The Fialkoff Queens Dental Study Club, a monthly study club that provides continuing education credits to attending practitioners, is planning a humanitarian dental trip to Havana, Cuba, in March 2012. Organized by Dr. Bernard Fialkoff, founder of the study club, and Meghan Fialkoff, director of the Cuba humanitarian dental trip, the attending dental practitioners will provide pro-bono dental work and dental education to the Cuban lay and professional community.
Fialkoff, a periodontist, laser surgery specialist and dental implantology specialist, has chosen the University of Havana Dental School in which to do these pro-bono services to the Cuban community. The study club had a booth at the Greater New York Dental Meeting (GNYDM), and just recently received its first dental supply donation from the dental supply company, Nordent Manufacturing Inc., which has pledged to donate a lengthy list of supplies. Nordent received information on the trip at the GNYDM at the club’s booth.
Fialkoff was born and raised as a young child in Cuba, and he has always yearned to go back to the island to revisit the culture, the people and give back with the trade he knows best: dentistry. So, in the beginning of 2011, he announced to the study club the idea of traveling as a group of dental professionals to Havana, Cuba, to provide free dental work to the Cuban community. Dentists and other specialists were happy to hear about the trip as well as participate in providing pro bono work. In fact, at this very meeting, several dentists originated wanting to help on eliciting donations of dental supplies from dental supply companies, planning the trip itself, providing connections to the country and advices on how to obtain travel licenses, etc.
“To assume the title of doctor means more than restoring teeth,” Fialkoff says. “We have responsibilities to the patient, which will continue to grow as science and research expand the body of knowledge. Entrenchment in old fashioned ideas leads to steady decline especially if outlook towards the future is ignored.”
“For many years our study club has discussed going to Cuba,” he says. “It was an idea we all had that we wanted to give back to the Cuban people and assist in dentistry where possible. Since July, we have done every step necessary in order to solidify a humanitarian dental trip to Cuba. It has been an exciting journey, and we look forward to fully finalizing our trip in the next few months.”
Fialkoff’s office is a periodontal, implant, laser cosmetic plastic surgery office. Recently the office added a 3-D cone beam scan for patient diagnosis. Fialkoff was valedictorian of his dental school at Stony Brook University and has spoken for many venues, including at his study club, the Spanish American Medical Society and others. He recently was inducted into the Long Island Academy of Odontology. Fialkoff has wanted to give back to his country, where he knows there is much suffering, by providing the skill of dentistry. He would like to help the Cuban Community, provide as much dentistry as possible while our group travels to the country, and to give back to the underserved population there.
The Fialkoff Queens Dental Study Club has enrolled 45 dentists and dental staff to travel to Cuba to deliver this pro-bono dental work in March 2012. Signups include dentists from New York, Mississippi, Minnesota, Florida, California, Nevada and England.
Meghan Fialkoff, director of the study club’s U.S.-Cuba humanitarian trip, is requesting a company to sponsor the trip. To sponsor the trip, join the trip as a dental care provider, or to donate dental supplies, contact Meghan Fialkoff at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also offer monetary donations at www.thepoint.com/campaigns/campaign-0-3512.