The School of Dental Medicine is grateful to Kari A. Cunningham, DMD (DEN ‘10 ‘12), who is concluding her term as President of the CWRU School of Dental Medicine Alumni Association Board of Directors on June 30.
During her term, Dr. Cunningham negotiated the challenges of the pandemic, mastering the art of hosting hybrid meetings and events to continue to drive the organization and the School of Dental Medicine forward. Her motto, of “Each one, reach one, teach one!” was rooted in her commitment to serve the community and help others realize their dreams. Dr. Cunningham intentionally and successfully recruited younger alumni to join the board, connected students to job opportunities, and mentored a host of colleagues, residents, dental, and even high school students as they navigated the profession.
Dr. Cunningham is a Past President of the Greater Cleveland Dental Society, the first black woman to serve in that role. During her term there, she worked to establish the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee where colleagues meet to discuss diversity and inclusive excellence as it relates to their roles as leaders in the office and community. Dr. Cunningham also represents the GCDS as a member of the ODA Sub-council on Diversity and Inclusion where she serves as Vice Chair and is the Chair of the ODA Council on Access to Care and Public Service.
Dr. Cunningham is a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. In 2018, she opened Panther Pediatric Dentistry in Euclid, OH where she also provides oral rehabilitation under general anesthesia services and increases access to care with her School-Based Oral Health Program.
As Dr. Cunningham reflected on her term as president, she said "This pandemic has literally rocked our worlds. We are forever changed - we have lost colleagues, family, patients, and team members over these past few years. I found solace in recognizing that every pause has a purpose and that it is necessary to give ourselves and others a little GPU: Grace, Patience, and Understanding!"
Michael Gallagher, D.D.S., F.I.C.D. (DEN ‘83) will serve as the next President of the School of Dental Medicine Alumni Association.