The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund Recognizes People, Organizations, and Programs for Their Contributions to the Dental Community and Public Oral Health Arena
The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative leadership in health care and named after the late Dr. Edward B. Shils, recently held its 15th annual Shils Awards ceremony. The awards recognize people, organizations, and programs that safeguard the oral health of underserved communities and populations and positively influence the dental community. They were presented at the Shils Fund Dinner, held October 10 at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.
“In the 15 years since we first conceived of these awards, they’ve prominently celebrated the innovators, big thinkers, and fearless entrepreneurs whose vision for our industry has shaped the oral health of so many,” said Steven W. Kess, President of the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund’s Board of Directors. “This year’s honorees continue to exemplify Dr. Shils’s belief that the values of entrepreneurship and education create long-lasting and far-reaching impacts when carried into the public health sector.”
Dr. Shils served as the Executive Director of the Dental Manufacturers of America and the Dental Dealers of America for almost 50 years and earned six degrees—including three doctorates—from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as a professor and Chair of the Management Department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was also instrumental in establishing the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center, the first institute dedicated to the academic study of entrepreneurialism.
Because of his stewardship, scholarship, and encouragement of innovative business practices in dentistry, the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund was established by the dental industry to recognize those whose contributions reflect a similarly enduring commitment to innovation in the field of oral health.
Three different awards were presented at the event:
- The Special Recognition Award, which acknowledges people and programs for their work to improve the oral health and well-being of others;
- The Shils Award, which is a monetary prize given to people and programs from all sectors of the health care community in recognition of their positive impact on the field and their respective communities; and
- The inaugural Cohen-Volpe Award, which is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to dentistry or its allied sciences. The award is named for two distinguished clinicians, researchers, and educators: Dr. D. Walter Cohen and Dr. Anthony Volpe.
Dr. Alejandro Roisentul, Director of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at Ziv Medical Center in Tsfat, Israel, received this year’s Special Recognition Award for his outstanding humanitarian efforts and advocacy for the treatment of those in need that are affected by human tragedy.
This year’s Shils Awards were presented to:
- Dr. Kathryn Kell, for her outstanding commitment and effort to develop health policy and oral health promotions through her leadership at FDI World Dental Federation, an organization of nearly 200 worldwide dental associations and specialist groups for which Dr. Kell currently serves as president;
- The Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, whose members provide free oral health care to Holocaust survivors living in poverty through the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program;
- Henry Schein Cares—the global corporate social responsibility program of Henry Schein, Inc.—for being a pivotal partner in advocating for the oral health and overall health of Holocaust survivors in need through the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program; and
- Town & Country Dental Studios, for its generous philanthropic support of the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program.
The inaugural Cohen-Volpe Award was presented to Mr. Kess for his thoughtful leadership and commitment to providing access to care for underserved populations. In his role as Vice President of Global Professional Relations for Henry Schein, Mr. Kess leads efforts to forge public-private partnerships to address complex global health issues, such as advancing access to care through wellness, prevention, and treatment programs; strengthening emergency preparedness and relief; and building health care capacity.
Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein, Inc.—the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health, and medical practitioners—delivered remarks about his personal relationship with Dr. Shils and the impact Dr. Shils had on the lives of so many.
“I can think of no more fitting place to celebrate 15 years of the Shils Awards than the very campus where Ed accomplished so much and empowered so many people to reach their full potential,” Mr. Bergman said. “The people and programs honored here tonight embody Ed’s vision of what can be accomplished when we build bridges across the health care spectrum. Let us keep his example strong in our hearts and continue to expand the impact of the Shils Fund so we can pass Ed’s enduring legacy from generation to generation.”
About The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund
Friends and colleagues of Dr. Shils, who are also prominent leaders in the dental industry, founded the Dr. Edward D. Shils Entrepreneurial Education Fund in 2002 because they knew that Dr. Shils wanted to leave a legacy of entrepreneurship. In 2012, the Fund was renamed The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, Inc. and became a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Through annual awards, the Fund honors the pioneering vision of Dr. Shils and helps foster inspiration and initiative in current and future health care entrepreneurs.