EIOH Alum Donates $100K to Honor Parents

Feb. 9, 2022

Dr. Murray Rosenthal said the time he spent at Eastman Dental Center shaped his whole dental life. That is why he recently donated $100,000 to Eastman Institute for Oral Health, a gift that not only helps future residents, but also honors the love story of his parents, who met at the Dental Dispensary in the 1930’s.

“My time at Eastman was the best education I ever received,” said Dr. Rosenthal, a 1964 AEGD alum, born and raised in Brighton, NY. “I was there during the Bibby and Buonocore years –a time that was so rich with ideas and scientific discoveries.”

Dr Rosenthal and Dr Eliav standing near sign outside main building
EIOH Director Dr. Eli Eliav (left) with Dr. Murray Rosenthal

The gift honors his loving parents, who modeled hard work, education, compassion, tenacity, and service to others. The funds will be used for expanded General Dentistry clinic space, which is still in the planning stages, and will be named the Rosenthal Corridor.

His father, Dr. G. George Rosenthal finished his program at Eastman at the same time his mother, Violet Ruth Bloom, completed the Eastman Hygiene Program in 1935. His grandfather and brother were also dentists, and his Aunt Rose graduated from the Eastman Hygiene Program in 1929. His mother was also actively involved as an administrator with Eastman’s SMILEmobiles, the region’s first mobile dental clinic. In the 1950s, she helped recruit graduating high school students to the Hygiene Program during Career Nights. This gift especially honors his mother. 

After graduating from Brighton High School in 1957, he entered the University of Buffalo where he spent two years as an undergraduate. To expedite his undergraduate prerequisite courses for dental school, Murray enrolled in physics at the University of Rochester during the summer of 1958 and promptly aced his dental boards in 1959. Soon, the dental school at Buffalo accepted him.

Later, while working in a community health center in the Bronx, he earned a certificate in periodontics from Columbia University in 1971, and completed fellowships in community medicine and computer application in medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1977. For the next decade, he served as a dental director for three clinics, consulting for the Public Health Service of DHHS and New York City’s Health and Hospital Corporation.  He developed several systems for assessing quality of care and administering dental clinics.  His work, “Dr. Rosenthal’s Toolkit,” and a book he co-authored, A Comprehensive Quality Assurance System for Practicing Dentists, are both widely used today. In 1976 he opened a part-time periodontal practice in Manhattan which continues today.

In 1987, Dr. Rosenthal was appointed director of the Bureau of Dental Health Services in the NYC Department of Health. He worked to update clinics and started programs to reach underserved neighborhoods using portable dental units and increasing the number of children on Medicaid to receive orthodontic care. His background in pediatric dental care from Eastman was invaluable in creating a modern urban municipal dental program. 

 “We’re very grateful to Dr. Rosenthal,” said Dr. Eli Eliav, director and professor, Eastman Institute for Oral Health. “The funds will allow renovations and technology updates to provide the very best training and care environment for EIOH residents and patients.”

"This very generous gift will allow our residents to receive training in a state-of-the-art clinic, with the latest in technology, to excel in their profession,” said Dr. Hans Malmstrom, professor and chair, EIOH General Dentistry and director of the AEGD Residency Program. “Because dentistry is changing rapidly, this type of support offered by Dr. Rosenthal is of utmost importance for our program to maintain its leading position in post-doctoral general dentistry education in the world.”