reconvene, we will have all the resources in place to enable you to fulfill your educational expectations and needs, and we will do so within a framework of safeguarding the health and safety of our entire community. We are considering a number of options, including expanding instruction times to include weekends and hiring additional faculty to provide both preclinical and clinical instruction. Stay tuned for new information as it develops.

 

An Update on How We’re Lending a Hand During the Outbreak

The COVID-19 outbreak is presenting unprecedented challenges to our health care system, and I was pleased to share with you in an email last week some of the ways that our community has stepped up to offer help where help is needed. A few additional notes from this week follow:

  • NYU Dentistry has offered two anesthesia machines which had been located in the Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities to NYU Langone because anesthesia machines can also function as life-saving ventilators – much needed in the current crisis.
  • As you may have heard, NYU Langone medical personnel are being temporarily housed in the NYU student dorm on 11th Street and Third Avenue in order to allow them quick access to Langone during the COVID-19 crisis. NYU Dentistry donated 500 adult toothbrushes and 500 tubes of toothpaste as a small gesture for those frontline workers who are using the dorm.

Concluding Thoughts

As we look ahead to a better time, let me say to all those who may have tested positive for the coronavirus, or who have family members or loved ones or friends stricken by COVID-19, please know that you have our deepest sympathy and concern. The current situation is very demanding for us all, but we will get through it. Thank you for your continued resilience, professionalism, and resourcefulness.

Be safe and well.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


APRIL 1, 2020

Memorandum to: DDS Students from Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: We're Listening

CC: Senior Associate Dean Andrea Schreiber and Associate Dean Staci Ripkey

Dear Students:

I’m writing to you today to assure you that the issues that our Student Government and Class Councils have raised with our Office of Student Affairs & Academic Support Services are reaching me and are the focus of discussions that are underway with the College’s academic leadership. Our highest priority is to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help you to advance academically, while keeping all the members of our community safe and well.

As mentioned in previous communications compiled on the NYU Dentistry COVID-19 Resources page, we don’t yet have answers to a number of questions. The uncertainty is because answers to many of these questions depend on the status of the public health issue itself or on compliance with the many systems of governance to whom we answer: the New York State Department of Education, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) of the American Dental Association, the New York State Department of Health, the University, and the Governor’s Office.

To the Class of 2020: I can’t emphasize enough that if city, state, and federal guidelines make it possible for limited numbers of people to meet safely in groups, and we can reconvene before the end of the semester, we will do everything we can to help ensure your ability to graduate on time. In addition, I want you to know that we are working with CODA to address other important issues that bear on your ability to move forward into practice and residencies.

To our D3, D2, and D1 students: Please know that we hear your concerns as well. We understand that you want to know, among other things, what your schedule and curriculum will look like in the months ahead. We are working on these issues and will respond with specifics as soon as we can.

That said, please understand that the challenges that NYU Dentistry is facing are shared by every other dental school in the country. Indeed, we are in constant discussion with other dental schools about the best ways to meet these challenges, as the academic progress of our students is a common cause.

To help illustrate the timeliness and commonality of some of the issues that have been raised, I’d like to share some key resources with you that have been developed or updated over the past few days:

These are important resources that I hope you will consult, because I believe they will give you a fuller picture of the current situation. Just as it is true at other dental schools, at ADEA, and at the ADA, no one either wanted or expected to find ourselves in this situation. But, here we are, and we have to make the best decisions we can to help you to advance both academically and professionally.

I’d like to express my thanks to each of you for the cooperation, flexibility, and professionalism you’ve demonstrated as our transition to online teaching and learning has gotten underway. By most accounts, the process has been fairly smooth; and that is because you and your faculty members who are so deeply committed to your academic progress have risen to the occasion and understand that we are all very much in this together.

Going forward, we will continue to do everything we can to address your concerns, working within the constraints imposed by the current environment, and we will continue to keep you apprised of all developments as they occur.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean


MARCH 25, 2020

Memorandum to: Members of the NYU Dentistry Community from Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: A Message about the NYU Dentistry Graduation

Earlier this year, in my Class of 2020 yearbook letter, I wrote about the accomplishments of the members of the Class of 2020, and about how much I was looking forward to personally congratulating each member of the class on graduation day. That was before the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, which has impacted every facet of our education and training program and forced the transformation of our University and its College of Dentistry virtually overnight.

As a result, as President Hamilton said in his message earlier today, NYU’s 188th All-University Commencement Exercises, scheduled to take place in Yankee Stadium on May 20, 2020, must, regretfully, be postponed to a date still to be decided. Likewise, he noted, the individual school graduation ceremonies cannot go forward as planned, given the advice of public health officials, as well as the restrictions put in place by city and state authorities, to refrain from holding such large assemblies this spring. Accordingly, we have no choice other than to postpone the College’s Graduation Ceremony, which had been scheduled to be held on May 18th at Madison Square Garden, to a later date when we can all meet in a safe environment.

To the Class of 2020: Please know that we are already planning alternative ways to celebrate your accomplishments, despite not being able to do so in person on May 18th. As all of us — students, faculty, administrators, and staff — are reinventing our lives to meet an unprecedented challenge, so too will we reinvent our annual graduation plans to find other options to express our pride in each of you, until we are able to do so in person. And to reiterate what President Hamilton said, “Yes, for all eligible graduates, degrees will be conferred!”

In this age of uncertainly, one thing is clear — the College’s commitment to every member of our community has never been stronger. We will get through this together and we will be stronger as a result. In the weeks and months ahead, we will keep you informed of plans for the best possible Class of 2020 graduation celebration we are able to provide under the present circumstances. In the interim, please stay safe and stay connected.

 


MARCH 23, 2020

Memorandum to: DDS Class of 2020

Subject: Message to the DDS Class of 2020 Regarding Next Steps in Your Academic Progress

CC: Department Chairs

Dear Members of the DDS Class of 2020:

I want to welcome you back following spring break and to thank you for your resilience, flexibility, and understanding as we embark together on a different mode of teaching and learning under complex and varied challenges.

I also want to underscore as emphatically as possible that the absolutely highest priority of our entire academic leadership is to help you fulfill your requirements for graduation.

To that end, please know that if city, state, and federal guidelines make it possible for limited numbers of people to meet safely in groups, and we can reconvene before the end of the semester, we will do everything we can to help ensure your ability to graduate on time.

Specifically, we will petition to make an exception in the case of the dental school to allow us to resume limited clinic activities for senior DDS students, while also enforcing social distancing. If we receive permission to move forward in this way, when we reopen everything will be in place to make this plan a success, including expanded hours to include weekends and additional faculty to facilitate your academic progress. Be assured that everything we do will be within a framework of ensuring the health and safety of our entire community. In addition, we are speaking with other dental schools across the country, as the fulfillment of our students’ graduation requirements is a common issue.

That said, I must be completely honest with you: We don’t yet know if this will be possible. That is because every step we take must be compliant with the New York State Department of Education, the New York State Department of Health, the Governor’s Office, the University, and the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). But I can promise you this, we will do everything we can within the constraints imposed by others and we will keep you apprised of all developments as they occur.

We care deeply about each of you. Defining moments in history, such as the current situation, call for all of us to step up and serve those around us. Please know that we are thinking of you and trying to do what we can for you. Stay safe and well.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


MARCH 19, 2020

Memorandum to: All students in all academic programs from Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: Remote instruction following spring break

CC: Faculty, Staff, Administrators


Dear Students:

As you prepare to resume your studies at the College of Dentistry following spring break, I’d like to share with you both some general information and some specifics regarding the measures that we are taking to ensure your continued academic progress — while also safeguarding the health and well-being of our entire community as we continue to monitor the course of the COVID-19 virus’s spread.


GENERAL INFORMATION:

As the past few weeks have demonstrated, contingency plans to minimize disruption of education are subject to change as dictated by the evolution of the pandemic, as well as by University and state agency guidelines and responses to those changes. The College will regularly update students with new information on our responses to emerging developments. More specific information will be provided for each course and level of training for each academic program by the appropriate program director or chair.

DIDACTIC COURSES:

March 23 and beyond:  Didactic courses will be delivered by synchronous and/or asynchronous remote instruction only, via podcast and/or Zoom. In accordance with regulations for remote instruction, student participation and engagement must and will be monitored regularly to assure that instruction progresses. Faculty will communicate with students via NYU Classes.

 

EXAMINATIONS:

March 23 and beyond:  Exams will be administered remotely as scheduled, to the extent feasible. Course directors will advise students of any changes to the format of exams or to any changes in time allotment or schedule. Examsoft will continue to be utilized in most courses, with additional security measures. Students will be provided with specific instructions regarding implementation of these measures.

 

PRE-CLINICAL COURSES:

In contrast to didactic courses, pre-clinical courses are not fully amenable to remote instruction. Nevertheless, students must satisfactorily complete pre-clinical courses in order to be promoted to clinics.

March 23 and beyond:  Pre-clinical training does not end because lab facilities may not be accessible for a period of time. Accordingly, pre-clinical Course Directors will provide instruction via podcasts, Zoom, assessments, and assignments to assure that students are prepared to resume lab activities and become credentialed for clinical care as expeditiously as possible. Course directors will notify students regarding the status of instruction and of any assignments via NYU Classes. Updated information will be provided as the situation evolves.

 

CLINICAL COURSES:

As a health care facility, NYU Dentistry will continue to demonstrate its commitment to the public to provide quality dental care, as well as our commitment to the overall health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and the community at large. To that end, adjustments to clinic protocols and procedures — as described in the “Clinics” section below, and in accordance with recommendations from professional and governmental agencies — will assure best practices in patient care and education.

Course Directors, Group Practice Directors, and designated faculty from all clinical disciplines for D3 and D4 clinical courses will be in contact with students to assure that all non-technique elements of those courses are completed appropriately. ALL non-clinical competencies, projects, assignments and assessments MUST be completed as dictated by each discipline. This will assure the ability to transition back to clinical care when we are able to do so. Students who do not complete/comply with all assignments will be delayed in returning to clinical privileges.

 

CLINICS:

As of March 13, there is no clinical activity occurring at the College of Dentistry or at the Faculty Practices. All patient inquiries should be referred to the Emergency Telehealth number: 212.998.9660. Patients should be asked not to call this number except in the case of a true emergency. Calls will be screened by faculty via the Telehealth service and callers will be advised whether referral to our hospital affiliate is recommended. In addition, our Telehealth team will be able to consult with clinical department chairs as needed.

 

And importantly …

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to all the members of our academic community who have reached out with their volunteerism, support, and commitment to the profession and to one another: From the faculty who volunteered to launch our Telehealth service, to our IT and EHR teams who are making so much happen so quickly, to our staff who are working so hard to support our mission, to our students who are asking how they can help (even during spring break!), to our alumni who are reaching out with wise words from the front lines. By your words and actions you have shown that we are indeed all in this together. I am immensely proud of all of you, and so deeply privileged to be your dean.

 

I urge you to keep up with all the rapidly changing information through both the NYU Dentistry website for patient information and the NYU Dentistry Resources Page for procedures for fielding questions and/or dealing with dental emergencies.

Please know that we recognize the difficulties caused by the present circumstance and are working very hard to ensure that NYU Dentistry meets it commitment to the education of our students.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean


MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020

CRUCIAL INFORMATION REGARDING PATIENT CARE

In our ongoing effort to safeguard the health of our entire community during this challenging time, all clinical care activities — including Urgent Care — have been suspended.

If you have a dental emergency, please call 212-998-9660, and one of our care providers will assist you via our Telehealth service.

As always, your health and safety are our highest priorities, and we appreciate your understanding during this evolving situation.


 

Memorandum to the NYU Dentistry Community from Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: UPDATE Regarding the Remainder of the Semester

Dear NYU Dentistry Community Members:

Per the email you received this afternoon from President Hamilton, the University has announced that in-person classes will be suspended until the end of the semester. The implications of this decision as they pertain to the educational program and the operations of NYU College of Dentistry are currently being assessed by the leadership of the College. As we consider the various options available to us, please know that our aim is to minimize disruption to our students' academic progress as much as possible. We will forward our plan to you over the next few days.

Please also keep in mind that we are in continuous communication with the other dental schools in the state and nation as we formulate the best approach to take under these unprecedented circumstances. We appreciate your understanding and support, and we maintain our commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of our entire community.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean


 

Memorandum to the NYU Dentistry Community from Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: Guidance for Students Considering Returning to Their Home Countries During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear Students:

I’m writing to you today in response to queries requesting guidance regarding returning to your home countries during the period of remote learning that the University and the College of Dentistry have mandated as part of our effort to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

As per the NYU Office of Global Services, we want to assure you that we don’t anticipate any negative effects on your immigration status due to the temporary shift to a remote instruction model announced on March 13, provided that you participate in your courses from the United States. If you are contemplating a departure from the U.S., you are strongly encouraged to meet with your OGS advisor, Kyoko Tirado, who can be reached at kyoko.tirado@nyu.edu.

We are in the midst of a very complex, unprecedented, and still fluid situation, and there is no perfect answer to travel questions. The University has sought to provide some clarity by providing the following COVID-19 International Student FAQs, which I want to reiterate here.

What possible problems might I encounter if I return home and wish to return? This depends on your destination, and travel restrictions can change very quickly.

First, several countries have placed restrictions on travelers arriving from the United States, so please be sure to confirm whether you may face any obstacles – such as a mandatory self-isolation period – before you depart for home.

Second, even if you are able to return home without significant obstacles, it is possible that you will be unable to return to the US this semester. There is currently an entry ban for all non-citizens of the US (except lawful permanent residents and immediate family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents) who have visited China or Iran within 14 days of trying to enter the US.

And as the US government announced on March 11, a similar ban will be effective as of Friday, March 13, for all non-citizens of the US (except lawful permanent residents and immediate family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents) traveling into the US from the European Schengen area (which includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland).

These entry bans apply even to those with valid F-1 and J-1 visas.

To understand the constantly evolving nature of the situation, one need only note that it was just 24 hours after this FAQ was posted that the UK and Ireland were added to the ban. From this, we can conclude that a country not on the list today may well be added tomorrow.

Please note that this guidance applies to ALL NYU Dentistry students in ALL academic programs. We do not know yet whether or not domestic travel restrictions will be forthcoming.

Given the current situation, which involves so much uncertainty, we ask you to use your very best judgment in making any travel decisions. We are working diligently to address issues of our students’ academic progress during this challenging time. Please continue to refer to the NYU Dentistry Resource Page for additional information, including an important update on urgent care, which will be posted soon. And please know that we remain steadfast in our commitment to your safety and well-being.

Sincerely,

Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc
Herman Robert Fox Dean

 


SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 2020

CRUCIAL INFORMATION REGARDING PATIENT CARE

In our ongoing effort to safeguard the health of our entire community during this challenging time, all regularly scheduled clinical care activities have been suspended, and patients requiring emergency/urgent care may be referred to the Bellevue Hospital emergency room (462 First Avenue, NY, NY).

During the week of March 16, the Urgent Care center at NYU College of Dentistry expects to remain open for emergency dental evaluations and referrals only, from 9 am to 4 pm. Please note that our Urgent Care hours are subject to change.

As always, your health and safety are our highest priorities, and we appreciate your understanding during this evolving situation.

 

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2020

Memorandum to the NYU Dentistry Community from Dean Charles N. Bertolami

Subject: Important New Coronavirus-related Measures and Restrictions

Dear Colleagues:

In accordance with the University’s protocol on restrictions related to the coronavirus, along with President Hamilton’s announcement regarding suspension of in-class instruction, and out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing a number of additional actions to keep our community healthy and to contribute to checking the spread of the coronavirus.

 

CRUCIAL INFORMATION REGARDING DDS, ADVANCED EDUCATION, DENTAL HYGIENE, AND MASTERS PROGRAMS

Effective March 23, all academic programs at NYU Dentistry will be conducted via remote instruction. Students in all academic programs will receive detailed information at regular intervals regarding specific course content, assignments, and assessments.

The projected date of return to in-person classes is April 20, at the earliest. As new information regarding the pandemic emerges, we will reassess the date for return and resumption of all didactic, preclinical, and clinical activities.

 

CRUCIAL INFORMATION REGARDING PATIENT CARE

In our ongoing effort to safeguard the health of the NYU Dentistry community and of our patients, all regularly scheduled clinical care activities will be suspended effective at the close-of-business today, March 13. Regular patient care activities will not resume before April 20 or until further notice. Urgent care will be provided from Saturday, March 14, through Saturday, March 21, from 9 am to 4 pm. The urgent care policy will be reassessed on a week-to-week basis. Students will not be involved in providing urgent care during this period. These restrictions will help in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

 

LEARNING COMMONS CLOSED EFFECTIVE MARCH 13

Effective at the close-of-business today, March 13, the Learning Commons on the third floor of the Interprofessional Building at 433 First Avenue will be closed. All NYU Dentistry students should plan to study at home. In keeping with the University’s guidance, we are taking this action so that large groups of students do not come together in a single venue. This will help us to maintain the health of our students, as well as students at the Meyers College of Nursing and the NYU Bioengineering Institute, and combat the possibility of the coronavirus’ spread. As with the projected resumption of in-person classes, the projected date for reopening the Commons is April 20.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Effective March 23, students and non-essential personnel must transition to studying and working remotely. Essential personnel are not included in this change, and are required to report to work. Departments and offices who have personnel who perform essential duties will be in contact with these designated employees with further information.

This is a challenging period in the lives of us all. You can keep up with information about the coronavirus and NYU Dentistry at the NYU Dentistry Resource Page. We will be updating it regularly, and will be sending out additional follow-up communications as well. I thank you for your dedication, your resiliency, and your goodwill now more than ever. It is a privilege to be your dean.

Sincerely,

Charles

 

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

 


TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 2020

Updated 5:30 pm

As of this time, there has been no known exposure to COVID-19 at NYU Dentistry.

As a result of consultation with multiple planning groups, including academic and clinical leadership within the College, the City and State Departments of Health, and other dental schools across the country, we have been devising and implementing plans over the past several weeks to determine optimal ways to move forward with our important mission of education, patient care, and research. Following are the measures that are being taken to ensure that we can move forward with our mission as prudently as possible. STUDENTS: please understand that if you are ill, concerned about transmission of the virus to yourself or immediate family because of pre-existing conditions, or if you are too frightened to deliver care to patients, please do not come in to the College – and please notify the appropriate faculty member of your concern.
 

ACADEMICS:

I. Didactic Courses

  • March 11-13: University-designated transition to remote instruction. Faculty can offer in-class and remote instruction or remote instruction only. Course directors will notify their scheduled classes on the method of delivery via NYU Classes. Remote instruction will be available via podcast or Zoom.
  • March 23-27: Didactic courses will be delivered by remote instruction only via podcast or Zoom. Faculty will communicate with students via NYU Classes.
  • March 30 and beyond: to be determined as the situation evolves. Updated information will be provided accordingly.

II. Examinations

  • March 11-13: Exams scheduled on these dates will be administered as scheduled.
  • March 23 and beyond: Exams scheduled on these dates to be determined as the situation evolves. Updated information will be provided accordingly.

III. Pre-clinical Courses

  • Unlike didactic courses, pre-clinical courses are not fully amenable to remote instruction.
  • March 11-13: University-designated transition to remote instruction. During this period, in-class sessions will proceed at the discretion of the course director. Course directors may choose to post podcasts and assignments to assure continuity of instruction. Course directors will notify their scheduled classes on the method of delivery via NYU Classes.
  • March 23-27: Course directors will notify students as to the status of instruction and of any assignments via NYU Classes.
  • March 30 and beyond: to be determined as the situation evolves and updated information will be provided accordingly.

IV. Clinical Courses

NYU Dentistry will continue to demonstrate its commitment to the public to provide quality dental care. To that end, adjustments to clinic protocols and procedures as described in the "Clinical Care" section below, in accordance with recommendations from professional and governmental agencies, will assure best practices in patient care and education.
 

CLINICAL CARE:

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

I. Screening of Patients*

  • Week of appointment: patients will be notified that if they have any warning signs of the virus, they should call their provider to reschedule
  • Night before appointment: students will call patients to verify their health status
  • Reception desk: ask patient relevant questions
  • Student/Faculty providers: ask patient relevant questions
  • Night after appointment: call patient and ask relevant questions

*At any sign in the screening process, if the patient has a risk factor, please refer to:

II. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • We have proactively obtained ample supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, gowns, etc. These will be dispensed accordingly by the supply assistants.
  • Level 1/surgical mask provided
  • Face shield with protective glasses
  • Bouffant cap
  • Gown

III. Strict Adherence to Infection Control Procedures and Treatment Planning

 

FACILITIES PREPARATION:

In accordance with University guidelines, and out of an abundance of caution, our Facilities staff (FCM/CBS) is providing the following:

  • additional cleanings of touch points such as elevators, door entryways, and in congregation areas.
  • additional rotations to ensure that all soap, sanitizer, and paper towel dispensers are functioning at capacity. While staff will routinely check these throughout the day, your assistance is appreciated in reporting outages. If you see any dispenser that needs service, please report the issue to the supply assistant.
  • wellness-related signage as reminders to the community to follow best practices for hygiene.