George Eastman was there in spirit and portrait as the first-of-its-kind event happened among three of the six Eastman Institutes he founded.
A thought leader ahead of his time, George Eastman knew the vital importance of good oral health, educating dental providers, and the necessity of dental and craniofacial research in serving those less fortunate in our communities. After he saw the success of the Rochester Dental Dispensary that he founded in 1915, he established similar institutions in London, Rome, Brussels, Stockholm and Paris. All but Brussels remain open today, sharing similar names and missions to provide excellent post-doctoral education and clinical care, address oral health care disparities, and to conduct relevant and meaningful research.
Integrated into outstanding universities, these institutions are linked together through the Eastman International Alliance (EIA), which was established to address global problems related to access, to collaborate in education, clinical care, research, and to engage in faculty and student exchanges.
After working out technical and time zone logistics, the first Eastman International Alliance Grand Rounds was born. Oral health experts, faculty, residents and staff from Rochester, NY, Stockholm, Sweden and London, England each shared a complex Oral Medicine patient case.
“No one else is doing this across the globe,” said Stephen Porter, BSc, PhD, MD, director of Eastman Dental Institute in London. “We have highly talented colleagues who manage patients with complex diseases, and events like these will enhance the knowledge and skills of students and staff who will then be able to enhance the oral health and well-being of patients.”
In Rochester, more than 100 residents, faculty and staff gathered to view the large screen where all the participants were visible. “This Grand Rounds clearly demonstrated the quality of the work done at the Eastmans around the globe,” added Eli Eliav, DMD, PhD, professor and director, Eastman Institute for Oral Health. “This is just the beginning. We plan to share other specialty case studies in addition to possibly engage in common research projects, and opinion papers.”
Cyril Meyerowitz, DMD, MS, EIOH director emeritus, played an integral role in coordinating the EIA Grand Rounds, and served as host for the event.
“I have to think George Eastman would be quite pleased to know how his influence and legacy continue to contribute to world class oral health care, education and research around the world,” Dr. Meyerowitz said.
For Sharon Elad, DMD, MSc, chair, EIOH Oral Medicine, it was an excellent educational experience in an exciting environment.
“The cases were very interesting and enlightening,” Dr. Elad said. “It is an honor to collaborate with both London and Stockholm Oral Medicine departments. We look forward to continued collaborations with London and Stockholm, as well as future projects with Rome and Paris, too.”
Larisa Birger, DDS, senior consultant, Oral Medicine with Eastmaninstitutet Stockholm, presented a patient with an uncommon disorder that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in the nose, sinuses, throat, lungs and kidneys called granulomatosis with polyangiitis. The patient suffered from non-specific manifestations for a long time. The diagnosis was made based on unique oral presentation named strawberry-gingivitis.
Professor Porter presented two cases with similar clinical appearance- a rare subtype of oral cancer called carcinoma cunniculatum (CC) and a potentially malignant disorder called proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL), each creating diagnostic and treatment dilemmas.
Dr. Elad presented a case of mixed pemphigoid and lichenoid gingival presentation. Pemphigoid and lichen planus belong to the group of mucocutaneous diseases, which affect the inner lining of the body and the skin. The diagnostic process highlighted a few decisional crossroads, and the case demonstrated the challenges of correlating clinical and lab results, the clinical implications of the lab results, and the management approach.
Plans are underway for the next EIA Grand Rounds scheduled for February, May, September and October. Other disciplines will be presenting, starting with Pediatric Dentistry. In addition, an educational website including a video archive of the Grand Rounds is being established.