Dr. Jack Caton - a Man of Value

Jun. 9, 2015

When University of Rochester Medical Center CEO Mark Taubman, MD meets with alumni around the country, they always ask him about their former teachers.

group photo EIOH leadership“We earn our great reputation by training people who do great things,” said Dr. Taubman during the recent celebration to mark reaching the initial goal for the Jack Caton Endowed Fellowship. “It’s very clear what Jack is most proud of-- among all the wonderful achievements he has made-- is seeing the people he’s trained and their accomplishments clinically, educationally and research wise.”

“The Caton Fellowship recognizes young individuals who have a potential to become leaders in periodontology and academic dentistry,” said Carlo Ercoli, DDS (Prostho ’96, TMJ ’97, GenDen ’98, Perio ’12), chair and program director, EIOH Prosthodontics. The fund has received more than $500,000 in gifts and pledges, thanks to the generosity, loyalty and dedication of all those who have donated to date. “Together, we can make a world of difference, one step at a time. I would like to thank everyone who contributed – it is truly an honor to partner with you for this important effort.”

“Jack Caton has been so important to the fabric of EIOH for many, many years,” added Dr. Taubman. “I would like to thank the alumni and donors who made gifts to help establish the Caton fund in his honor.”

looking at Caton plaqueAs one of Dr. Caton’s former residents, Paul Romano, DDS, (GenDen ‘81, Perio ’97) remembered how the best interests of the residents were always top of mind for him. “No matter how hard he was,” said Dr. Romano, “he was always in your corner. This fellowship embodies what Jack is all about--.promoting education and research for students, residents and young faculty.”

Dr. Jack Caton has become synonymous with Eastman’s Perio program, Daniel Weitz, DDS (Perio ‘13) surmised, because of the positive impact he’s had on so many.  “The very close friendships I’ve developed, and the great relationship residents have with faculty is a true testament to Dr. Caton’s leadership,” he said. “Dr. Caton placed people in a pressure situation where they have to learn to put their differences aside and focus on functioning as a team.”

Dr Caton with guest speakerDr. Romano was one of many who expressed his admiration at Dr. Caton’s long list of accomplishments and successful ventures. In his remarks, he paraphrased Albert Einstein, who once said, “Rather than become a man of success, try to become a man of value.”

“Jack Caton has earned loyalty from his patients and staff, he has a great rapport with other dentists, he’s been extremely successful in education and research, as his publications have become staples in residents’ literature,” Dr. Romano said. “I asked him once what he attributes to his incredible success and how he juggles everything so well. Without hesitation, Jack answered, ‘I don’t think about it, I just get up and go to work.’”

Dr. FanLike so many of his mentees, Caton motivated Jingyuan Fan, DDS, PhD,(Perio ’14) the first recipient of the Caton Fellowship. “I have been deeply influenced by Dr. Caton for his vision of academic excellence,” she said. “He has motivated me to pursue an academic career and achieve excellence in teaching, research and clinical treatment. Thank you for making the Caton Fellowship a success, and for your generosity and kindness--which will help strengthen the program for years to come.”

“As federal funding continues to fade, we will increasingly rely on fellowships,” said EIOH Director Eli Eliav, DMD, PhD. “This fellowship will ensure deserving professionals will have the opportunity to become great professors, scientists and clinicians. My thanks to Jack for all the great things he’s done and continues to do for EIOH, and to all who contributed to confirm his legacy.”

Dr. Dan Weitz“To give back in the name of someone who’s given so much,” Dr. Weitz added, “is a really special honor. It allows me to contribute to the Eastman family and to the growth of that family in Jack Caton’s name.”

 “Jack, as a teacher, mentor, colleague and friend,” Romano concluded, “On behalf of all the students you trained--you gave us the tools to be successful, and to become people of value. We deeply appreciate it and are proud to be a part of this effort.”