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Veterans receive free dental care at New York event

Ninth District Dental Association partners with the Touro College of Dental Medicine to cosponsor Veterans Smile Day

December 04, 2019
 Veterans NewYork 2
Teamwork: Ninth District Dental Association dentists and students and faculty members of the Touro College of Dental Medicine treated those who served on Veterans Smile Day Nov. 4 at the Touro Dental Health Clinic in Hawthorne, N.Y.
Hawthorne, N.Y. — The Ninth District Dental Association again teamed up with the Touro College of Dental Medicine to cosponsor their second annual Veterans Smile Day event on Nov. 4 at the Touro Dental Health Clinic here, according to a Ninth District news release.

Ninth District Dental Association member dentists, Touro Dental faculty and dental students — under the watchful eye of the dentists and faculty — provided more than 55 veterans with free dental care.

Dr. Ronnie Myers, dean of the dental school, addressed the veterans and their families at the start of Veterans Smile Day event and also assisted in the clinic treatment. The third- and fourth-year students provided the care, while first- and second-year dental students engaged the veterans and their families with games and activities in the waiting area.  

The Ninth District members who volunteered were Drs. Gail Cave, Mukesh Desai, Dina Iommazzo, Bharat Joshi, Ifeoma Nwokorie, Mariann Renna, Bernard Schainholtz and John Tolli.  

 “This is among my favorite events, because it gives back to those who give so much to protect the freedoms we know and love,” said Dr. Kirk Gleason, chair of the board of trustees of the New York State Dental Foundation and a Vietnam veteran. He also was an ADA trustee from 2002-06.
The dental foundation donated $3,500 to help fund the event.
“Ninth District dentists have been hard at work for years to advocate for increased funding for dental care and for community prevention efforts, including joining forces with the American Dental Association in their nationwide Action for Dental Health campaign,” said Dr. Minerva Patel, Ninth District president.

The email sent to all Ninth District dentist members asking for volunteers read: “Veterans and their families are showing up in multiple categories of dentally underserved populations and we have a great opportunity to step up for one day and provide a service to those whose service and sacrifice have protected the freedoms we enjoy in America. Democracy and freedom do not come without a price, one that veterans and their families have paid on all our behalf. Please consider taking part in the Veterans Smile Day. It is all about recognition of their sacrifice, giving it the respect it deserves and showing gratitude.”

The Ninth District Dental Association has also joined the Touro College of Dental Medicine for their annual Give Kids A Smile Day event in February to provide free dental services such as screenings, X-rays, cleanings and fillings.
“Preventive care is critical to maintaining good dental as well as overall health and we will continue to participate in efforts such as this veterans event to help those who need it,” Dr. Patel said.
The not-for-profit Ninth District is the second largest dental society in New York State, representing more than 1,400 dentist members in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties. For more information about the Ninth District visit
To see photos of the event, visit here.