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The 32 Most Influential People in Dentistry

BY ELIZABETH DILTS

MEASURING “INFLUENCE” is a little like measuring love, or the water view from an apartment terrace. It’s a formula that includes a few numbers, some guesswork and a whole lot of you-know-it-when-you-see-it.

We kicked off our inaugural list of dentistry’s 32 most influential — one for every tooth, of course — months ago, when we discovered, quite by accident, that no dental publication had ever compiled such a ranking. We found rundowns of the most popular dental speakers, top clinicians, key dental consultants. But dentistry — a multibillion-dollar health-care industry that’s home to some of the nation’s most innovative and interesting people — is so much bigger than any of that.

Trying to determine what exactly constitutes influence, we ultimately nailed down a few key metrics. We counted dollars — company size, or size of budget controlled — as most important. Next we looked at the weight an organization can throw around: If a group is influential, by definition its leader is too, even if he or she operates behind the scenes. Finally, we tried to calculate “size of voice”: how much influence an individual has through his or her speaking, writing or research activities.

In the end, we were (and remain) proud of how wide-ranging this list is. Only 14 of these 32 are actually dentists, a reflection of just how diverse, broad-based and, yes, influential our industry has become.


jeffrey-slovin1. JEFFREY SLOVIN
CEO, DentsplySirona
York, Pennsylvania

Slovin had been president of Sirona Dental for nearly four years in the summer of 2014 when he went in search of a strategic partner. Over several months, he and the Sirona leadership team interviewed five companies about a potential merger that would enable
the technology company, which designed and manufactured a full range of dental equipment, to expand into the consumables space.

Tough challenges were nothing new for Slovin: When he was first appointed Sirona’s president in 2010, he and his family moved from the U.S. to Germany, even though none of them spoke the language. Meetings with his team presented just one hurdle. Sirona whittled its five targets down to one: Dentsply, one of the world’s largest  manufacturers of dental products. Starting in March 2015, Slovin met several times with Dentsply CEO Bret Wise to hammer out a deal that would combine these two publicly traded companies in what has been billed a “merger of equals.” The resulting company, of which Slovin is CEO, is dentistry’s largest, with nearly $4 billion in annual sales, 600 scientists, operations around the globe and products in every major dental category. Most importantly, the merger brings together the world’s leading manufacturer of CAD/CAM systems (Sirona’s Cerec) with one of
its top makers of dental materials (Dentsply) to execute the classic “razor/razor blade” strategy.

Following the merger’s close in February, the integration began, with a focus on melding two very different corporate cultures while shedding $125 million in duplicate costs. The market is watching
closely, because this marks the first time any dental manufacturer has tried to fully integrate equipment and consumable operations. Moreover, the sheer size of the combined firm has altered the competitive dynamic: Former No. 1 Danaher (whose dental division is named Kavo Kerr Group) is undergoing its own streamlining, and distributors Henry Schein and Patterson Dental have noticed DentsplySirona’s newfound size, scale and influence. That would seem especially true at Patterson, where an outsize portion of dental profits are rooted in the company’s exclusive distribution agreement for Sirona products, which expires in 2017.

Slovin, a graduate of Harvard Business School, joined Sirona in 2006 when it acquired Schick Technologies. (A former colleague from the Schick days remembers him as “smart, driven and genuine,” and just the right person to help return Schick to fiscal health after it fell on hard times in the late 1990s and early 2000s.) Slovin’s taking his new role in stride, calling the company’s immensity — every day, some 600,000 dental professionals treat 6 million patients with DentsplySirona products — “a huge responsibility but also a great opportunity. Our innovations truly change lives.”


workman_heartland2. RICK WORKMAN, DMD 

Founder & Active Executive Chairman, Heartland Dental
Effingham, Illinois

Workman is the founder and active executive chairman of Heartland Dental. After many years of practicing full-time, Workman created Heartland Dental, a dental support organization that offers non-clinical, administrative services to supported dentists and team members. Today, Heartland Dental is the largest dental support organization in the nation, with over 750 supported dental offices in 34 states. Workman has over 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He is a past recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a former president of the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO).


3. HOWARD FARRAN, DDS, MBA
Founder, Dentaltown.com, Dentaltown Magazine
Phoenix

dr-howard-farran-blue-shirtOver three decades in dentistry, Farran has worn many hats: those of a practicing dentist, the founder and owner of a mini–media empire and an educator who reaches millions of dentists worldwide. After graduating from the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry in 1987, Farran moved to Phoenix, where he opened a family practice. Two years later, he and Jack Dillenberg (see No. 26) founded Arizona Citizens for Better Dental Health, which successfully lobbied Phoenix’s city council to fluoridate its water. In 1999, Farran founded Dentaltown.com, a continuing-ed Web site and industry discussion forum that now boasts 200,000 registered users across the globe and is growing by 1,000 registered users a month. Its 200 instructional videos and comment forums receive hundreds of thousands of hits annually from dentists outside the U.S. His Farran Media publishes Dentaltown, a monthly magazine distributed to 100,000 dentists nationwide.


4. STANLEY BERGMAN
CEO and Chairman of the Board, Henry Schein
Melville, New York

stanley-m-bergmanThe world’s largest provider of health-care products and services for office-based dentists, doctors and veterinarians, Long Island–based Henry Schein, which employs 19,000 people, logged $10.6 billion in sales in 2015, a company record. Bergman himself has quite a story: His parents fled Germany before World War II, settling in South Africa, where he and his sister were born; Bergman and his wife later left apartheid South Africa for the U.S. Henry Schein has donated millions of dollars’ worth of supplies to dentists serving refugees of conflicts around the world. It was No. 268 on Fortune’s ranking of the largest American companies last year; for the last five years the magazine has named it one of the world’s most admired companies.


5. MARTHA SOMERMAN, DDS, PH.D.
Director, National Institute of Dental
and Craniofacial Research
Bethesda, Maryland

mjsomermanWhen Somerman accepted the job as director of NIDCR in 2011, she described it as “tremendously exciting” to “lead an entire field of scientific research.” She wasn’t overstating her responsibilities: She manages a $410 million budget and a staff of more than 400 researchers and administrators from the campus of the National Institutes of Health, NIDCR’s parent. Somerman also oversees hundreds of NIH/NIDCR grant winners who are conducting research at medical and dental schools nationwide on topics related to oral, dental and craniofacial health and disease. A Brooklyn native, she was dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry for nearly a decade, having begun her teaching career at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1984.

For her own research at NIDCR, Somerman is an adjunct investigator in the Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology, studying how different cells and signals affect the development of teeth, the bones they rest on and the tissues that connect the two. Through its research, the lab aims to discover more effective ways to encourage cell regeneration in the mouth. During her tenure, the NIDCR has funded breakthrough research, including the discovery of 41 genes that researchers at Columbia University believe may cause gum disease. The agency’s own scientists, meanwhile, were part of a team that found ways anthrax can be used to fight cancerous tumors.

Last February, Somerman announced a collaboration between the NIDCR and the American Dental Association, which will make dental practitioners more involved in NIDCR-funded research.


stephenbishop_6. STEVE BISHOP
Group President, Procter & Gamble
Global Health Care, Including Oral Care
Cincinnati

Bishop, an Indiana native, directly manages billion-dollar brands Crest and Oral-B for household-goods giant Procter & Gamble. (The average American spends $100 on P&G products every year.) The sector Bishop oversees — oral health care and over-the-counter medications such as Vick’s and Prilosec — makes up 11 percent of P&G’s sales. He took the helm shortly after Oral-B products became available in 43 new countries, and recently oversaw the launch of Oral-B’s new Genius toothbrush, which uses motion sensors and a smartphone camera to facilitate better brushing.


7. MARCO GADOLA
CEO, Straumann
Andover, Massachusetts

marcoGadola sits atop the depth chart at Straumann Holding, a Swiss maker of dental implants, CAD/CAM prosthetics, digital restorative equipment and biomaterials. Since he took the helm in 2013, the company has added more than 1,000 employees worldwide. Now 3,600 staffers strong, Straumann makes tooth-replacement and restorative products sold in some 100 countries. Gadola has implemented a series of unprecedented initiatives to get Straumann’s products into the hands of dentists: a social-media ad campaign showing a video of Gadola hanging upside down, supported by nothing more than four Straumann dental implants. Its Swiss products are so strong and reliable, Gadola says, “I stake my life on them.”

Straumann’s implants aren’t the only thing that’s strong, though: The strength of the Swiss franc has made the company’s products pricier worldwide, and in 2015 Gadola had to cut pay for all Switzerland-based staff and freeze recruitment. He defended the tough measures as necessary to avoid layoffs. Twice in 2016, he revised Straumann’s sales outlook upward and noted that he expects it now to “significantly outpace” the market. To match that ambition, the company bought the Indian dental-implant company Equinox in August, giving it a foothold in a market Gadola estimates is growing faster than China’s. He’s right to focus on the world at large; 95 percent of Straumann’s sales are generated outside Switzerland.


8. BEN CARSON, M.D.
Health-care Adviser to President-elect Trump;
Potential Secretary of Health and Human Services
West Palm Beach, Florida, and Washington, D.C. (possibly)

ben-carsonDonald Trump’s vanquished primary foe has emerged as his leading adviser on health care and is hotly tipped to head Health and Human Services in the coming administration. The newly empowered Republican majority has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act — and with it millions of dollars that have funded dental care for underserved children. No one yet knows what might replace the ACA and how it will affect dentistry. But the smart money is on some version of insurance exchanges surviving, and even growing, as part of a move toward more market-based health care. Even bigger battles, then, have only just begun; is this soft-spoken neurosurgeon the general that the president-elect prefers to lead the charge? As an essential piece of the health-care puzzle, the dental market will be watching.


9. KATHLEEN O’LOUGHLIN, DMD, MPH
Executive Director, American Dental Association
Chicago

kathleen_oloughlin_adaWhatever awaits the dental industry in the years ahead — political, medical, technological — the ADA will be right in the thick of it. The key driver for dentistry’s trade association is also the first woman to serve as its executive director, having assumed her post in June 2009. O’Loughlin’s work with the organization is influenced by the fact that she has been on both the insurer and provider sides of the ledger: In private practice for two decades, she has also been president and CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts and chief dental officer of UnitedHealth. Among her ADA initiatives: the “one-and-done” centralized credentialing service, open to all dentists regardless of ADA membership, that launched last summer. “Our number one priority is helping dentists succeed,” she tells Incisal Edge. “We’re dealing with three generations
[of dentists], and that can be challenging.”


10. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Senior Vice President, American Dental Association’s
Division of Government and Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.

michaelgraham_smallThere are just four dentists-turned-Congressmen (see Mike Simpson, No. 16), and the ADA’s political action committee, which Graham oversees, has helped some of them get (and stay) elected. Between 2009 and 2015, the ADA spent roughly $2.4 million every year on various initiatives and campaigns. That’s a fraction of what the American Medical Association spends, but Graham is laser-focused on dentistry, and it shows. “At any one time, I’d say we’re lobbying 40 different issues,” he says. Those include legislation to increase the number of dentists in the Indian Health System; increasing access to care through Medicaid improvements; reforming dental insurance; device-tax elimination; and more. In a decade, Graham says, he hopes the ADA will be able to focus more on research and technology and less on access to care.


11. GORDON CHRISTENSEN, DDS, MHD, PH.D.
Founder, Practical Clinical Courses
Provo, Utah

gordonSince 1981, Christensen’s Practical Clinical Courses have helped bring continuing education to hundreds of thousands of dental professionals. Through his Web site, DVDs and traveling lecture series, he has taught some 45,000 hours of classes on myriad topics: dental techniques, materials, device reviews and business and practice-management lessons. He was the cofounder, in 1976, of the Clinicians Report Foundation, which publishes influential monthly reviews of dental products tested by nearly 500 dentists across 20 counties. Still a practicing prosthodontist in Provo, Christensen is also an adjunct professor at the University of Utah School of Dentistry.


12. AMIR AGHDAEI
Group Executive and Vice President, KaVo Kerr Group,
a Division of Danaher Corporation
Washington, D.C.

amirIn American dental offices, Danaher’s products are everywhere. The company, which reported $20.5 billion in sales last year worldwide, has nearly a dozen dental brands in its portfolio, including KaVo Kerr and cabinet maker Pelton & Crane, implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare and Gendex, which produces dental imaging and X-ray technology. Aghdaei has been with Danaher since 2011; in July 2015, he was appointed president of Dental Technologies and later that same year became president of the Danaher Dental Platform. In 2015, Danaher’s dental business contributed 13 percent of the company’s revenue.


13. “DR. DOE”
Plaintiffs
Throughout the U.S.

Plaintiffs, dentists from across the United States, have filed a
class-action lawsuit against dental distributors Henry Schein, Patterson Dental, Burkhart and Benco Dental (publisher of Incisal Edge), accusing the companies of violating antitrust laws by, among other things, engaging in a group boycott and agreeing not to compete with one another on price in order to drive up profit margins. The four companies are vigorously defending the lawsuit, which is making its way through the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.


14. MICHAEL COHEN, DDS
Founder, Seattle Study Club
Seattle

cohenmichael_smallThe dental specialists’ advice-and-debate society Cohen founded 24 years ago has grown into a worldwide organization that provides guidance to more than 7,000 members across 250 branches in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, China and Spain. The goal of the clinicians who run each club is to promote team-based treatment planning and total case management for patients. Cohen studied dentistry at McGill University in Montreal and received his certificate in periodontics from the University of Washington. The author of two textbooks on interdisciplinary treatment planning, Cohen is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Periodontics at the University of Washington; he maintains a private practice in the Seattle area.

 


15. STEVE THORNE, MHA
Founder and CEO, Pacific Dental Services
Irvine, California

steve-thorne-pdsThorne founded Pacific Dental Services, one of the U.S.’s largest dental-service organizations, in 1994 in Costa Mesa, California. It would become a key part of the DSO business model, a movement that revolutionized private practice. Thorne’s inspiration came from working at his father’s practice out of college in the early 1990s, where he created a computerized system and helped his dad expand to five offices overall. Pacific now provides business-management and human-resources support to more than 400 practices in 14 states; its plan is to increase that number by 50 every year. For a fee, private-practice dentists affiliate with Pacific and receive, among much else, services regarding real estate, financing, staffing, central billing and collections.


16. REPRESENTATIVE MIKE SIMPSON, DMD
U.S. Congressman, Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District
Blackfoot, Idaho, and Washington, D.C.

simpson_official_photoHaving won reelection to his tenth term in November, Simpson, a Republican, is one of four trained dentists in Congress. He holds a DMD from Washington University School of Dental Medicine in St. Louis, and before going into politics practiced alongside his father and uncle at Simpson Family Dental in Blackfoot, Idaho.

In the last Congress he was on both the House Appropriations and Health and Human Services Appropriations Committees, powerful posts that enable him to fight for such causes as free dental care for military veterans and — in the wake of his own loss of more than 70 pounds — healthy eating and exercise. He has attracted campaign support from the ADA’s American Dental Political Action Committee.

Although he voted against the Affordable Care Act, Simpson has advocated for greater access to dental care and is lobbying for bill H.R. 539, the Action for Dental Health Act — a bill that would help dentists provide oral care to needy Americans by lowering financial barriers and increasing public funds for mobile equipment and more. As co-chair of the Congressional Oral Health Caucus, Simpson also supports the Breaking Barriers to Oral Health Care Act, which would give states and local governments additional dental-care funds.


17. JAMES GLIDEWELL, CDT
President and CEO, Glidewell Laboratories
Newport Beach, California

glidewell_smallWithout question the most prominent toothmaker on earth. His Glidewell Laboratories grew from a one-man operation he started in 1970 with a small ceramics furnace in his Southern California kitchen to the world’s largest dental lab, employing more than 4,300 people to make crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, prosthetic components and full-cast restorations. Early on, Navy vet Glidewell (he served in Southeast Asia during the war in Vietnam) set up an internal quality-control department that tested the raw materials and components he received from outside vendors. That grew into an R&D unit, which made Glidewell an industry leader through its invention of dozens of materials and lab services — BruxZir, Capture impression material, Transition crowns and bridges, and much, much more. The lab was an early adopter of CAD/CAM technology, and Glidewell’s research has led to vast improvements in intraoral and laboratory scanning, chairside milling and implant manufacturing.


18. JAMES INGEBRAND, MBA
President and General Manager,
3M ESPE Dental Division
Minneapolis

james-ingebrand_smallWith $30 billion in annual sales and 90,000 employees, 3M is a monolith among science-and-technology firms. Ingebrand has spent his entire 32-year career there, starting as a market analyst and rising through the ranks to oversee its drug-delivery systems and now to head its ESPE dental division. He manages the 2,000 dental products and services that 3M ESPE Dental manufactures; the Anaheim Group, publisher of industry reports, has named Ingebrand’s oufit the most innovative dental company in the world 11 years running. The division is best known for the 3M True Definition Scanner, Filtek restorative products and Lava Zirconia.


19. KEVIN JACKSON
Senior Vice President, Underwriting and Actuarial, Delta Dental of California
Sacramento, California

Together with Dental Dentals of New York and Pennsylvania, as well as the Delta Dental Insurance Company and its affiliates, Jackson’s firm provides insurance to 33 million individuals and companies. Named to his current position at Delta California in February 2016, Jackson occupies the role at a pivotal time, as insurance providers and dentists alike continue to adapt to the Affordable Care Act and whatever comes next. This past November, Delta began offering ACA-compliant plans on 15 state exchanges and that of Washington, D.C., for children and adults. The company is also supporting legislation, introduced in the Senate last July, that would make it legal for parents to choose a stand-alone dental plan outside of ACA exchanges.


20. JOHN KOIS, DMD, MSD
Founder and Director,
The Kois Center
Seattle

john-koisFor more than two decades, the Kois Center has been a preeminent graduate program for practicing dentists. The institution’s core curriculum consists of nine courses that promote critical thinking, team coaching and a focus on prevention rather than repairing damaged teeth. Kois (the center) also runs an annual symposium on new developments in science. Kois (the man) says he’s gratified to see graduates whose confidence will lead to better patient interaction and increased case acceptance. He’s an affiliate professor in the graduate restorative program at the University of Washington, and maintains two private practices in the Seattle area, focusing on prosthodontics.


21. DON MOODY
Partner, Waller Lansden
Dortch & Davis
Nashville, Tennessee

moody_smallAs lead counsel for some of the biggest mergers-and-acquisitions and private-equity investments in the dental industry, Moody exercises his influence behind the scenes. A partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis in Nashville, Moody was lead counsel for Huron Capital Partners when that private-equity outfit invested an undisclosed amount in Dynamic Dental Partners in 2013. PE firms are attracted to dental-services organizations such as Dynamic because of their direct-payment model and independence from Medicare and Medicaid.


22. LINDA NIESSEN, DMD, MPH, MPP
Dean, Nova Southeastern
University’s College of Dental Medicine
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

linda_smallAs both head of business operations at the world’s largest dental-supply company and dean of the dental school at a premier research university, Niessen has made her mark in both business and academia. Named to her current position at Nova Southeastern in 2013, she came from Texas A&M’s College of Dentistry, where she launched advanced pro-grams in public dental health and geriatric dentistry in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She also spent 15 years at Dentsply, where she oversaw the science support it provided to dentists and expanded its Student Clinician Program, which was started in 1959 and now includes dental students in some 40 countries.


23. MICHAEL HELGESON, DDS
CEO, Apple Tree Dental
Minneapolis

helgeson_smallHelgeson’s nonprofit Apple Tree Dental provides low-cost treatment to underserved populations through its eight clinics and on-site treatment operations in both Minnesota and Northern California. The organization works with 130 government agencies, nonprofits and other groups to get dental equipment (and clinicians) to group homes for mentally challenged adults, nursing homes and more. Since 1985, Apple Tree has handled 1 million dental visits and provided $175 million worth of free or discounted care. A prominent advocate for mid-level providers (see page 72), Helgeson employs a number of dental therapists to treat patients, freeing its more advanced clinicians to handle the harder cases Apple Tree takes on.


24. GARY PRICE
President and CEO,
Dental Trade Alliance
Arlington, Virginia

garyprice-linkedin-bwThe head of the dental-products industry’s largest trade group, Price is the Don Draper behind the DTA’s ubiquitous “Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives” campaign, which is backed by nearly 40 oral-health organizations and the national Ad Council. The campaign’s goal since its 2012 launch has been to highlight the importance of children’s oral health and its link to disease prevention throughout the body. Using billboards nationwide and $33 million in donated airtime, the DTA is making an impact: An Ad Council study from 2013 found that significantly more parents reported children brushing twice a day than before the campaign’s debut.


25. SUSANNAH SCHAEFER
CEO and Executive Vice Chair, Smile Train
New York

schaefer-smiletrainHaving spent 10 years on Smile Train’s board of directors, Schaefer in 2013 took on the top job at the worldwide charity that works to treat cleft lips and palates of children in developing countries by training and equipping local doctors. Beginning in 2000, Schaefer worked directly with Charles Wang, Smile Train’s founder and now chairman of its board, as his special assistant for business and public relations. In 2011, Smile Train mulled a merger with the smaller Operation Smile, on whose board Wang had sat, though the deal ended up not going through. Smile Train raised more than $90 million in 2015, the year it celebrated treatment of more than 1 million patients since 1999.


26. JACK DILLENBERG, DDS, MPH
Dean, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health
Mesa, Arizona

dr-jack-200x300-hiswebsiteDillenberg is the inaugural dean of the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health at A.T. Still University in Mesa. The program he runs there has been widely praised for its community health–focused curriculum, which requires students to have completed 700 hours of community service prior to admission. Dillenberg has been a passionate advocate for that foundational mission his entire professional life, having served as director of the Arizona Department of Health Services’ family-health unit and later as associate director for public-health programs in the California Department of Health Services, in which posts he persuaded Phoenix to fluoridate its water and created oral-health education and treatment campaigns for the deaf and homebound.


27. ED SNYDER
Managing Director, Northcoast Research
Cleveland

edsnyderOne of dentistry’s top equity-research analysts, Snyder tracks the growth and contraction of dental companies both public and private; monthly industry prices for nearly every dental product; and prices and casework in orthodontics, all from Northcoast’s Cleveland headquarters. Snyder joined the company in 2009 as principal and managing director covering the dental, veterinary and medical-waste sectors. His widely read quarterly growth trend reports come from his deep roster of inside sources; his research relies on contacts at more than 40,000 dental practices, hundreds of privately held companies, product specialists and salespeople. (He regularly makes site visits to manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and regional sales offices.) Among his clients: the ADA and members of the Dental Trade Alliance.


28. GWYNETH PALTROW
Actress, Oral Cancer
Foundation Activist
Los Angeles and New York

320x486-forbesThe Oscar-winning actress has used her stardom, and the visibility it brings, to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Oral Cancer Foundation. Paltrow’s father, director Bruce Paltrow, died at 58 in 2002 of complications from oral cancer. Not long after, Paltrow’s mother, Blythe Danner, Paltrow and her brother founded the Bruce Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund. Managed by the Oral Cancer Foundation, the Paltrows’ fund donates money primarily to distressed inner-city neighborhoods and rural towns whose incidence of, and rate of death from, oral cancer are twice the national average. The disease, which is gaining prominence in dental-health circles, strikes more than 48,000 Americans a year and will kill half of them within five years — a rate that has remained stubbornly immobile for a decade.


29. ROGER LEVIN, DDS
Founder and CEO,
The Levin Group
Owings Mills, Maryland

levin_circle-1Levin, a pioneer of dental consultancy, has preached the benefits of effective systems for more than 30 years. The son and grandson of dentists, he studied at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, but after joining his father’s practice realized he was most drawn to the business side. In 1985, Levin founded his first company, Healthcare Advancements, in a small back office in his dad’s practice, from which he advised dentists on how to upgrade their business systems. That operation became The Levin Group in the 1990s; over the years Levin has created consulting programs for training staff, launched a wealth-management arm for dentists and supplied legal services.


30. ANN BATTRELL, MSDH
CEO, American Dental
Hygienists Association
Chicago

annbattrellBattrell is the most influential hygienist in the country, representing the interests of more than 185,000 hygienists nationwide. (She is, indeed, the ADHA’s first chief executive who is actually a registered hygienist.) Since joining the organization in 2000, Battrell — who earned a master’s in dental hygiene from the University of Missouri–Kansas City — has championed an expanded role for hygienists. That took on new urgency during the 2008 economic crisis: “What resonated with me during that time was our responsibility to broaden the opportunities for dental hygienists to be truly integrated into a new health-care delivery system,” she says. A former professor at Northwestern University Dental School, Battrell remains a passionate supporter of hygiene education, particularly revamped curricula that broaden the scope of hygienists’ responsibilities.


31. MAJOR GENERAL
DR. ROOSEVELT ALLEN, DDS
Chief of Dental Corps, United States Air Force
Falls Church, Virginia

rooseveltallen_smallThink your staff and responsibilities are substantial? Major General Allen crafts policy for the Air Force Surgeon General on matters concerning the service’s more than 1,000 dentists and 2,500 technicians. He received his DDS from Howard University and did his residency in general dentistry at the 59th Medical Wing at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He later attended the Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives at George Washington University. Major General Allen manages and executes health care for 44,000 personnel at 75 treatment facilities and oversees a budget of $6.4 billion; he also offers strategic guidance regarding research and acquisitions for the Air Force Medical Service.


32. PETER DUBOIS
Executive Director, California Dental Association
Sacramento, California

peterdubois_smallThe California Dental Association is the largest and highest-profile state dental organization, and although its presidency rotates every two years, DuBois has been its executive director for nearly 15. The CDA has 26,000 member dentists and, under DuBois’s leadership, has played a key role in policy discussions and education about health-care reform, sponsoring several laws to improve dentists’ and patients’ rights in dental-insurance plans. He was instrumental in the reinstatement, after five years, of California’s adult-dental Medicaid program and in the hiring of a state dental director. DuBois is also CEO of The Dentists Insurance Company, which provides insurance and liability policies to 18,000 dentists nationwide. He advocates and volunteers for children’s health causes and has argued before California’s top environmental body that fluoride does not cause cancer.