Penn Dental Medicine has named Steven W. Kess the newest member of its Board of Overseers. His nomination for a renewable three-year term was formally approved at the June meeting of the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees.
Kess brings extensive experience in public-private partnerships as well as business and public policy issues to the board, Penn Dental said.
As vice president of global professional relations for Henry Schein, he was instrumental in developing Henry Schein Cares, the company’s global corporate social responsibility program. Kess has been with Henry Schein since 1991, serving in executive management positions both in its medical and dental divisions.
“Along with being a longtime ally of Penn Dental Medicine, Steve’s passion and leadership for improving oral health across the globe will be a great asset to the board,” said Dr. Mark S. Wolff, Penn Dental’s Morton Amsterdam Dean. “He brings a wealth of insight to global health pursuits and the business of dental education.”
Like Wolff, Kess has been a longtime advocate for health and oral health equity for those with disabilities and for seniors, Penn Dental said. He was a cofounder of Project Accessible Oral Health along with Wolff and John Kemp
Kess, who earned his BBA and MBA from the Baruch School of the City College of New York, has been active in volunteer and advisory roles throughout his career. Currently, he is president of the Santa Fe Group, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to improving oral health for the public.
Also, Kess has served on the boards of the ADA Foundation, Oral Health America, the US National Oral Health Alliance, the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.
Kess has been on the boards of advisors of numerous dental schools as well, including those at Harvard University, Columbia University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Case Western Reserve University, NOVA Southeastern University, Stony Brook University, Al Quds University, and Temple University.
From 2006 to 2012, Kess was a founding chairman of the National Advisory Board for the ADA’s Give Kids a Smile program, which has provided free dental screenings, treatment, and education to more than 6 million underserved children.
As part of the school’s Board of Overseers, Kess joins a group of volunteers who serve as a bridge to the world beyond Penn’s campus and help leadership at the school develop and refine strategies, goals, and priorities while also providing counsel in their areas of expertise, Penn Dental said.