Kess named chairman of Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Board

Oct. 2, 2007
Henry Schein vice president has been leader of company's support of initiative since the program's inception five years ago.

MELVILLE, New York--Henry Schein, Inc. has announced that Steve Kess, vice president of Professional Relations for Henry Schein, has been named Chairman of the American Dental Association's Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Board.

Kess, who served on the ADA Foundation Board for many years, has been a leader of Henry Schein's support of GKAS as exclusive distributor of professional products since the program's inception five years ago.

For the fifth annual GKAS initiative in February 2007, more than 52,000 dental team members provided free educational, preventative and restorative services to more than 757,000 underserved children in 2,225 communities across the country, setting new records for volunteerism and corporate support. As plans are underway for the sixth GKAS program, the GKAS National Advisory Board is working with the ADA to expand the scope of the event beyond a single day for years to come.

"Give Kids A Smile is the perfect example of how effective voluntary public-private partnerships can be in benefiting underserved populations and drawing attention to important healthcare issues," said Dr. James B. Bramson, executive director of the ADA. "Our members have embraced the opportunity to give back to children in need in their own communities. With the support of Sullivan-Schein Dental, Henry Schein's U.S. Dental group, Colgate-Palmolive and DEXIS, LLC., our two other primary corporate sponsors, we have been able to build upon this professional commitment to add to the scope and impact of Give Kids A Smile."

The appointment of Kess as the first non-dental chairman for an ADA board is a reflection of his direct involvement in building GKAS from a pilot program into the national initiative that it is today, as well as his recruiting of nearly 50 Sullivan-Schein dental supplier partners to crystallize dental industry support for the program.

"Henry Schein remains committed to working with the ADA, its members, Colgate, DEXIS and our many other supplier partners in continuing to build on the great success of the Give Kids A Smile program," said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Henry Schein.

"I can think of no one more qualified than Steve for the important role of chairing the Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Board, considering his vision for the initiative and his proven skill at marshalling the resources of diverse members of the dental community to achieve a common goal."