Global Health Nexus, Winter 2002

Friends in Need: Dominicans at Home and Abroad

Recently Dean Alfano welcomed New York State Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat to our campus to discuss ways in which NYU Dentistry could meet some of the overwhelming needs of his constituents in the 72nd Assembly District in Manhattan, the majority of whom are Dominican Americans, including many recent immigrants who have never visited a dentist. Assemblyman Espaillat is the first Dominican-American elected to a State House in the United States.

As a result of that meeting, NYU Dentistry is now working with Assemblyman Espaillat to offer his constituents the entire patient registration and evaluation process completely free-of-charge. There are also plans to bring the “Smiling Faces, Going Places” mobile dental van to the Assemblyman’s district.

Assemblyman Espaillat also spoke about the critical need for dental equipment in the Dominican Republic. At Assemblyman Espaillat’s request, NYU Dentistry therefore has donated more than 40 dental chairs to the Northern Manhattan Economic Coalition, a civic organization which will ship them to the Dominican Republic.

“It’s especially gratifying to be able to make a substantial donation to our friends in the Dominican Republic at this time,” said Dean Alfano, “when the tragedy of Flight 587 has made the economic and health-care needs of Dominicans more critical than ever before.”