Steven W. Kess, vice president of global professional relations at Henry Schein Inc, Melville, NY, recently received this year’s Harry Strusser Memorial Award from New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD). Presented annually, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to public health.
Dr Charles N. Bertolami, Herman Robert Fox Dean and Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at NYUCD, presented Kess with the award at NYUCD’s recent graduation ceremony. The award is named after the late Dr Harry Strusser, a 1918 graduate of NYUCD and director of the former bureau of dentistry of New York City’s Health Department. An orthodontist by training, Strusser went on to earn a Master’s of Science degree in public health at Columbia University and to devote the major portion of his professional life to the field. The award recognizes his significant contributions to dental public health, with a special emphasis on public health dentistry for children.
“Steve has been a leader in the field of public health for decades, during which he has been instrumental in forging innovative public-private partnerships, which have helped advance the promotion of public health on a global scale,” said Bertolami. “From conceptualization to implementation, Steve’s keen talent for spurring collaboration, his wealth of knowledge, tireless service, and sustained leadership and vision have made him a touchtone for all of us who are committed to increasing awareness about and addressing public health issues.”
Kess has a long history of supporting public health outreach programs on behalf of Henry Schein, and is a co-founder of Henry Schein Cares, the company’s global corporate social responsibility program. In recognition of his work, Kess was awarded a Presidential Citation by the American Dental Association (ADA). In 2013, the ADA created the Steven W. Kess Give Kids A Smile Corporate Volunteer Award to recognize outstanding achievement and commitment to the ADA Foundation’s “Give Kids A Smile®” program.
Kess is also the recipient of the National Dental Association’s 2014 President’s Corporate Award, the 2014 Meritorious Service Award from the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, and has been recognized by the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the Indian Dental Association (USA) Inc, and Dental Volunteers for Israel.
“On behalf of more than 18,000 Team Schein Members, it is an honor to receive this prestigious award from NYUCD, the largest dental school in the United States and one of Henry Schein’s longest-standing partners,” said Kess. “Our organizations share a deep commitment to ‘helping health happen’ around the world, which we carry out together through many different initiatives, including joint disaster relief efforts; health care outreach; and wellness, education, and training programs. Henry Schein looks forward to continuing its partnership with this remarkable institution for many years to come.”
Henry Schein has shared a strategic relationship with NYUCD for more than two decades, during which the NYUCD/Henry Schein Cares Global Student Outreach Program was established, as well as the Henry Schein Cares Wing at NYUCD. Through the Student Outreach Program, dental students and supervising faculty and clinicians work to expand the scope of oral health services offered to underserved and at-risk communities around the world. At the Henry Schein Cares Wing at NYUCD, dental students receive hands-on training and education in the latest technology and provide quality, affordable health care to members of the surrounding community.
Henry Schein’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Stanley M. Bergman, was the 2002 recipient of the Harry Strusser Memorial Award. Bergman was recognized for his support of American dental education and international humanitarian efforts, his corporate commitment to improve the oral health of communities near and far, and his generosity to NYUCD.