Jay Robert Afrow, DMD, has been named chief of the Dental Service at MIT Medical. He will begin his full-time administrative and patient care position at MIT Medical in May (the position was previously only half-time and primarily administrative).
"I believe Dr. Afrow will bring an invigorating new outlook on dental health to MIT. His experience developing health and dental policies for large groups is matched only by his demonstrated commitment to the health of every individual in his care," said medical director Arnold Weinberg in announcing the appointment.
For the past 12 years, Dr. Afrow has combined his interest in complex dental problems with a variety of management positions, both in Boston and throughout New England. He has served as clinical director of the Tufts University Special-Needs Dental Facilities and as the dental director of Special Care Dentistry at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH. He recently received the President's Award from the Bi-State Primary Care Association for his "outstanding contribution to assuring access to health care for the vulnerable populations" in Vermont and New Hampshire.
"I believe we can make this a model program," Dr. Afrow said of MIT's Dental Service, adding that it already has a number of factors in its favor, "such as manageable size and a reputation for close working relationships. Being part of the MIT Medical team is also a real plus. Pediatrics, cardiology, obstetrics and other specialties all have special ways in which they relate to dental health. I believe that dental health is connected to all other aspects of medicine, and that patients benefit when both they and their clinicians are knowledgeable about these connections.
"But it probably wouldn't hurt if we all remembered to floss daily, too," he added. "Patient education is the primary issue in dental health. No matter what I do or say to people while they're in my chair, 90 percent of the results they get are going to be from what they do with their teeth when they leave."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 3, 2000.