Joining the ribbon cutting from left are: NYS Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti; NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins; Westchester County Legislator Margaret A. Cunzio; Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino; Carol Gomez Summerhays, D.D.S., president of the American Dental Association; Dr. Mark Hasten, chairman of the Board of Trustees; Alan Kadish, M.D., president; Jay P. Goldsmith, D.M.D., TCDM founding dean; NYS Senator Terrence Murphy; and Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer.
Smile! The Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM) at New York Medical College commemorated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting celebration on September 28 on the portico of its home, 19 Skyline Drive—a milestone event for New York State’s first new dental school in 50 years and the first dental school under Jewish auspices outside of the state of Israel. Touro and NYMC leadership, along with students, staff and faculty, joined local and regional elected officials and dental industry leaders including Carol Gomez Summerhays, D.D.S., president of the American Dental Association, for the afternoon festivities. The Chromatic Scalers, the TCDM acapella group, opened the ceremony with a stirring rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. View the TCDM photo gallery here.
“Today we witness the culmination of intense research, incredible dedication and hard work. Today we see the results when one has the tenacity to pursue an audacious vision as we celebrate a glorious and successful culmination,” said Rabbi Moshe Krupka, executive vice president of the Touro College and University System, in his invocation.
“Many of us were told when we went to dental school more than 30 years ago, that the late 1950s to the late 1960s were the “golden age of dentistry,” when dentistry as a profession had reached its high water mark and peaked,” said Edward F. Farkas, D.D.S., senior associate dean for clinical affairs and chairman of dentistry, TCDM, who led the ceremony. “Quite obviously, that was not the case. As long as we work hard to reinforce the profession by attracting the finest students, training them to the highest caliber, and supporting them even after they have graduated from our school, the “golden age of dentistry” will continue.
Reflecting on all the hard work to bring the dental school to fruition, Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer, pondered, “Does it matter? Is it worth it?” He answered affirmatively by suggesting meaningful examples of greater goods that can result from the opening of this school. “I wish to assert that trying to create and predict the future through an investment in higher education is fundamentally a hopeful act. It is the fundamentally hopeful act. It justifies getting up in the morning and doing what we do in education. It justifies the efforts of the students to learn dentistry and the faculty to teach them,” he said. “…It makes me think what is being created here is worth all of the effort because when our efforts on the earth are measured, we have done something very important for this generation and for future generations in the creation of this dental school.”
After cutting the ribbon, guests had the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art dental simulation laboratory featuring 112 student stations with the latest technology to learn and practice current evidence-based dental procedures and techniques and digital dental technologies, such as dental cone beam CT imaging and the digital dental workflow.
The technologically advanced facility was helped made possible by the generosity of the Schwartz Family, for whom the floor is named: The Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Zivia Schwartz Dental Education Floor. At a luncheon preceding the event, Alan Kadish, M.D., president of the Touro College and University System and New York Medical College, gratefully recognized the generous donors in absentia. “We sincerely acknowledge the Schwartz Family for their generosity and support, commitment to the institution, commitment to health care and health care education and their commitment to the community,” said Dr. Kadish.