It wasn’t a St. Vincent de Paul requirement that old and new dental directors share so much in common, but Dr. Ken Snyder and Dr. Scott Myers have coincidentally similar backgrounds.
They both are Pittsburgh-area natives who grew up in working-class households and towns built around steel mills and coal mines. Both love the game of baseball, worked hard to earn their education, and both went on to impressive careers in dentistry.
Now the two longtime friends will share another thing in common—a tenure as the clinical dental director of the Delta Dental of Arizona Oral Health Center at SVdP’s Virginia G. Piper Medical & Dental Clinic.
Myers stepped into the role of clinical dental director this past month as Snyder transitioned to a community outreach role for SVdP as executive dental director.
“I’ll still be around,” said Snyder, who will continue working in the clinic a couple days a week. “But you’re in good hands with Scott. He’s a great dentist, who is dedicated to our mission.”
Myers comes to SVdP after 11 years of teaching at the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, where he was director of the Comprehensive Care Unit and one of the co-directors for the Office of Clinical Education. Prior to that he owned and operated a practice in central Phoenix for five years.
Like so many do, Myers originally moved to the Valley, specifically Peoria, for the weather.
“I decided that I was living all wrong when I came out here in February and could wear shorts,” he joked.
Back east, Myers completed post graduate residences in advanced dentistry and oral science at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and Morristown Memorial Hospital after graduating from the Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University in Philadelphia. He also holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from Pittsburgh University.
Myers first came to SVdP’s dental clinic on the invitation of Snyder after the two had met and become instant friends at one of Myers’ lectures. Myers’ had shared his Pittsburgh background and path into public health, laying the groundwork for their lifelong friendship.
But never did he think he’d eventually step into Snyder’s role as SVdP clinical dental director.
“He’s a fantastic role model, mentor and guide,” Myers said. “It’s an honor to follow in his footsteps. I can still be me but still embrace everything that he did.”
That includes embracing the SVdP dental residency program started by Snyder. For Myers the clinic offers a wonderful opportunity to continue teaching but also practice dentistry for the people.
“I get to do the things I’m really passionate about and help change people’s lives,” Myers said. “I can’t change the world entirely, but I can do it one patient at a time.”
Helping eliminate pain, increase oral health and boost self-confidence in a restored smile is a philosophy and culture Myers hopes to continue at the clinic and pass on to future dental students and assistants who complete clinical rotations there.
He’s also enthusiastic about taking over the clinic during this exciting time of expansion.
“You see all these really great things coming down the road, and you can be as creative as you want,” Myers said, “And the best part, is it’s all for the people’s benefit.”
We tend to important medical issues for those who cannot afford it with understanding and dignity. And because of the philosophy of our clinic, which is to not only to cure bad health, but to curate good health, your day of generosity will keep on giving for years to come.