Two Recognized for Excellence in Dental Education

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BUFFALO, NY — Two outstanding University at Buffalo innovators in dentistry were recently honored by national organizations for their contributions to dental education.

John Eisner, DDS, PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus, received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry (ACFD).

Roger Triftshauser, DDS, UB ’61, received the 2012 Paragon Award from the American Student Dental Association (ASDA).

Eisner is described by Bruce Graham, Dean of the College of Dental Medicine at the University of Chicago, as “the only colleague who has had a truly transformative impact on dental education. He has had a remarkable career filled with innovative and progressive thoughts “.

Eisner’s impact was on the development of information management systems that were used in dental education admissions and course/student evaluations.

Eisner began his career as a professor of community dentistry, but began to take on administrative roles, particularly in information technology, first at Dalhousie University in Canada and then, from 1989, at UB.

In a 2009 interview, Eisner recalled that when he was associate dean of information resources in 1993, Louis Goldberg, the former dean of UB’s dental school, asked him to develop a program that would streamline the school’s admissions process.

“I told him we could write a program just for UB and I could do it in about six months,” recalls Eisner, who also chaired an information technology advisory committee for the American Dental Education Association. . “But I knew other schools were also facing the same challenge, so I asked the dean if it would be okay if instead we wrote an industrial-strength version that we could then sell to other schools. ‘other schools.’

In 1995, the company sold three copies of AdMIT through a nonprofit organization run by the UB Foundation; the following year, he sold six.

After that, Eisner said, “sales exploded.”

In 2009, there were “over 200 admissions software customers, not only in dental schools but in other health profession schools,” he said.

The ACFD Distinguished Service Award is not given annually, but only when a member has made a significant contribution to the field of dentistry.

Eisner was also honored with the 2009 UB Faculty Entrepreneur Award and recognized in 2002 by the State University of New York as an Outstanding Inventor at UB in the “entrepreneur” category.

Triftshauser, an orthodontist and 1961 UB dental school alumnus, was nominated for his award by Richard F. Andolina, a 2013 graduating UB dental student and current president of the ‘ASDA.

Andolina describes Triftshauser as “a lifelong friend and mentor, a game-changer in dentistry.”

At the UB School of Dentistry, Triftshauser was responsible for involving the American College of Dentists (ACD) in the implementation of an ethics course that is now part of the introductory curriculum for first year students. On Ethics Day, as it is now called, he and his colleagues from the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) and CDA take a day to interact with the freshman class and give a talk. on the fundamental ethical values ​​of dentistry.

A Batavia resident, Triftshauser and his colleagues return to Buffalo to address all dental school classes in an evening lecture and open forum to discuss the tripartite system of organized dentistry and the Importance of Membership in the American Dental Association (ADA), American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC) and State PAC.

Triftshauser’s relationship with ASDA began when he served as Vice Chairman of the ADA Council on Governmental Affairs in the early 1990s. He later served as a member of ADPAC, which he chaired from 2009 to 2011, and was able to interact with students nationally.

In addition to mentoring dental students and participating in dental organizations, Triftshauser has served in his own community as a school board member, county legislator, and advisor to the former governor of New York State. , George Pataki.

Triftshauser says, “It’s an individual decision as to who gets involved. It’s harder than ever to find the time and if you don’t have the time to get involved, stay informed about the issues and always advocate for buy-in.

ASDA Executive Director Nancy Honeycutt said “Triftshauser’s passion for the profession is contagious and commands respect. He continues to be a role model for us all.”

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