Nearly one in four women and one out of every seven men aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of domestic abuse. These shocking statistics show the reality of what many people face, but most are too ashamed to speak up about. Houston-based oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Donald F. Cohen, takes time out of his busy oral surgery practice to support those affected by this violent act by serving as a member on the Board of Directors of Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) in Houston.
In 2004, Dr. Cohen served as part of the “Dream Team” that helped Carolyn Thomas, a native of Midland, Texas, who suffered terrible facial injuries when she was shot at point-blank range on December 5, 2003, by her abuser. Dr. Cohen and a team at Methodist Hospital in Houston performed numerous reconstructive surgeries on her over a two-year period to help restore her health and her confidence.
Since then, Dr. Cohen has committed his time outside his thriving oral surgery practice to support other victims through AVDA, a non-profit organization that provides legal, educational and intervention services to families that are victimized by domestic violence.
“This terrible act can have profound life-changing effects on those victimized,” said Dr. Cohen. “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to provide victims with the confidence they lost by restoring their facial aesthetics through reconstructive surgery.”
Dr. Cohen specializes in a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures at Houston Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center, including facial trauma, jaw reconstruction, bone grafts, and implant dentistry. Since these are the primary surgeries that victims of domestic abuse often need after experiencing violent attacks, oral and maxillofacial surgeons like Dr. Cohen are key members of most emergency room trauma centers. In addition to supporting AVDA, Dr. Cohen has hospital privileges at Houston Methodist Hospital and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Hospital, where he is called upon in cases of domestic abuse and other facial trauma situations.
“I have seen people of all ages and backgrounds who have faced these distressing situations,” said Dr. Cohen. “I encourage anyone who has been through something like this to seek the help that will get them back on their feet and into a healthy situation.”
For years, Dr. Cohen has supported various community organizations, such as the Bering Omega Clinic and Healthcare for the Homeless Clinic (SEARCH), providing dental and medical services to those in need. Through these groups, he offers complimentary oral surgery care for people who are living with the HIV/AIDS virus as well as homeless individuals.
For more information about Dr. Cohen and Houston Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, please visit www.houstonoralsurgery.com.
About Donald F. Cohen, DDS
Dr. Cohen attended the University of Arizona and Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas before beginning specialty training at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas. He then completed a four-year residency at the University of Texas Dental Branch and the affiliated Hospitals in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Dr. Cohen served as a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center before opening a private practice office in the Texas Medical Center Scurlock Tower in January 1981.
Dr. Cohen is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and provides all forms of anesthesia to supplement office-based surgery. He is an active member at Houston Methodist Hospital, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital, where he serves on numerous medical staff committees. Dr. Cohen is a fellow of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, and he is a member of the Texas, Southwest and Houston Societies of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American and Texas Dental Associations, the Greater Houston Dental Society, and the Texas Dental Association Council of Ethics and Judicial Affairs. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Houston Dental Society, and is a former president of the Houston Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.
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