Global Health Nexus, Summer 2001

NYU Dentistry To Launch Capital Campaign

Major Modernization Project Promises to Transform the Way Dentistry is Taught, Practiced, and Advanced

In 2001, 136 years after its founding, NYU Dentistry is a leader among academic dental centers in the United States. From humble beginnings with 31 students and 10 faculty members in rented rooms on lower Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, we have become the largest dental school in the nation, educating more than eight percent of U.S. dentists. Steadfast in our mission to provide the highest quality dental education, research, and patient care, we have embarked on a quest to transform our facilities, academic programs, outreach, and, indeed, the nature of dental practice in a variety of exciting and innovative ways.

Over the past several years, major changes have occurred at NYU Dentistry that allow us to dream boldly of the future. They include a new strategic plan, a single, unified D.D.S. program, a commission to promote excellence in faculty and staff performance, a new community dental van, creation of an Oral Cancer Consortium, membership in the Biomedical Research Alliance of New York (BRANY), a newly-expanded group of world-class faculty, this new, awarding-winning magazine, Global Health Nexus, a new clinical research focus, a new, digitally-presented curriculum, new Graduate Medical Education Funding for postgraduate students, a new mentoring program and a new white coat welcoming ceremony for D.D.S. students, a new divisional structure, and a new level of national and statewide visibility as reflected in recent graduation keynote speakers who have included former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, and New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Antonia C. Novello, herself a former U.S. Surgeon General.

In short, we have arrived at a juncture where it is possible to envision NYU Dentistry becoming the dental institution in the world with the greatest impact on the health of society. To fulfill that destiny, NYU Dentistry must quickly transform a 20th century clinical and research environment to reflect 21st century technology, design, and function. We must continue to recruit the best faculty and students, and provide them with the resources to fulfill their potential. And because we are living at a time when healthcare is being redefined and dominated by the sharing of information technologies at the global level, NYU Dentistry must foster the sharing of expertise and resources with other academic dental centers worldwide.

A Preview of the Capital Campaign
The only thing that can stop us is a lack of resources. And so we will launch Transformations: Our Building, Our College, Our Profession. This unprecedented resource-building campaign will enable NYU Dentistry to transform dental education and the dental profession to meet the needs and expectations of the 21st century. All of us at NYU Dentistry are convinced of the worthiness of this goal and confident that our alumni and friends will be proud to be part of the Transformations process. Thanks to several major leadership gifts, a nucleus fund has already been raised toward institutional priorities. We now invite you to preview highlights of Transformations: Our Building, Our College, Our Profession. In taking the campaign’s message to you prior to the official launch, we are hoping to stir your passions and enlist your support early on.

Transforming Our Building: A New Foundation for Teaching, Caring, and Innovating Clinic Modernization. Physically, NYU Dentistry lacks the facilities to match our programs. Much of the existing clinical space is over 35 years old and is cramped, out-of-date, and must be redesigned immediately to meet the standards required for our educational and patient care programs and the advancement of our research agenda. Currently, the average size of a treatment room is approximately 65 square feet. The renovated treatment room will be no less than 80 square feet. A total of 565 treatment rooms will be renovated and available for naming. And that’s only the beginning.

Leonard I. Bluestone Center for Clinical Research. A catalyst for our capital campaign was a major bequest from Dr. Leonard I. Bluestone, Class of 1940, which will establish the Leonard I. Bluestone Center for Clinical Research. Providing an additional 9,000 square feet of research space, this facility is at the heart of NYU Dentistry’s plan to conduct controlled clinical studies with FDA protocols for patient-based research. These studies will enable NYU Dentistry to play a leadership role in advancing knowledge in areas where medicine, dentistry, and industry come together to promote better patient care.

Larry Rosenthal Institute for Aesthetic Dentistry. Another major component of our capital improvement program, the Larry Rosenthal Institute for Aesthetic Dentistry, is named in recognition of a major gift from Dr. Rosenthal, Class of 1972. The Rosenthal Institute will be the nation’s first comprehensive program in an academic dental center to train dentists in the burgeoning field of aesthetic dentistry. The Rosenthal Institute will also house the Continuing Dental Education Program, which annually attracts over 4,000 people from more than 20 countries.

Graduate Center for Clinical Excellence. This ultramodern, state-of-the-art facility will house a highly-networked community of postdoctoral specialty training programs dedicated to the proposition that the best interests of patients with complex dental needs can be served by approaching specialty care as a cooperative, interdisciplinary science. One key component of the new Graduate Center for Clinical Excellence will be a consulting and referral service for specialists and other dentists with challenging cases.

Student Center. Our goal is to create a facility that will offer students a broad range of services in one location to minimize inconvenience and help ensure academic success. The Student Center will include an office complex containing student financial advisers and health services, a food court, student lockers, and a lounge area in which students can enjoy meals and socialize with friends.

EXCELLence Center for Performance Improvement
This facility will be dedicated to meeting the needs of our faculty and staff for lifelong learning that will result in mutual success for them and for our students. The EXCELLence Center for Performance Improvement is a key component of the exciting research and learning environment being created at NYU Dentistry.

Clinical Simulation and Laboratory Technology Center. The Clinical Simulation Center will permit situation-based teaching by placing students into high-tech, simulated circumstances and teaching them clinical skills, perspective, and decision making before they have actual patient contact.

Library Technology Center
The John and Bertha E. Waldmann Memorial Library, containing one of the largest collections of dental textbooks, professional journals, and rare books in the country, is one of the most used libraries on the NYU campus, despite being one of the smallest. To keep pace with library needs and expectations that have been radically transformed by information-age technology, NYU Dentistry must relocate its library to a new, larger, more professional environment.

Basic Science Center. NYU Dentistry is building an additional 9,500 square foot basic science research facility, which will feature an open, modular concept. Scientists studying the underlying mechanisms of disease will share lab space and major equipment and will be assigned space based on their needs and on their level of funding.

Study Center. With the creation of this facility, students will at long last have an area dedicated exclusively to meeting their need for a place for quiet study. The Study Center will be open 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week to all NYU Dentistry students.

Transforming Our College: Outstanding People and Innovative Programs
A New Paradigm for Dental Education and Practice. It is our goal to train students to be great people first– people of high integrity and ethical character – then great dentists, because such people will make the best dentists. NYU Dentistry’s new educational model finds expression in a burgeoning partnership between students and faculty that is designed to promote academic excellence, inspire activism, and create new opportunities for leadership in the global community. Within this new framework, students are viewed as entry-level associates in a faculty member’s practice, and mentoring, role modeling, and strict compliance with a code of honor come together to transform the traditional faculty-student hierarchy into a joint – and rigorous – pursuit of knowledge and skills.

Meeting the Needs of the National Research Community. Beginning in fall 2001, NYU Dentistry will offer an M.S. degree program in clinical research – a major step in helping to meet a national need for clinical researchers competent to do the follow-up studies that will emerge from the Human Genome Project. Because the program will not be limited to dentists, it offers unprecedented opportunities also for dental hygienists, nurses, pharmacists, biologists, and other health professionals, especially industry scientists, who want to work in a
clinical setting.

Reaching Out to the Community. The new NYU dental van, Smiling Faces, Going Places, is the first dental facility on wheels to travel to all five boroughs in New York City and beyond to treat children and adults in areas where access to oral health care is poor. By bringing the van’s services directly to needy populations, NYU Dentistry is helping to remove some of the barriers low-income people face in gaining access to dental care.

Transforming Our Profession: Improving Patient Care At Home and Globally
. NYU Dentistry is committed to the proposition that when the healthcare knowledge, desires, and demands of consumers expand, the nature of healthcare professional practice changes far more rapidly than if these changes were driven by the profession itself. Accordingly, the College has created the Initiative to Mobilize Patient Advocacy, Concern, and Treatment (IMPACT), which leverages the power of NYU Dentistry’s location in
the media capital of the world to educate consumers to expect and demand certain healthcare procedures. Examples of IMPACT are the current “Ask Your Dentist” campaigns against oral cancer and childhood caries.

Our Global Dental College
New York University’s vision is to be the quintessential global university. NYU Dentistry embraces the vision of
its parent university and is wholly committed to the proposition that intellectual and professional life stretches beyond the academy into the outside world. Accordingly, NYU Dentistry will create a large formal network of international dental education and research institutions – a “Global Health Nexus” by building upon our affiliations with more than 20 dental colleges worldwide, the world’s largest continuing dental education program, our international student body, and our pioneering programs to provide global access to intensive clinical training programs. Like this publication from which it takes its name, “Global Health Nexus” aspires to transcend national boundaries.

An Invitation to Become Part of Transformations: Our Building, Our College, Our Profession
Transformations provides each of us with the opportunity to shape dramatically the future of the NYU College of Dentistry, the dental profession, and the health of society. To learn about ways to participate in Transformations in advance of the formal campaign launch, please contact Dean Alfano at (212) 998-9898, or by e-mail at