Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine has added to the depth of its Board of Overseers, recently welcoming four new members. Joining the Board is Dr. Joan O’Shea, Daniel Perkins, Dr. Garry Rayant, and Dr. Tony Saito. Their appointments for three-year renewable terms were officially approved by the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees at its November meeting.
“We are thrilled to be expanding the Board with Joan, Daniel, Garry and Tony,” says Dean Mark Wolff. “They bring unique strengths and perspectives that will support and help to advance our mission on many levels.”
A board certified neurosurgeon, fellowship trained in orthopedic spinal surgery, Dr. Joan O’Shea is the founder and president of The Spine Institute of Southern New Jersey. In 2005, she developed the South Jersey Surgical Center, the first outpatient ambulatory spine surgical center in the tristate area. A national authority on minimally invasive surgery, Dr. O’Shea has been on staff at Cooper Medical Center in Camden and Virtua Health System. She lectures annually at the national scientific meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. A Diplomat of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, she earned her MD at Upstate Medical School in Syracuse, part of the State University of New York. She completed her residency in neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and fellowships at NYU Hospital for Joint Disease and Beth Israel Medical Centers. Dr. O’Shea is also board certified in Integrative Health, bringing a holistic as well as highly technical view to health care. She currently serves on the national medical board for Surgical Care Affiliates, advising in the development of outpatient complex spinal surgery. With her appointment, Dr. O’Shea is the second physician member on the Board, providing valuable input and counsel on strategies to advance interdisciplinary education, research, and practice.
Daniel Perkins joins the Board from AEGIS Communications, LLC, where he is President and CEO. AEGIS is one of the largest oral health publishing outlets in the U.S., founded in collaboration with Penn Dental Medicine’s Emeritus Dean, the late Dr. D. Walter Cohen. Along with its publishing arm, the company’s continuing education platform, CDEWorld, is globally recognized for its continuing education content development. And, another division of the company, AEGIS Media, provides visual media services to create interactive content for patient education, sales training, and product development/sales needs. Mr. Perkins has served on many dental-related boards, including the Dean’s Advisory Board of Harvard University School of Dental Medicine, the International Advisory Board of Hadassah University School of Dental Medicine (Israel), Oral Health America, The Dental Trade Alliance, Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the Corporate Councils of the National & Hispanic Dental Association. He has also chaired the American Dental Education Association’s Corporate Council. Through these roles, Mr. Perkins has served as a liaison between corporate groups and academic leaders at dental schools nationwide and has been instrumental in championing projects, studies, and reports that have advanced the profession of dentistry. His philanthropic support has included a recent gift to the D. Walter Cohen Endowed Scholarship Fund at Penn Dental Medicine.
As graduates of Penn Dental Medicine, Board appointees Dr. Garry Rayant and Dr. Tony Saito bring invaluable ties and perspective for engaging fellow alumni with Penn Dental Medicine programs and initiatives. Dr. Rayant is a 1977 graduate of the School’s postdoctoral program in periodontics and Dr. Saito earned his DMD degree at Penn Dental Medicine in 1995.
Dr. Rayant is a specialist in periodontics and implant dentistry, an entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who retired from clinical practice in December 2018. He is also editor-in-chief emeritus of Dear Doctor Magazine Inc., a print and online national consumer healthcare magazine, for which he was co-founder and partner. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Rodan & Fields, a premium skincare brand built on a legacy of innovative dermatologically based skincare products. Dr. Rayant earned his dental degree London Hospital Medical College Dental School, London University (1972); holds a Master’s degree in Behavioral Science, London University (1975); and was an Annenberg Scholar in Penn Dental Medicine’s postdoctoral periodontal program (1977). He brings a background and interest in oral epidemiology and dental public health and the future of dentistry to the Board. Dr. Rayant is also active in the area of educational reform, serving on the advisory board of Stanford University’s Challenge Success program. He also serves on the AIPAC National Council; the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Advanced Judaic Studies Program; Tulane University’s President’s Council; the International Board of Governors of Tel Aviv University; American Friends Tel Aviv University Board of Directors (Chair, Communications Committee); and the Center for Children & Youth, JFCS Bay Area (funder & Chair, Advisory Committee).
A pediatric dentist, Dr. Saito owns a private practice based in West Boylston, Mass., which he opened in 2001. After earning his DMD from Penn Dental Medicine, Dr. Saito completed a general practice residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center and went on to a pediatric residency at Columbia University Medical Center. Since 2017, Dr. Saito has been an active member of the Dean’s Council at Penn Dental Medicine, another external advisory group to the Dean. An Adjunct Assistant Professor at Penn Dental Medicine, he lectures to both the DMD students and the postdoctoral students in the pediatric program. In addition, Dr. Saito has been a volunteer for the Penn Alumni Interview program and has served as a career mentor for pre-dental students and current DMD students and residents. He has also served as President of the Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Saito recently made a gift to name the pediatric care center at Penn Dental Medicine. The Saito Pediatric Care Center is the 16-chair teaching clinic for the School’s pediatric program, where postdoctoral students as well as DMD students provide care to children of all ages. With a strong commitment to advancing the field of pediatrics and supporting care for individuals with special needs, he can be a valuable sounding board as the School expands its care centers in these areas as well as on other clinical education initiatives.
The Penn Dental Medicine Board of Overseers provides volunteer leadership to the School and acts as an advisory resource for the Dean and other administrative leaders, stewarding the missions of both Penn Dental Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania. With these recent appointments, the Board now has 29 members.