Columbia University Medical Center

Dr. Allan J. Formicola, Columbia Universitys Longest-Serving Dean, To Step Down From The School Of Dental And Oral Surgery

New York, NY – July 6, 2000 – Columbia University’s longest-serving dean, Dr. Allan J. Formicola, School of Dental and Oral Surgery (SDOS), has announced that he will step down from the deanship as soon as a successor is recruited. In his 22 years as dean, Dr. Formicola has been an innovative, tireless, and resilient inspiration to faculty, students and staff. He established the Community DentCare Network for children and adults who would otherwise have little or no access to dental care. The extensive alliance of school-based preventive dentistry, neighborhood primary care practices, and work training reaches thousands of people in northern Manhattan. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, DentCare has become a national model for programs across the U.S.
“Allan Formicola’s long and distinguished career at Columbia has been marked by a deep dedication to dental education and to community service,” said Columbia President George Rupp. “His efforts in integrating dental and medical education in one curriculum have had a profound impact on education at Columbia and provide a model for dental schools throughout the country. Also exemplary has been his nurturing of joint research between medical and dental faculty. In establishing the Northern Manhattan Community Voices Collaborative, he has provided vital services to area residents whose health care needs may have otherwise gone unmet. Allan has left a legacy of which both we and future generations of Columbians can be proud.”
The Northern Manhattan Community Voices Collaborative provides comprehensive health care plans that extend access to primary medical and oral health care to the uninsured and underinsured in northern Manhattan. Dr. Formicola also created the blueprint for the Columbia Dental Plan, which brought together more than 200 dental faculty practitioners and 250 faculty offices in the tri-state metropolitan area, including three hospital dental staffs.
“Dr. Formicola represents the very best of Columbia University – he has worked diligently and vigorously to expand the clinical faculty at SDOS and has been a trusted advisor to generations of dental students and faculty,” said Dr. Thomas Morris, interim dean for clinical and educational affairs, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.
Dr. Formicola was responsible for reforming the predoctoral dental curriculum, which now includes areas of concentrations for all third and fourth year students in research, clinical specialties, and uniquely designed electives. He expanded the Presbyterian Hospital residency programs, which grew from only two residents in general practice to more than 40 residents and postdoctoral fellows in three programs, including oral and maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, and general dentistry. SDOS’s general dentistry programs are model programs for other academic dental schools. In fact, the SDOS oral and maxillofacial surgery program was among the first to combine residency training with M.D. education.
“The amount of support SDOS receives from private foundations as well as state and federal government agencies is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of Dr. Formicola,” said Dr. David Hirsh, interim dean for research, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. “His devotion to SDOS is unmatched.”
Dr. Formicola assisted Harlem Hospital to expand the mission of their Dental Service from a mainly emergency/oral surgical service to a comprehensive care service. The affiliation enabled Harlem Hospital residents in dentistry to gain education in the dental specialties at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. “Together, Harlem Hospital and SDOS have educated more minority dental specialists than any other affiliated program in the country,” according to Dr. James McIntosh, Director of the Dental Service at Harlem Hospital.
Dr. Formicola began his dental career at Georgetown University Dental School, where he received degrees as Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1963 and Masters of Science in Periodontology in 1965. After a year as assistant professor of periodontics at Georgetown, he accepted a research and teaching position at the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham in 1968. Soon recognized as an outstanding academic periodontist, Dr. Formicola was recruited by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1970 to be chairman of the Department of Periodontics. There, his administrative talents quickly gained him appointments as associate dean, then acting dean, before he assumed the deanship at Columbia University SDOS in 1978 at age 38.
Dr. Formicola has received numerous awards for his contributions, including Georgetown’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Harlem Hospital Dental Service’s Award for Contributions to Minority Education, and the Harlem Hospital Century’s Second Century Award. He also received the presidential citation from the American Dental Association in 1999 for significant contributions to the oral health of the public and to the profession of dentistry. He has contributed more than 50 articles, abstracts, and book chapters to dental literature.
Dr. Formicola will remain at Columbia University to lead the Health Science Community Voices Collaborative and to teach on the faculty of the School of Dental and Oral Surgery.

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