ESRAmagazine

Myron Lieberman Works with Ethiopian Kids

Prof. Myron Lieberman ... he came to Israel in 1971 for a year – and stayed

When I was approached by a colleague from Hefzibah, an Ethiopian community in Netanya, to find a dental practice that would take care of the neighborhood children's dental problems, the first person who came to my mind was Professor Myron Lieberman.

Prof. Myron Lieberman immigrated to Israel in 1971 with an invitation from Tel Aviv University to create the country's first post-graduate orthodontic program. His original intention was to come for a year and see how things went. Well, they certainly went well! Of the seven doctors who started this program with him in 1971, five are still teaching.

He ran the program until 1993 when it became an international program. Students from all over the world come to Tel Aviv University for three and a half years for their post-graduate studies and go home to become good ambassadors for Israel (as well as good orthodontists). The graduation ceremony for these students is particularly exciting as the Ambassadors of all the countries involved present the degrees to the graduating students.

Today there are four orthodontic post-graduate programs in the country: The original Tel Aviv University program which has both Israeli and international students; the Jerusalem Hadassah Hospital - Hebrew University program which also has both Israeli and international students; the IDF program at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan; and the program in Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

Prof. Lieberman never missed an opportunity to enlist whomever he could into this amazing program. On a trip to South America in 1973-74, the head of the Medical Aid System was on a bus with him. Together they arranged a program for his students to study at the university and then give back two years to the Medical Aid System wherever they were sent. Today, the country is filled with well-educated graduates of this program. The department offers as much help as possible to underprivileged patients, including a large number from the religious sector.

Prof. Lieberman is a member of the American Board of Orthodontics, E.H. Angle Society, and a Fellow of the American College of Dentistry. He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Israel Orthodontic Society. He has been involved in the education of over 250 postgraduate students and he continues to teach on a voluntary basis.

Back to our Ethiopian children. When I approached Prof. Lieberman with the problem in the underprivileged sector of Netanya - that the children were not getting dental treatment due to lack of funding - he immediately got in touch with the dental department of Tel Aviv University. To date we have sent 18 Ethiopian children there to be treated by the students (under the guidance of their professors). This is such a win-win program, with the kids getting the treatment they desperately need and the 4th and 5th year students getting the practice they need.

Our only drawback now is finding funds to transport these, and other kids, on a weekly basis to the university. We would like to bring this program into all our projects and I believe that with ESRA's friends, this will happen!

I'd like to thank Prof. Lieberman for his support to ESRA over the years. He has always answered the call for help with the dental problems of our weaker communities. We wish him and his wonderful wife Debby (a past chairperson of ESRA) a happy 60th anniversary and many more years of joy and success. 

 

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Thursday, 21 January 2021

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