Integration of Dentistry and Overall Health and Healthcare Education Finances Are Themes of Visit by California Dental Association Officials and California State Legislators


A delegation of California Dental Association (CDA) Officers and California State legislators visited the College this morning, marking the 6th consecutive year of CDA visits to attend an Oral Health Education forum hosted by Dean Bertolami. This year's forum included 12 NYU Dentistry students who hail from California. They are: Artur R. Barakazyan, '19, Joyah Brooks, '20, Bo Mi Cha, '22, Benjamin Estrada, '19, Ferris Elhein, '19, Sina Golbandi, '21, Nicole C. Haydt, '19, Roujin Khorramisavoji, '22, Alfred C. Ong, '19, Gene L. Park, '20, Jesse C. Rosete, '20, and Natalie M. Tso, '22.

Presenters Nicole Haydt, '19, Lauren Feldman, DDS, clinical assistant professor and director of the predoctoral curriculum in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, and Jillian Kaye, MS, nutritionist in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, spoke about oral and systemic health issues and healthcare costs resulting from poor nutrition and proposed some potential solutions, including teaching nutritional sciences to dental students and educating the public about the importance of behavioral change in addressing the healthcare consequences of poor nutrition.

Dr. Staci Ripkey, associate dean for student affairs and academic support services, Benjamin Estrada, 19, and Dean Charles Bertolami spoke about the cost of dental education and dental education debt. Proposed solutions included offering scholarships to students who agree to practice in underserved areas following graduation and changing the model of dental education, which is currently more than 100 years old.

The California delegation included Assembly Members Autumn Burke, Phillip Chen, Monique Limón, Chad Mayes, Senators Nancy Skinner and Scott Weiner, Peter Dubois, CDA executive director, Robert Hanlon, DMD, chair of the CDA Political Action Committee and a member of the Government Affairs Council, John Blake, DDS, executive director and dental director of the Children's Dental Health Clinic in Long Beach, CA, Cristin Kearns, DDS, MBA, an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California San Francisco, Richard Stapler, CDA vice president for public affairs, Brianna Pittman, CDA legislative director, Todd Robertson, CDA public affairs director, and Marissa Allen, CDA public affairs specialist.