PDA dentist, oral pathologists’ expertise leads to quick diagnosis and treatment in this medical-dental integration story.
Permanente Dental Associates (PDA) Board of Directors announced today that Cyrus Lee, DMD has been elected by shareholders as EDD-Elect as part of a planned leadership transition.
Dr. Lee has served PDA in several different capacities during his 16-year tenure, including professional director at Kaiser Permanente Aloha Dental Office and Cedar Hills Medical and Dental offices, and PDA’s West area professional director, overseeing five dental offices. Since 2018 Dr. Lee has been PDA’s dental director, Care Delivery.
Dr. Lee’s 6-year term begins January 1, 2023. Between July 1 and the end of 2022, current EDD/CEO Dr. John Snyder will serve as senior executive consultant, mentoring and transitioning PDA leadership responsibilities to Dr. Lee.
When Dr. John Snyder retires at the end of this year, he will have led PDA for nearly 15 years, and served nearly 35 with the organization. A general dentist, Dr. Snyder began his career with PDA in 1987, well before electronic dental (patient) records were available.
But he saw the potential.
Always believing that oral health should be considered part of overall health, as PDA’s first associate director for Evidence-Based Care, he forged efforts into what’s now being referred to as medical-dental integration (MDI) within Kaiser Permanente’s Northwest Region (KPNW), the only Kaiser Permanente region to offer both medical and dental services.
Now that both medical and dental electronic patient records have been fully integrated at KPNW since 2016, the 85% of 290,000 dental members who are also medical members can benefit by dentists’ ability to monitor diabetes, administer vaccines, and remind them to avoid delaying preventive screenings for heart disease and cancers.
This system integration and coordination of care between dental and medical can often mean earlier diagnosis and treatment of not only oral cancer, but head and neck cancers and other conditions.
“I fully support his selection and agree Dr. Lee has the right qualities, experience and visionary leadership that will drive the future of PDA and further the practice of medical-dental integration (MDI) that we helped pioneer,” says Dr. Snyder.
“His work in operations has allowed him to cultivate a deep understanding of PDA’s business, as well as the intricacies of the larger Kaiser Permanente organization,” he adds. “Through his many roles, he has developed strong relationships within PDA and among KPNW partners that will translate seamlessly with his transition to the EDD role.”
In an ongoing collaboration between Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research (CHR) and Permanente Dental Associates’ Dr. Dan Pihlstrom, a study recently published in the Journal of American Dental Association (JADA) found that patients 65 and older who had a dental visit at a dental office offering some medical services were 1.5 times more likely to have their medical care gaps closed (preventive and disease management medical care) compared to a similar population who had dental care at a non-Medical-Dental Integrated (MDI) setting.
“This is the first study publication that specifically calls out care gap closure,” says Dr. Pihlstrom. “This contributes to the body of evidence, building a stronger case for MDI.”
Previous publications have studied the potential for improvement of overall health associated with receiving dental care where dentists have access to a patient’s electronic health record and care history, acting as another touchpoint in an integrated health care system reminding patients of overdue preventive or disease management care.