Dr. Jeff Rosow ’80 Reflects on Life in the Dentist’s Chair
Hard work and perseverance has paid off for Dr. Jeff Rosow ’80 DMD. Rosow recently retired after a 36-year career in dentistry, but he doesn’t forget where it all began: at UConn’s School of Dental Medicine.
“Even though it took me six years to get through dental school, I felt that my instructors were always fair with me, with a few in particular who went out of their way to work with me, advocate for me, and offer encouragement and support,” said Rosow. “I’m forever grateful to those UConn instructors, administrators, and UConn itself for allowing me to fulfill my dream of becoming a dentist.”
Rosow has many fond memories of UConn, including one incident in the lab that proves dentistry can have its dangerous moments.
“A couple of classmates were working on wax-ups in the lab when one of them bent over the flame a little too closely while inspecting his work,” said Rosow. “Unfortunately for him, his hair caught on fire. It took the other classmate, who was laughing hysterically, to tell him just in the nick of the time.”
With the support of so many at the UConn School of Dental Medicine, Rosow graduated and enjoyed a successful career. During his time as the dental director at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, Conn., he said that some of his fondest memories are those of the patients he helped.
“My most memorable experience is having the opportunity to spend my entire career servicing the dental needs of a very special and wonderful group of patients with psychiatric and/or substance abuse illness,” said Rosow. “I’ve worked with an incredible staff and amazing people.”
Throughout his career, Rosow was active in numerous hospital and community activities. He founded the Connecticut Valley Hospital/River Valley Services Toy Drive in 1991, which has provided thousands of toys for local families in need. Rosow was a strong advocate for dental services for the underserved at the hospital and in Connecticut. He was active in the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA), serving on the Continuing Education Council, Access to Care Committee, and the Connecticut Mission of Mercy steering committee. The Connecticut Mission of Mercy is a two-day clinic that provides free dental care to the underserved and uninsured in the state.
“What I enjoyed—and was most amazed by—while working with the Connecticut Mission of Mercy was having the opportunity of working with an incredibly large number of selfless, caring, and dedicated individuals,” said Rosow. “It was also wonderful being part of something so meaningful and sharing in the many heartwarming stories of those that were helped by the care they received.”
Rosow is also proud of his work with the Sail CT Access Program. Founded in 1989, the program offers persons with special needs the opportunity to enjoy sailing, taking them out in specially-designed boats from Westbrook into Long Island Sound. Rosow is a former board member and plans to remain active in the organization.
Retirement still feels a bit “surreal” to Rosow, who’s looking forward to spending more time with his wife Karen; his three sons, Todd, Michael, and Neal; and his grandchildren. But his legacy will always be a part of Connecticut Valley Hospital. In June, the hospital announced it had named the dental clinic after him. Additionally, the Integrative Medicine Committee, which Rosow helped form in 2009, named a corner of the hospital library as the Rosow Integrative Healing Center.
“Thanks to the patients and staff at the hospital, family and friends, along with some wonderful mentors in dentistry, UConn School of Dental Medicine and the CSDA, I had a lot of support and was able to grow tremendously professionally and personally,” said Rosow. “It is with all of them that I share and owe these honors.”