Spry Spotlight: A Dream Come True for Geriatric Care
Another Spry Spotlight, this time with Dr. Alisa Kauffman received her B.A. from Lehigh University in 1981 and a D.M.D. from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dental Medicine in 1985. She maintained her private practice in New York City until 1995 when she limited her practice to Geriatric Dentistry. Dr. Kauffman is currently an attending doctor at Mt. Sinai and Lenox Hill Hospitals in New York City, and also serves as the Dental Director at three skilled-nursing facilities. At the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Dr. Kauffman developed a unique dental care protocol within the LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) Program.
Her program is designed to keep elders in their own residences while receiving a full range of services including medical and dental care. The program also benefits students at University of Pennsylvania who get hands on experience working with the geriatric population, while also learning to work with other health care professionals to treat the body as a whole.
She is deeply committed and passionate about making house calls to those who cannot get out of their homes. She loves what she does because it allows her to work with physicians and nurses to help people who normally get forgotten.
"When you love what you are doing, it doesn't feel like work!" she says.
While working with visiting nurses, doctors and aides, Dr. Kauffman immediately saw the link between dry mouth
and medication side effects. After investigating on the internet, Dr. Kauffman noticed that Spry (the same company that sent her chewing gum) had other products that her patients could swallow! This was important as most of her patients had some form of memory loss or dementia and cannot follow instructions to swish and spit.
From there a marriage of the minds occurred. She began learning more about the products and found that Spry was the answer to her prayers. Dr. Kauffman already bought the gel for some of her patients who had dry mouth. But learning about its anti-cariogenic properties made it even more important as an adjunct therapy for difficult patients who cannot always cooperate for traditional brushing and rinsing.
Dr. Kauffman is also extremely involved with mentoring students who are interested in pursuing geriatric care after graduating. She is involved in doing research projects with the TRECS institute and Wharton. The Spry product line is now being incorporated into one of their studies.
Dr. Kauffman was recognized for being in the top 25 Women in Dentistry by the Dental Products Report in 2014 for her work treating the geriatric population.
In her free time Dr. Kauffman loves spending time with her daughter and husband, painting, and shopping for shoes.