Dr. Virginia East (D.D.S. ’85, Endodontics ’87) is from the great state of New York. She was a pioneer and attended Villanova University the first year they accepted female students. She moved to Virginia and graduated from the VCU School of Dentistry in 1985. She had two children in dental school completed a certificate in endodontics in 1987. At that time, you had to wait five years before you were eligible to take your boards. East was board certified in endodontics in 1993. She practiced with Dr. Richard Hill in Richmond, Va. A year later, East opened a private practice in Richmond, Va., and worked there from 1987 – 2009. She loved her time in private practice and came to the dental school and taught part-time in the predoctoral clinic for five years.Life is what happens when making plans. East had a sports injury and later sold her practice. She was able to have a new surgical procedure performed in California, which allowed her to return to dentistry. She joined the endodontic faculty at the VCU School of Dentistry in 2012. East continues to teach full-time and enjoys teaching the general dentists of the future to do endodontics well. She finds it interesting to come back to her alma mater and see the changes that have occurred in the school. It has become a very culturally diverse place.
East is excited about the opportunities that are available in other areas of VCU as well. She currently is working with the VCU School of Engineering and VCU Innovation Gateway on projects related to endodontics. She enjoys traveling, camping in the Airstream and playing with her grandchildren.
Dr. Garry L. Myers comes to VCU from Olympia, Wash., where he was a private practitioner in endodontic. After completing a degree in biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, he received his D.D.S. from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio dental school in 1985. Myers then left his Texas roots and entered the U.S. Air Force where he served as a dental officer for the next 13 years with assignments in Virginia, California, Texas, Nevada and Alaska. During his Texas assignment, he completed a residency program in endodontics at Wilford Hall Medical Center in 1991 and, despite the distractions of living in Las Vegas for the next four years, Myers was able to successfully complete the requirements to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics in 1994.
In 1998, Myers left the USAF to enter private practice in Olympia, Wash., where he practiced for the next 16 years. In 2007 he began teaching part-time at the University of Washington dental school in Seattle working with the endodontic residents one day a week, which quickly became his favorite day of the week. Myers was actively involved with the Washington State Association of Endodontists where he served as president from 2006 – 2007, and this evolved into his participation at the AAE level where he has served on a variety of committees, represented District VI on the Board of Directors and currently serves as the secretary for the AAE. Myers and his wife, Doreen, relocated to Richmond, Va., where he joined the VCU School of Dentistry Department of Endodontics on a full-time basis in July 2014 as an assistant professor. With him he brings a passion for Texas Longhorn football, an interest in photography and a love for the outdoors, having volunteered for 16 years on the Iditarod trail and hiking all around Mount Rainier National Park.
Dr. Clara Spatafore was born in Clarksburg, W.Va., and attended West Virginia University where she received her undergraduate degree in medical technology. She then earned her D.D.S., M.S. and certificate in endodontics from West Virginia University School of Dentistry. Prior to attending the endodontics program at WVU, she was in private practice as a general dentist in Pittsburgh for three years. After her endodontics program, Spatafore served in the U.S. Navy and then as chairman at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Endodontics. She then practiced at Allegheny General Hospital for 16 years and maintained a private practice during that time in Sewickley, Penn.
Currently, she works part-time in private practice in Sewickley, Penn., and also serves as an assistant professor of endodontics and chair of the Department of Endodontics at the VCU School of Dentistry. She maintains hospital privileges and teaches at Allegheny General Hospital and is a clinical instructor at the WVU School of Dentistry.
Spatafore, a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, has been a member of the American Association of Endodontics since 1987. She has held a variety of leadership roles with the organization’s board, including president, president-elect, vice president and secretary of its executive committee as well as a director of the board, has served on several AAE committees and also serves on the Journal of Endodontics Scientific Review Board. Spatafore is a member of the American Dental Association, the Pennsylvania and Western Pennsylvania Dental Associations and the American College of Dentistry. She lectures nationally and internationally in all facets of endodontics.
She and her husband, Philip Bartling, reside in Sewickley, Penn. and Richmond, Va. They have four children: Daniel and his wife Lena are AEGD residents at the Bay Pines VA Hospital in Florida; Matthew works for Cascades Resorts in Vail, Colo.; Justina is a first-year student at the Tufts School of Vetinary Medicine in Boston; and Alyssa a freshman at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.