The first Tuesday of each month from 4-6 pm Arizona time, except for holiday weekends, ACMI will have a featured guest to discuss a relevant Behavioral Health topic; after the speaker, we will discuss current issues with the Behavioral Health System attendees. This month, hear about Brighter Way Dentistry, a clinic model that offers free or discounted dentistry through an innovative model. We have Dr. Kris Volcheck discussing his program and services. He will discuss the importance of dental health to better health outcomes.
MBA, Arizona State University, 1991, Magna cum Laude, Beta Gamma Sigma
DDS, Emory University, 1985
BS, Biology, University of Pittsburgh, 1981
Upon graduating from Dental School in 1985, Dr. Volcheck opened a private dental practice in Globe, AZ. His patients ranged from birth to 80+ years, and he provided comprehensive dentistry. Dr. Volcheck began working on a Master’s in Business Administration at ASU, where he became acquainted with Mary Orton, the founder and then director of Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS). Ms. Orton persuaded Dr. Volcheck to volunteer at CASS’ single adult shelter, and he volunteered there for two years while still in his private practice. After completing his MBA, Dr. Volcheck closed his dental practice and became a full-time case manager for CASS.
As a case manager, Dr. Volcheck worked in a trailer, on the streets, and in fields and riverbeds. This experience quickly immersed him in the complex issues surrounding homelessness. Over his seven years as a case manager, Dr. Volcheck witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of homelessness on an individual’s oral health. In late 1999, Dr. Volcheck began preparations for the state’s only dental clinic for the homeless. Working in collaboration with the Arizona State Office of Oral Health and the Maricopa County Healthcare for the Homeless Clinic, the CASS Dental Clinic opened to its first patient on Jan 1, 2001. In the first year, 20 volunteer dentists, 15 hygienists, and 20 dental labs provided service in the two-chair dental trailer.
Four years later, Dr. Volcheck completed the design, secured funding, and oversaw the relocation of the clinic to an eight-chair facility located on the Human Services Campus in downtown Phoenix. It became one of the largest volunteer-driven dental clinics in the nation, providing comprehensive dental care to homeless veterans, adults, and children. Many hundreds of volunteers and dental students are now working at the clinic to serve the oral health needs of the homeless community.
In addition to serving as Dental Director, Dr. Volcheck frequently provides technical assistance to agencies wishing to establish similar dental programs. He has also presented at the Annual National Healthcare for the Homeless Conference.
March 1, 2007 – Dr. Volcheck opened the CASS Dental Program for Homeless Children on the Human Services Campus. The Children’s program utilizes the same successful model of dental volunteers and students treating homeless children.
June 2010 – With funding from the Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation, Dr. Volcheck launched the Murphy Kids Dental Clinic. This clinic served 2,200 impoverished children in this elementary school district. Also, in partnership with the Halle Foundation, in 2012, Dr. Volcheck opened an accredited Dental Assisting School to assist in rehabilitating domestic violence victims.
July 1, 2014 – The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation funded the opening of the Parsons Center for Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics at the site of the Murphy Kids Dental Clinic. This Foundation has continued supporting efforts to treat these uninsured, impoverished children. The Center provides comprehensive care to over 15,000 impoverished, predominantly Hispanic children annually.
March 4, 2016 – In collaboration with Canyon State Academy, BWI formed the Canyon State Academy Dental Center for Foster Children. This center now operates under the auspices of Canyon State.
July 01, 2016 – Brighter Way Institute (BWI) was incorporated as a nonprofit 501 (c)(3). With Dr. Volcheck as the CEO, this new organization took the three clinics that formerly belonged to CASS and formed an organization that would continue to focus on treating the oral health needs of our underserved communities.
2016 – Dr. Volcheck launched the BWI Implant Training Center. Dentists throughout the U.S. travel to Phoenix to volunteer and provide patients, primarily veterans, with no-cost implants and no-cost implant-supported dentures.
2018 – Dr. Volcheck partnered with United Healthcare to form BWI’s first mobile dental unit serving Title I schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and gay homeless youth and young adults at One-N-Ten.
2019 – At the request of Marica Mintz, CEO of Phoenix Metro Boys and Girls Clubs, BWI entered into a new partnership that took advantage of our expertise in nonprofit dentistry to help another nonprofit and its patients. BWI moved into a new area by now becoming a practice management group for the Boys and Girls Club Dental Clinic.
2020 – Brighter Way celebrates its 20th Anniversary at Legacy Place, where the BWI Board honors Dr. Volcheck for 30 years working with the homeless and establishes the Brighter Way Endowment.
2022 – Brighter Way Dental Center at the Human Services Campus is renamed the Diane and Bruce Halle Brighter Way Dental Center which then becomes an inaugural site for the first Jacksonville University Comprehensive Oral Implantology Residency program.
2023 – Brighter Way Institute comprises the Diane & Bruce Halle Brighter Way Dental Center, Parsons Center for Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, and Brighter Way United Healthcare Mobile Dental Center, donated by United Healthcare in 2018.
2001 Direct Service Provider of the Year from the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness
2002 Inducted into Golden Key Society at Arizona State University
2004 CASS Dental Clinic ‘Nonprofit Excellence in Collaboration Award’ from SRP
2006 Dentist of the Year, Arizona Dental Association
2006 HealthCare Hero in the Dental Industry, Arizona Business Journal
2008 Mary Haywood Award for 15 years of service to the homeless community
2010 Robert Wood Johnson National Award as Community Health Leader
2013 Volunteer Service Award-American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation
2017 Arizona Medical Association David O. Landrith Humanitarian Award
2017 Eide Bailly Industry Resourcefulness Award
2019 Ed Stihls National Award for Innovation in Dentistry
Topic: ACMI Stakeholder’s Meeting
Time: August 1st, 2023, 04:00 PM Arizona, Dental- Brighter Way, Kris Volcheck
Sept 12th, 2023, 04:00 PM Hom Inc by Charles Sullivan
October 3rd, 2023, Psynergy Programs– CoOwner Arturo Uribe and ED Lynda Kaufman
November 7th, Greenbuurger’s Hope House, a secure treatment facility by ED Cheryl Roberts
December 5th, Secure Residential Treatment in San Mateo County by Terry Rittgers, Yessa Calderon, and Louise Rogers
Every month on the First Tuesday until December 25th, 2025
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