Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine welcomes Steven W. Kess as 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. As Vice President of Global Professional Relations for Henry Schein, Inc., a Fortune 500® company and the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental and medical practitioners, he was instrumental in developing Henry Schein Cares, its global corporate social responsibility program. He is also the founding President of the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. Kess has been with Henry Schein since 1991, serving in executive management positions in both the medical and dental divisions of this multinational company.
“Along with being a long-time 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,” says Penn Dental Medicine’s Morton Amsterdam Dean, Dr. Mark S. Wolff. “He brings a wealth of insight to global health pursuits and the business of dental education.”
Like Dean Wolff, Kess has been a long-time advocate for health and oral health equity for those with disabilities and for seniors. He was a co-founder of Project Accessible Oral Health along with the Dean 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. He is presently President of the Santa Fe Group (SFG), a nonprofit think tank dedicated to improving oral health for the public, and has served on the boards of the American Dental Association Foundation, Oral Health America, the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance, Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity. He has also been on the Board of Advisors for numerous dental schools, 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 also served as Founding Chairman of the National Advisory Board for the American Dental Association’s “Give Kids a Smile” program, which has provided free dental screenings, treatment, and education to more than six 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.