RHAPSODY IN BLUE: Dr. Rebecca A. Cornille at the Vista Community Clinic

DR. REBECCA A. CORNILLE, A MEMBER OF THE 40 UNDER 40 IN 2014, IS LAUDED BY SAN DIEGO FOR HER SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY.

“The culture of those we serve is one of hard work, love of family and gratitude.”

SHE ATTENDED dental school in Kansas City, the heart of middle America, but when Dr. Rebecca A. Cornille shifted gears to commu- nity health to earn licensure in California, she ended up much further afield. “I began as a staff dentist at a clinic close to the border of Mexico,” she says, “and in time my interest and passion for working with those in need grew.”

Dr. Cornille, a member of the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 class of 2014, was recently honored with the Live Well San Diego 2016 Public Health Champion Award in recognition of her “extraordinary achieve- ment in promoting the health of residents in San Diego County.”

CORNILLE’S LAURELS: Receiving her award from local dignitaries

CORNILLE’S LAURELS:
Receiving her award from local dignitaries

As director of the Vista Community Clinic in the city of Vista, some 40 miles north of San Diego, Dr. Cornille has “the privilege of working with a team whose mission and passion is the same as my own,” as she puts it. Together they’ve been responsible for implement- ing CAMBRA (Caries Management by Risk Assessment), a well-known system for identifying high-risk dental patients; overseen imple- mentation of the A+ Teeth mobile unit that visits local elementary schools and nonprofit groups to offer oral exams and fluoride varnish; established Vista Community Clinic as a Ryan White dental provider for patients with HIV and AIDS; and much more.

The Public Health Champion Award holds special meaning for her. “I really enjoy the patient population that I’m able to serve,” she says. “Heavily influenced by our proximity to Mexico, the culture is one of hard work, love of family and gratitude.”

True to the name of the honor she received, Dr. Cornille has long championed public health as a career path to younger practitioners and dental students alike. “It’s all about doing what’s best for the patient using all the resources we have,” she says. “There are plenty of challenges, but overcoming them brings an incredible sense of purpose and life satisfaction.”