Grand Rapids dentist elected president of Minnesota Dental Association

Oct. 7, 2008
Dr. Lee Jess has mentored students interested in careers in dentistry and has served in national leadership roles.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota--Dr. Lee Jess, DDS, has been elected president of the Minnesota Dental Association by his peers.

Dr. Jess was selected at the annual House of Delegates meeting of the Minnesota Dental Association held Sept. 19-20, 2008, in Bloomington, Minn.

Dr. Jess has a long-established practice in Grand Rapids, Minn. He has been engaged in the dental profession from mentoring students interested in careers in dentistry (one of whom is now a full-time employee in his office) to serving in national leadership roles.

In accepting the new position as MDA president, Dr. Jess said, "It is an honor to lead one of the best dental associations in the country at a time when the number one issue is ensuring access to quality dental care for all Minnesotans. We have important decisions that need to be made wisely."

Dr. Jess has been involved with emerging issues in the field of dentistry locally and throughout the nation. Twenty years ago, he helped to create a program in Itasca County to assure access to dental care for low income populations. This program is still successfully operating today and treats thousands of patients each year.

In just the last three months, he has met with more than half of the leaders of state dental organizations in the United States to learn about the issues in dentistry nationwide. He is currently chair of the Midwestern region, known as the 10th District, of the American Dental Association. He has also served as a trustee to the Minnesota Dental Association Board for six years.

He has been an active member of his community, serving in leadership and fundr-aising positions for scores of civic, fine arts, conservation and sporting associations, as well as his church. He has served as president of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.

He was also the chair and directed fund-raising efforts for the Itasca Community College Foundation, and served as a board member for the Itasca County YMCA, the Grand Rapids Library Foundation, and Itasca Recreation Association.

He is also a co-founder of the "Tall Timber Days" celebration, and a 40-year member of the Grand Rapids Kiwanis. Dr. Jess graduated from Ripon College in Ripon, Wis., and the Loyola School of Dentistry in Chicago. He and his wife, Mary Jo, live in Grand Rapids.

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