Recognizing Community Service at Stony Brook

April 2016 - The Annual Michael A. Maffetone Community Service Awards were presented on March 31 at the Health Sciences Galleria. Named for Michael Maffetone, DA, who served as Director and Chief Executive Officer of the hospital from 1994 through 2000, the awards recognize individuals and organizations that embody the spirit of community service that he embraced.

Periodontist Julio Carrion, DMD, PhD, Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine, received the Community Service Award from among 7,500 colleagues, and was nominated by Sheila Foerth, DDS. 

Actively engaged in community outreach since 2005 when he was a resident at Stony Brook, Dr. Carrion noticed that some members of the community had limited access to oral healthcare because of a lack of finances, language barriers and education about the importance of dental care. He started a non-profit organization, Smiles for Hope, to provide oral healthcare education and free dental care. 

Dr. Carrion was able to enlist the help of two dentists in private practice, and together they provided free dental care on Friday evenings to day laborers and others in need of services. As word about the clinic spread throughout the community, they outgrew the dental office and needed a new space.  

Thanks to the generosity of the pastor at One More for Jesus Church in Farmingville and with appropriate permits from the Department of Health, Dr. Carrion and other volunteer dentists converted a part of the church into a dental clinic to provide oral healthcare every other month from noon to 10 pm. His plans for the future are to purchase a van to provide dental care in other communities.

As a Research Assistant Professor in Periodontology and an associate in the School of Dental Medicine’s faculty practice clinic, Dr. Carrion teaches undergraduate dental students and residents, serves as a mentor to dental students and residents for research activities and presentations, and oversees his own research laboratory. His research in tissue engineering and regeneration of hard and soft tissue is considered cutting edge, as newer technology contributes to the understanding of the pathogenesis of periodontal disease and diagnostics for the future.

Dr. Carrion is an active member of many professional committees, including the American Academy of Periodontology, Northeastern Society of Periodontists, Academy of Osseointegration, the American Dental Association, International Team for Implantology, Foundation of Oral Rehabilitation, and the American and International Associations for Dental Research. He is also a reviewer for the Journal of Periodontology and Advances in Clinical Periodontics.  

Dr. Carrion’s devotion to give back on many levels within the community and in support of future generation of healthcare providers and researchers has had a positive impact on the advancement of the dental profession. He is a true inspiration to his fellow colleagues and students, as well as to the community he serves.