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A Conversation with the Chairman

Paul Hinsch is vice president of merchandise marketing at Henry Schein and chair of the DTA Foundation board. He appreciated the value of the DTA Foundation mission from the very start, having joined the Foundation in 2009. But as he tells it, “I didn’t make a deeper emotional connection until I started meeting our outstanding grant and scholarship recipients.”

What do you wish more people understood about the work of the DTA Foundation?
I think it all comes back to the personal stories of the people involved—those grant and scholarship recipients. DTA Foundation provides funding that’s really seed funding for new, innovative programs. Over the years, we’ve been able to watch some of our recipients take their projects to a whole new level.

You’ve called the DTA Foundation the “industry’s foundation.” What do you mean by that?
We as a dental industry have chosen to expand access to care, so that those less privileged can get the dental care they need. This is not something the DTA Foundation board members created, so when we ask for support, those on the other side of the ask should feel a sense of ownership and obligation. It is, after all, ours together.

Why do you think companies (even companies with their own foundations, such as yours) continue to give to the DTA Foundation?
Companies with their own foundations have any number of reasons for what they support. But they might not have the resources applied to do the thorough vetting of opportunities that the DTA Foundation does. The DTA Foundation takes a professional approach to screening, evaluating and awarding grants, following the grantees’ use of funds, success, etc. We are totally focused on expanding access to care through grantees and dental students committed to the same ideals.

What’s your hope for the DTA Foundation in 2017?
Continued growth. We naturally want to expand the number of DTA member companies pledging support of the Foundation, and we hope to expand the number of grants and dental student scholarships. We also want to launch a new opportunity for those who have the resources and the desire to be remembered through a legacy gift, either while they are alive or through their will.

This story is excerpted from the 2016 DTA Foundation Annual Report. View the full report here.