Donors Sink Their Teeth into RENOVATION
It didn’t take a village but it did take teamwork, vision and dedication to transform the
I. B. Bender Endodontic Clinic into one of the most technologically advanced endodontic centers in the nation.
“The renovation initiative evolved with the endodontic alumni society,” explains Alan Borislow, DDS, Chairman of the Maxwell S. Fogel Department of Dental Medicine at Albert Einstein Medical Center. “In many ways it was a big ‘thank you’ for the quality of training and education they received and they wanted to make sure that Einstein continued to have a nationally-recognized endodontics facility.” Named for I. B. Bender who established Einstein’s residency program in endodontics in the 1960s, the clinic serves approximately 1,000 people a year, including patients of limited means, Einstein hospital staff, and others who want state of-the-art care. Treatments are administered by graduate dentists enrolled in Einstein’s advanced education program in Endodontics and reviewed by attending faculty who are experienced endodontists and teachers. “Instituting post-graduate endodontics and orthodontics training in a hospital setting creates opportunities for a lot of interaction outside one’s own discipline. It contributes to collaborative and collegial approaches to treatments,” explains Dr. Borislow. “Treating patients in a clinical setting is an essential part of the education process. Our clinic had not been updated since the 1980s and if we were going to provide our residents with top-quality education and our patients with top quality care, it needed extensive improvements.”
An ambitious renovation plan requires an equally ambitious fundraising effort, but Peter Brothman, DDS, Chairman of the fundraising committee, was up to the task. Armed with a list of alumni, he and the committee contacted former students to elicit their support. “We were stunned at their enthusiasm,” said Dr. Brothman. “During call after call, the people we contacted would rave about their Einstein education and were happy to contribute.” Dr. Brothman recalls one particular call that took his breath away. “I hadn’t even finished explaining why I was calling and he said ‘Put me down for fifty,’ and it wasn’t $50, he meant $50,000. He said that it was because Einstein had supported his education and this was his way of saying thank you.”
Alumni weren’t the only ones who recognized the importance of keeping Einstein’s graduate endodontic program in the forefront of dental medicine. When I. B. Bender established the program in the 1960s, it was one of the first in the nation and his son Andrew wanted to insure that his father’s legacy of quality care would continue. “Throughout his life, teaching residents and fellows how to recognize various endodontic conditions was the number one thing in his life,” explained the late Andrew Bender. “The most important thing to my father was that people could get treatment for endodontic conditions and that it would be taught properly.”
Since re-opening the I. B. Bender Endodontic Clinic, one of only four accredited graduate endodontic programs in the state, it has received rave reviews from all quarters. Before his recent passing, Andrew and his wife Janet Bender stated, “It is so modern and advanced, we would hope our grandchildren will be able to go there for care.”