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Inside Dentistry

October 2010, Volume 6, Issue 9
Published by AEGIS Communications


A Conversation with Stanley Bergman

An industry perspective on the challenges facing dentistry and the delivery of dental healthcare.

Inside Dentistry’s James B. Bramson, DDS, president of Bramson & Company, holds an in-depth conversation with Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Henry Schein, gaining the industry perspective of some of the changes and challenges currently facing not just dentistry but all of healthcare.

INSIDE DENTISTRY (ID): Stan, as Chairman of the Board for a multibillion dollar company, I’m sure our readers are interested in your path into dentistry. Could you tell us a little about your background?

STANLEY BERGMAN (SB): After graduating from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, I became a New York State Certified Public Accountant and a South African Chartered Accountant. Eventually I joined BDO Seidman–New York Auditing Practice and Management Advisory Services. Then in 1980, I joined Henry Schein as Chief Financial Officer—this year marks my 30th anniversary as a Team Schein Member. With the untimely passing of Jay Schein, I became Chairman and CEO of Henry Schein in 1989.

Through our support of the dental community, I have been proud to be active in numerous dental industry and professional associations. I served on the Oversight Committee, Future of Dentistry Project for the American Dental Association and was awarded honorary membership in the ADA. I also have worked with numerous dental organizations and schools including The Forsyth Institute, the premier oral health research institution in the United States.

ID: From your perspective, how has that background helped you manage or grow your business, or perhaps look at issues from a different perspective than those executives who spent all their time in the U.S.?

SB: I was born in South Africa, and grew up in a part of the country that actually was integrated during the apartheid period—it only became segregated toward the end of the apartheid regime. My father had a business in this terrific country, a real multicultural melting pot in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. That is how I learned to understand business and building relationships with people from different backgrounds. I think that has been very important in our building of Henry Schein, which is one of the few global distribution companies.

ID: I assume that you tried to mirror those early experiences in your company’s culture.

SB: I learned two important things. From my mother I learned that it is all about people, and from my father that it is about understanding where people come from and where they are going. Not where they come from geographically, but what their interests and goals are, and how they interpret success. Because we all define success based on our history, our emotions and our environment, people have different definitions. The ability to encourage people from different backgrounds to work towards a common goal is something I learned from my parents in the South African community where I was raised.

ID: From your industry perspective, what are the biggest challenges facing dentistry in the next 5 to 10 years?

SB: There are many issues of which dentists should be aware, including federal legislation, environmental issues, the economy, the scope of their practice, and team issues. For example, I believe that dentists need to appropriately participate in the expanded access-to-care programs being promoted by the federal government. In addition, there is a need to become more managerial in professional endeavors and incorporate an expanded workforce into the practice. Another issue is helping to facilitate the incorporation of oral health into total health as part of primary care without compromising expertise in providing state-of-the-art, high-quality comprehensive dental services.

For older clinicians, the decision to invest in their practice, to upgrade electronic health records, and add dental technologies that will improve diagnostics, clinical care, and patient outcomes is a challenge. For those looking to sell their practice, it is building their practice and positioning it to optimize its value.

Also, we must learn to adjust expectations for practice growth, development, and quality of life issues in the face of economic challenges, ongoing unemployment, and perhaps a shifting of health priorities that may place cosmetic dental care into a secondary position. Dentists do not so much need to readjust their priorities as sharpen their focus on practice management, business acumen and marketing to optimize clinical dental care for their patients.

ID: Do any of these issues rise above the others and appear to be a greater challenge?

SB: Providing access to care is most important and challenging, but it should be done in the right way. In a democratic system, if dentists do not advocate for reduction in disparity of access to care, the government will intervene. In a free market democracy such as the United States, interest groups can influence the legislature through the ballot box. Dentists should determine their role in increasing access to care and reducing the disparity that exists today. Every American is entitled to healthcare in one way or another. This is not a political issue; it is a fact. It becomes political when we debate how this goal should be achieved. Ultimately the richest country in the world will provide oral health care to each of its citizens, and the dental community will need to accept that.

ID: Do you think that the current economic condition is going to slow progress on that issue?

SB: That is difficult to say. There will be advances made, but there is no question that change also will come into play during the process.

ID: From your industry perspective, the economic downturn has probably lasted a little longer than people hoped for or expected. What is your company’s view of its effect on the economic state of dentistry, and how much longer until we start to see an uptick?

SB: We should be very careful when defining uptick and downtick, both generally in the economy and in the dental community specifically. It would be a mistake to measure against the high point of September 2008 when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. If you own a house, you should not just take into account the value of that house at the high point in 2008. It would be a mistake because the run-up was so dramatic in that period after 2003. The same could be said about dentistry. We should not judge progress in dentistry by how much business was being done by the average dentist in the summer of 2008, because it increased dramatically in the preceding four or five years. We would be better served to look at average growth in that period to compare with where we are today. No one can predict the future, but 15 years from now, if we look back to the 2001–2003 period, we probably will see that dentistry in this country will have increased in a very nice way, with a few ups and downs on that chart. It will go up and down in a linear fashion that is similar to what has happened in dentistry over the last 100 years in the United States.

ID: Henry Schein also has broad operations in medical and veterinary equipment and supplies. How similar or different are those businesses, and what lessons can dentistry learn from these other markets?

SB: I have found that the role of the health professional in a small independent practice is somewhat similar across all segments. Regardless of the health sector, the business aspects of a practice are similar in that the health professional takes on the role of small business entrepreneur, sometimes with partners or as part of small groups. For example, the nature of providing team leadership, the benefits of training, and operating efficiencies; the process of purchasing disposables, and equipment; and the expanding reliance on technology and practice management software are comparable across all of the markets.

Dentistry is somewhat further defined in the provision of more value for its services than perhaps members of the medical and animal health marketplaces. It has also avoided some of the reimbursement and regulatory challenges that many in the medical community have faced.

ID: Thinking about the different cultures or delivery systems in medical, veterinary, and others—you described more similarity than I expected. I thought you might argue that dentistry is quite a bit different. Could you comment a little more on where those similarities are across the business?

SB: Dentistry in the free economy environment—whether it is in the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand or Japan—has methodologies similar to the office-based medical and animal health practitioner worlds. The SME (the small or medium-sized enterprise) is delivering healthcare. What they all have common is a healthcare practitioner who has been educated at a medical, dental or veterinary school and learned the clinical aspects of a practice. They are very good at that part of the profession.

Eventually the healthcare practitioner will have to operate a small business, and all small businesses have certain things in common: practitioners will need to generate sales, watch their expenses, and most importantly, develop a small team that functions well. Losing one or two people from a small team can negatively affect the productivity of a practice. So in reality, even though some practitioners may say they are not operating a business, they actually are operating a business. The goal is to provide high-quality healthcare, but these offices also should be operated as businesses. That is the common theme. We serve more than 670,000 practices and 1 million office-based healthcare practitioners, and they are all focused on operating a better business to provide better clinical care. They may buy different products, have different clinical issues and different reimbursement systems, but the issues that they have to solve are very similar.

ID: Do you see relatively strong growth forecast in the larger aggregated or group-type practices, where they can use materials, systems, information technology, etc., to manage their practices in ways that perhaps smaller practices haven’t been able to utilize quite so well?

SB: Historically, we have seen this trend with our medical, dental and animal health practices. The effect of these larger practices is not based on obtaining better pricing or finding better ways to market. The issue is embracing common sense. The basic good business principles for operating a small or medium-sized enterprise—or even a large one—are relatively few. The adoption of these business principles largely relates to the use of the computer, but buying a computer in and of itself is not adequate. It is how you use a practice management system and electronic medical records driven by the computer. It is how the practice adapts to using technology to operate a better business. This is not unique to the dental and medical professions. It is the same principle for someone who owns a garage or a restaurant.

ID: Do you see medicine and dentistry coming closer together in the future?

SB: I believe there is an aspect of oral healthcare that crosses between the medical and dental communities—we need to foster the idea of a “health home” that incorporates both medical and dental needs, especially for young children and seniors. There is a role for general practitioners, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and, of course, pediatricians to incorporate oral health screening for their patients from birth, and then appropriately refer these patients to a dental home. Similarly, there are tests and chairside exams that can be administered by the dental team that can provide greater health assessment of the patient at the time of a dental visit.

We do see medicine and dentistry coming closer together, and we are fostering an appropriate exchange between these areas, especially through the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. There is a lot of cross-training necessary, because the average child will see a pediatrician more than 10 times before age 3, while the likelihood of seeing a dentist during that time is much less.

However, I do believe that the provision of dental care will remain the exclusive province of the dentist. Perhaps salivary diagnostics (Editor’s Note: See this month’s Cover Story), which provide insight into a person’s oral health, may be used by other professionals as part of a total health assessment.

ID: As the head of a global corporation with operations in many countries, can you compare dentistry in the United States to that around the globe? How is dentistry in America better as a result of this global influence?

SB: Over the past 20 years, dental care has evolved significantly. Innovation in implants, materials, restorative and bone regeneration, CAD/CAM, equipment, and other developments have taken place throughout the world. The quality of dental care available today is probably more sophisticated and comprehensive. Better quality outcomes are resulting from the sharing of knowledge, the globalization of continuing education, the use of communication technology, online seminars, webinars, and other innovations.

The international dental community is extraordinarily interactive—crossing borders and continents to share innovations, techniques, and research, and to learn from prominent lecturers. Industry has become globalized, and equipment that historically would be available only in one market is now, through proper education and training, rapidly being deployed into cross-markets.

Wherever appropriate reimbursement and funding is in place, dentistry clearly has reached high levels of care throughout the developed world. However, there is an international realization that the same care model in developed markets cannot be implemented in developing world countries, and other programs are being put into place to deal with fluoridation, education, and preventive techniques.

High-quality dentistry is a global phenomenon. The United States has an extraordinarily large capacity to deliver high-quality care to those individuals fortunate enough to be able to fund that care. However, dental care is superior in many markets, and this high quality is sought by citizens of many countries, either domestically or through international travel.

ID: When you talk about the international realization that the same care model in developed markets cannot be implemented in underdeveloped countries, and that other programs are being put into place—can you give us some examples?

SB: If your question is directed at the developed, free market world, then it relates to the operation of the practice. The demand for dentists and all health services should remain relatively constant, at least for the next few years, driven by the aging of the baby boomers. The issue again is economics. If the amount of money is not going to increase dramatically on the reimbursement side and the demand for services is growing, the practice needs to deliver more care to patients and be more efficient. That necessitates the adoption of technology in the practice—not only the computer, but also CAD/CAM, electronic impressions, digital X-rays and lasers. To meet the needs of the public and ensure that practitioners in a free market can generate an increase in profits, the adoption of technology must happen in healthcare practices.

ID: Every year, you attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. What are other world corporate leaders saying about healthcare in general and dental services in particular?

SB: With global migration at the highest rate, some countries that have historically established great oral healthcare for their core population are being faced with new challenges as immigrant populations become permanent residents or citizens. Oral health literacy based on country of origin of the population and the gap in socioeconomic levels has become a challenge for world health providers as well as government agencies. Although after comprehensive care is available as part of the social system, it is not being accessed until acute treatment is needed, because awareness of prevention and oral health was not part of that individual’s culture, and those individuals do not take care of their oral health from a preventative or early treatment perspective. Therefore, the rate of advanced care is increasing in countries that historically maintained good oral healthcare. As a result, there is more acute care now in many western European markets and in pockets within the United States.

In addition, I would say that CEOs globally are concerned about the escalation of costs for the delivery of healthcare per employee. This is not a dental issue per se, although I am sure dental is part of this issue in some way. It is more of a general healthcare medical issue. CEOs of major and smaller companies in most of the world are frustrated with healthcare inflation, relative to what they could see as the value that company is achieving for the dollars spent. Although it is not quite the same on the dental side, I imagine that every senior executive will agree that—while they believe healthcare is important—they are reviewing their budgets at the end of the year.

ID: In your opinion, how is dentistry generally viewed by the public? Does its image need a boost?

SB: Dentistry’s image does not necessarily need a boost—it needs to be positioned as more accessible and available to everyone. For example, the expansion of community health centers, the growth of appropriately funded third-party payment schedules, and the outreach by dental organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to advocate for the importance of oral healthcare has done a great deal to improve the image of dentistry.

The dental profession in the United States is very philanthropic in terms of volunteering to provide care through a host of programs such as Give Kids A Smile, Mission of Mercy and Dental Access Days. On an everyday basis, good oral healthcare and a great smile has become a social determinant, separating those who have and those who do not. The appreciation of and the desire to have that smile is at a record high, but the ability to pay for that smile and access to care is a challenge, especially in recent economic conditions.

ID: Reversing that question, how do you think industry is viewed by the profession these days, and what affects this relationship?

SB: There is a good rapport between the industry and the profession, given the role of business in providing new products, materials, and technologies that have enabled the clinician to increase productivity, improve quality of care, and expand patient services. However, like every other relationship in a soft economy, the challenge of delivering value is always there. All businesses, especially small organizations, are constantly looking at their costs. Dentists would like to obtain optimum quality, service, and support at a minimum cost. I think that the dental industry continues to create purchase efficiencies by pointing out the best ways to buy and access inventory in a way that limits the number of products stocked by a particular practice.

ID: When you mentioned earlier that there was a right and wrong way to position dentistry with the access-to-care issue—could you give us some examples?

SB: My opinion is that most dentists entered the profession to help provide quality care to patients. I think that the vast majority of dentists say, “I want to provide healthcare to my patients, and am also prepared to provide healthcare to the public who cannot afford it.” The Give Kids a Smile program is an example—nearly 13,000 dentists participated in 2010, well over 10% of practicing dentists. So I believe that dentists are practicing dentistry for the right reasons, and there are a significant number of dentists willing to provide free healthcare.

ID: Surveys show that dentists are very charitable.

SB: I think that is true. Organized dentistry should provide appropriate vehicles for dentists who want to offer discounted or free-of-charge services to the underserved. It should provide those

opportunities for dentists to become involved with public health.

ID: Probably the greatest change in healthcare has come in the form of federal healthcare legislation, some of which affects dentistry. What is your perspective on the dental provisions in the healthcare reform package and how it affects the delivery and financing of dental care?

SB: To date, the legislation has not been as clear and specific as one might like, although the expanded coverage of children in the S-CHIP program is a boon for those in need of care. The challenge is the rate of payment and the practice’s ability to provide care effectively at those rates.

There is no doubt that the expansion of community health center dental services will be a future growth area for dentists and businesses serving the dental profession. The expansion of the oral health safety net is an appropriate step forward for a developed country, such as the United States. As for adult care, the provisions are few and difficult to find, and at some point, the provision of dental services will need to be addressed. The healthcare reform legislation is not addressing this aspect of the dental issue in its current form.

ID: It seems as though we can’t identify the funding streams necessary to design good dental programs, and that’s always at the core of our inability to address the access problem. Do you have any suggestions about things that health reform could look at or funding mechanisms that would be helpful for the kinds of public dental programs that are out there?

SB: I am not a public health expert, far from it. While I have studied economics, I have spent more time trying to understand the psychology of the public and the political system. Dentistry should find a way to connect to the will of the public—and the will of the public is that a child should have access to a dentist. I am not sure how that should be done, but if it is not done, an illogical approach might develop in the future. If we leave it to the ballot box and the legislature to solve something, we cannot be sure that we will get the best answer. If the problem is addressed in a reasonable way—and that solution does not have to be perfect—the public will not make this an issue, and therefore the legislature will not become involved. It does not have to be dramatic, but dentistry should move more toward resolving the issue of access to care.

ID: More specifically, what do you see as the most vulnerable issue affecting dentistry’s marketability?

SB: The economy, along with the resulting increase in unemployment and loss of dental benefits, is the most significant issue affecting the dental profession’s recovery to its historical high. The ability of society to get back to that point with the same patient population may be a challenge. Dentists may need to reconsider their marketing, promotion, and practice model on an individual basis to service an expanded number of patients in their community. Traditional hours and work

days, along with other factors, may need to be reevaluated in order to attract new patients who may be unable to access care in the conventional manner.

Dentistry in the United States is a free market enterprise built on supply and demand. There will always be demand for dentistry, just as there will always be demand for restaurants. The question is: will there be a demand for expensive restaurants? And will there be a demand for expensive dentistry? That is where the free market comes into play, and why this will not be dealt with through legislation. Dentists who can find their way to a reasonably priced solution will be fine, but they probably will need to operate their practices more efficiently. For example, my wife is a physician, and she usually sees patients for 15-minute blocks—an idea that would have shocked physicians from 40 years ago. However, she provides good services because she also has access to advanced technology. She has applied that technology to her practice, which has allowed her to provide faster, better quality care.

Similarly, a dentist who uses the right kind of technology and practice management technique, and motivates the dental team to work closely together, can provide the same level of care. By getting everyone to work toward the same goal and giving a dental team the best tools, a dentist can deliver more care for less. There will be a growing demand for dentistry because of the aging baby boomers. While there may be a period of adjustment, eventually there will be dentists who can provide quality care more efficiently, using the appropriate technology. Many of these dentists will do very well. There will be more dentistry performed in general, and the profession will triumph. It is like any industry. For example, the tourism industry changed, and those who adapted are doing well. Those who did not adapt are suffering. That is the case in every industry, especially in the current economic environment.

We are seeing a change in the consumer mindset. An executive from one of the biggest retail stores in the United States said consumers do not have any affection for any one store. The demand for healthcare services will grow. How dentists market these services is important, but a practitioner cannot just have a good sales pitch. Dentists who will be able to deliver good service at a competitive price will succeed.

ID: What role do you see Henry Schein and people in the industry having to help dentists understand and adapt to these changes?

SB: Henry Schein has about 3,000 field sales consultants, and we have had to adapt. We began as a mail order business with a catalog: dentists selected products and sent a check and that was it. We were the first to introduce competitive pricing in dentistry, which worked well for years. Then the dentists said that they wanted to call in their orders, so we established a call center, which also worked well. We did not receive checks anymore; instead dentists used credit cards, which was expensive. Then dentists told us that they did not want to call anymore, but wanted us to come to their practices to pick up their orders. So we established a field sales organization.

Today’s dental customers want even more—they want us to provide specialists in equipment, software, specialty products, or in different areas of consumable factors. But even that is not sufficient—dentists also want a field sales consultant who will help with practice management, explain how to use technology in the dental practice, and bring our dental customers new technology and ideas. Computers are important in the dental practice, and automatic computerized reordering is more than 70% of our business in the United States. The computer is taking the order; however the dental practitioner also is expecting our field sales consultant to help them by introducing methodologies to operate a more efficient business, so the dentist can focus on delivering better clinical care to patients.

ID: So they want more of a partner, rather than just a vendor?

SB: Exactly. You really have to be a partner. It is no longer enough to take a dentist out to play golf. We are spending a huge amount of money in the dental, medical and animal health worlds training our field consultants to visit practitioners and provide these services. It is very expensive, but we must do that to help our customers succeed. If we do not do that, in the long run, there will not be practitioners for us to serve.

ID: You’re building a whole new relationship with them?

SB: Exactly

ID: How do you see the access to dental care dilemma being addressed?

SB: Individual states are exploring workforce models that can provide a triage approach to oral health services for their communities. However, there is no single model currently in place that has demonstrated the ability to provide quality care while maintaining operational sustainability. There are some promising programs taking place around the country that in time may yield reproducible results that others may choose to adopt. For example, we are actively working with the American Dental Association’s Community Dental Health Coordinator test program to see if this model can improve patient service, education, and access to care. We also are working with others in pursuing alternative practice and patient service models.

There is no question that there is a greater need for a lower price point, but the private sector marketplace has not yet found the right pricing level, nor has government been able or willing to fund at levels where care can be provided. Henry Schein would love to help develop a best-practices forum to share how different groups in different markets are providing quality care at very cost-effective rates. We would like to do more in helping the marketplace understand, test, and reproduce successful models.

ID: What is dentistry’s next big unrealized opportunity?

SB: The recognition that oral health is part of total health. Evidence of the effect of poor oral health on other conditions, such as birth weight, cardiovascular problems, and other health issues, needs to be developed. In addition, dentists will have the ability to implement chairside diagnostics developed for various diseases, including oral cancer and periodontal disease.

ID: From a business and professional standpoint, do you see any trends, either positive or negative, that are changing the delivery of dental services as we know them today—issues such as technology, financing, workforce, or disease management?

SB: Whether it is positive or negative, in the last 5 years, we have seen the continual rapid growth of dental service organizations where centralized management, operations, and other efficiencies have proven successful. Marketing and brand recognition have shifted patient preferences. There has been the emergence of large group practices, along with practice differentiation through enhanced patient communication and case presentation, assisted by intraoral cameras, digital technology, and practice management software. Dental services have also expanded to include spa and other cosmetic services. This is definitely a growth area for the marketplace, given the aging population and the appeal for those with reimbursement capability to optimize their health, appearance and smile.

ID: What is the dental grapevine telling you these days?

SB: As in any profession, there are some dentists who would like to see a total return to the days of only solo practices servicing a loyal patient population. On the other hand, there are some dentists who recognize the impact of population mobility, expanded demand across socioeconomic levels, and the integration of oral health as part of overall health. I realize that there are political tensions within national organizations and within state associations. Practice acts and licensure typically represent the interests and influences of those entities, but it is not uniform and consistent across the United States. The dental practice act and licensure is regional by state and, therefore, presents challenges and opportunities that could be addressed in the future. Everyone wants a voice. As the dental profession evolves, all of these interests will seek influence and a constituency, which makes it very challenging for national organizations representing multiple views to function efficiently and effectively.

ID: In the dental world, what keeps you up at night?

SB: What concerns me from a business point of view is what keeps the dentists up at night. Do we at Henry Schein have the human capital to meet our customers’ needs and the needs of the business world of tomorrow? It is not dentistry, which I am confident is a great field. I believe there will be more dentistry performed in the future. The concern is how we can help dental practitioners deal with turbulent times. The long answer involves getting the right people in place throughout our Company and preserving our “entrepreneurial” spirit, while we operate an effective business. This will enable us to continue to provide dental practitioners with the services they need to succeed.

ID: You are very active in charitable work here in the United States and abroad. Can you outline your philosophy of social responsibility?

SB: The philosophy behind Henry Schein Cares, our global social responsibility program, is our vision of “doing well by doing good”—the concept of enlightened self-interest championed by Benjamin Franklin. Henry Schein Cares helps to enhance the delivery of healthcare services and information to underserved communities in the United States and abroad by increasing access to care; supporting healthcare education and advocacy; enhancing community wellness; facilitating heath diplomacy; and actively participating in the planning, coordination, and shipment of vital healthcare supplies in response to disasters around the world. Henry Schein Cares annually donates millions of dollars in product, in-kind, and cash contributions.

ID: What is a typical day like for you at the office?

SB: On a typical day, I am not in my office, so it is all about change, adaptability, and communication. There are global teleconferences, conference calls, and literally hundreds of e-mails from all over the world. My workday is varied, challenging, and full of issues and opportunities.

A typical day at the office 20 years ago—or even 5 years ago—was very different. Compared to today, the pace was much slower. The one constant throughout that time has been my close interaction with Team Schein Members, now more than 13,550 in the 23 countries where we have operations, and my determination to ensure that Henry Schein’s culture remains strong as we continue to grow.

ID: What frontiers are left for you and what kind of work would you like to be doing 10 years from now?

SB: Of course, I would love to see the continued growth of our company in developed markets around the world. At the same time, through Henry Schein Cares and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation we will continue to “help health happen” in underserved countries and regions, working with NGO partners and government agencies. This is a lifelong commitment, with no end of challenges. Being able to serve our five constituencies—our supplier partners, customers, investors, Team Schein, and society—is a privilege that I appreciate now and will continue to enjoy for many years to come.

ID: Is there anything you would like to add?

SB: I believe in balancing the needs of the constituencies that make our success possible. In our world, this balance begins with our customers and the manufacturers who create the best-in-market products that our customers need. We want these two constituencies to view Henry Schein as their relevant partner in achieving their needs. Sometimes we know what their needs are, which relates to the whole practice management concept discussed earlier.

We want to ensure that Team Schein is a third constituency in the Henry Schein mosaic of success. Team Schein is about getting everyone on the playing field as engaged as possible, and helping our customers and supplier partners achieve their goals. The fourth part of this balance is to ensure that we obtain the capital we need at highly competitive rates, which requires consistently delivering on our commitments to our capital providers.

Since the day it opened its doors, Henry Schein’s corporate culture has stated that it is not good enough to satisfy our suppliers, our customers, our team, and our shareholders and banks; we also have to help make the world a better place. Therefore, we view society as our fifth constituency, and are committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate. We also help our customers achieve that goal. We support our customers’ efforts to deliver quality care to those who cannot afford it, narrowing the gap in access to care for the underserved. If we can continue to balance the needs of our five constituencies, I am confident that our Company will continue to be successful while we help the dental profession and make a positive contribution to society.

About the Interviewee

Mr. Bergman has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein, Inc. since 1989, and a Director of the company since 1982. He served as Executive Vice President of the company from 1985 to 1989, and Vice President of Finance and Administration of the company from 1980 to 1985. 
Mr. Bergman is an active supporter of organizations fostering the arts, higher education, cultural diversity, and grassroots healthcare and sustainable entrepreneurial economic development initiatives in the United States, Africa, and other developing regions of the world. As a New York State Certified Public Accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a South African Chartered Accountant, Mr. Bergman serves on a number of boards in related areas including the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, the University of Witwatersrand, Tel Aviv University, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Business Council for International Understanding.


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