Marc Michalowicz DDS Inducted into CUIMC's Academy of Community and Public Service

Marc W. Michalowicz, DDS, MSc, an assistant professor of dental medicine at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, and inaugural director of Management of Vulnerable Populations, was inducted into the Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Academy of Community and Public Service in a ceremony held on January 30. Dr. John Grbic, director of the Division of Foundational Sciences at CDM, welcomed Dr. Michalowicz into the ACPS.

The ACPS recognizes faculty who have shown exceptional community service efforts and have devoted a significant portion of their careers to promoting and improving health in the local community and around the world.

“I cannot think of a greater honor than being nominated and accepted into the Academy of Community and Public Service,” said Michalowicz. “As someone who has devoted his career to treating people who have special needs, the training of future dentists and public advocacy, this is the pinnacle of my career and I am deeply humbled with induction into this esteemed academy.”

Dr. Michalowicz joined the CDM faculty in 1987 and was based at Helen Hayes Hospital, an acute care rehabilitation facility in Rockland County, where he served as the chief of the dental medicine service, He became one of the area’s leading practitioners in the treatment of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. During this time he trained and mentored 60 residents, many of whom have gone on to work in academic and hospital settings, treating people who have special needs, and training future dentists in this area.

His career trajectory was not straight forward. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech language pathology, a path he chose because he had been helped by speech pathologists as a child to overcome stuttering. As a regular attendee of the monthly cleft palate team meetings at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he found himself drawn to the possibility of having a greater impact on the lives of his patients through the practice of dentistry. He earned his DDS from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry.

At CDM, he is part of the team that has spearheaded a special care curriculum that begins in the first year of study and aims to train students in the management of vulnerable populations and in the treatment of patients with physical limitations, developmental or intellectual disabilities, cognitive or sensory impairment, or complex medical issues that hinder their ability to receive oral care.

Additionally, Dr Michalowicz supervises and works with students on a weekly basis on CDM’s mobile dental vans, as they care for members of the community with special needs, helping to create a modern service-learning curriculum that will better prepare future generations of dentists to more effectively care for and manage special populations.  

“It is our responsibility, as academic mentors and teachers to ignite the passion for access to care, quality treatment, dignity and respect for all people to our students and residents, our future colleagues,” he said.