The ADA named Steven W. Kess, vice president of global professional relations at Henry Schein, an honorary member for his dedication to improving oral health and access to care during the ADA FDI World Dental Congress 2019 in San Francisco on September 6.
Kess was recognized for his collaborative work with the ADA and the ADA Foundation, including the creation of the Give Kids A Smile national program, which has provided more than 5.5 million underserved children with free oral health services since its launch in 2003.
“I am privileged to represent Team Schein alongside our industry colleagues and the dental profession to help create public-private partnerships such as Give Kids A Smile that address the oral health needs of underserved at-risk populations,” said Kess.
“Over the years, these partnerships have provided a platform for multiple stakeholders to work together to address oral health literacy, access to care, and the importance of oral health as part of primary care,” said Kess.
Noted for his work in forging public-private partnerships, Kess has applied the GKAS model of engagement to the NYU Dentistry/Henry Schein Cares Global Student Outreach Program and the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program.
Kess also was instrumental in developing Project Accessible Oral Health, which assembled and connected a consortium of dental and medical professionals, corporations, organization, policymakers, educators, the disabled, caregivers, and other stakeholders in pursuit of equal access to culturally competent oral healthcare.
“For the past 28 years, Steve has been committed to improving access to care, serving the underserved, and giving back to the community,” said Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein.
“Working together with the ADA, the Give Kids A Smile program has continued to grow because of Steve’s passion and dedication. He truly exemplifies the idea of doing well by doing good and has been a catalyst for change,” said Bergman.