Shay, Kenneth, DDS, MS

Director of Geriatric Programs
US Department of Veterans Affairs


Kenneth Shay earned his DDS from UCLA in 1982.  He then completed a residency in general practice dentistry and a 2 year dentist-geriatric fellowship program at the Milwaukee VA and Marquette University in 1986.  He was the Section Chief for Dental Geriatrics at the Milwaukee VA from 1986-1993; Chief of the Ann Arbor VA Dental Service from 1993-1999; and the founding director of the VA Geriatrics and Extended Care Service Line for VAs in Michigan, northwestern Ohio, Indiana, and central Illinois from 1999-2005.  In 2005 he was appointed Director of Geriatric Programs for the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care in VA Central Office.  In that role, he is responsible for the VA’s 19 Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (GRECCs), and national programs in geriatric evaluation, geriatric primary care, and delirium. In 2008 he co-chaired the Steering Committee responsible for developing a Geriatrics and Extended Care strategic plan that was officially approved in September 2009 and is currently in the process of implementation nationally by:  (1) innovating and expanding non-institutional extended care options for Veterans; (2) enhancing geriatrics competencies throughout the VHA workforce; (3) adjusting VHA’s performance management system to include process and outcome measures appropriate for the elderly; and (4) articulating and requiring a uniform set of cares and services available to all eligible older Veterans regardless of the point of care.

Dr. Shay was an Associate Professor at the Marquette dental school and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Division of Geriatric Medicine from 1986-1993.  He was the Director of the Midwest Geriatric Education Center 1990-1991 and the founding Director of the Wisconsin Geriatric Education Center 1991-1993.  He directed the HRSA-supported Milwaukee VA Dental Geriatric Fellowship Program 1986-1992 and was the dental co-director of the Medical-Dental Geriatric Fellowship Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin 1988-1993. He is currently adjunct Professor of dentistry at the University of Michigan. He served as dental co-director for the HRSA-supported University of Michigan Interdisciplinary Geriatric Fellowship Program 1994-1999. 

Dr. Shay has served as a board member, officer, and President or Chairman of the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry and the Federation of Special Care Organizations in Dentistry and has lectured extensively to medical, dental, and allied health audiences on geriatric oral health for over 20 years. He was a founding member and is on the Board of Directors of the American Delirium Society. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the American Geriatrics Society, the American College of Dentists, the Federation of Special Care Dentistry, and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.  He has authored seven editions of the oral health section of the AGS Geriatric Board Review syllabus. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and multiple book chapters and abstracts in geriatric topics, including geriatric education and the role of oral pathogens in systemic disease.