“Tom Paumier is a community connector, a dental mentor, and a generator of ‘ripples of influence’ that impact the oral health and total wellbeing of not only those in Stark County, but of all Ohioans.” ~ Elaine Campbell, Director, Mercy Development Foundation
Mercy honors Thomas Pamier, DDS, (left) for the crucial role he played in establishing Mercy Dental Services and the Mercy General Practice Dental Residency.
Elaine Campbell, director, Mercy Development Foundation, describes Thomas Paumier, DDS, as a person who generates “ripples” of oral health-care excellence. She compares his efforts to raise the bar on dental health care and education in Ohio to the stone thrown into a pond, creating ripples that grow and gain strength, ultimately having significant impact and making a difference.
“Whether in his Canton, Ohio-based dental practice, at Mercy Dental Services, in his role as mentor for our dental residents, or now as president of the Ohio Dental Association (ODA), Dr. Paumier’s actions, words and deeds demonstrate his commitment to his community, his state and his profession,” says Elaine. “His humble approach and collaborative leadership style exemplify the sentiment expressed by Mother Theresa, who said, ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.'”
Establishing Mercy Dental Services and General Practice Residency
From the inception of Mercy’s hospital-based dental clinic, Dr. Paumier led the way, spending countless hours researching, advising and leading, as well as connecting community stakeholders, social service agencies, and medical and dental providers for a common vision of accessible, quality dental care for all.
He played a key part in helping Mercy raise more than $2.9 million in philanthropic support for Mercy Dental Services, which opened in 2007. Accredited by the American Dental Association, Mercy Dental Services offers affordable preventive, cosmetic and restorative dental care for adults and children, including special-needs, underserved and at-risk patients.
Under Dr. Paumier’s guidance and collaborative spirit, Mercy Dental Services has grown and widened its capacity to serve. As part of his drive to identify local dental needs and gaps in care, he is currently spearheading an innovative community initiatve called the Age One Dental Visit Campaign. It’s designed to build awareness, reduce early childhood caries, and connect families to a dental home.
Born and raised in Ohio, Dr. Paumier pursued his post-secondary education at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, graduating with honors and certificates of merit as the outstanding senior dental student in the Acadamies of General Dentistry and Operative Dentistry. His dental education and skill capacity were further enhanced by his completion of dental residency program at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio.
As a result of that experience, he recognized the value of a dental residency program in Canton and was instrumental in creating the Mercy General Dental Practice Residency.
“Dr. Paumier is in his element as he mentors and connects with our dental residents,” says Elaine. “He gently molds these dentists, enabling them to become better educated and more skilled providers with hearts for serving the poor and under-served. The ripple effect continues because, as resident classes graduate, they take their Mercy experience and share it with the communities where they establish their private practices.”
Dr. Paumier continues his commitment to community oral health by chairing the Mercy Development Foundation’s Endowment Committee, which will ensure the offerings of the dental program into the future.
Community and State Leader for Dental Health
He also has a long history of involvement with the Stark County Dental Society. Since 1988, he has served in numerous executive leadership and volunteer roles, exemplifying the organization’s mission “to promote the profession of dentistry, to serve the community, and enhance the quality of life for members and the patients served.” In 1999, he assumed the helm of this organization as its 90th president, leading with professionalism, integrity and an exemplary commitment to the dental sciences. Dr. Paumier’s community connections reach beyond his dental affiliations as an active board member and volunteer contributing to many local organizations, schools and churches.
Beyond the boundaries of Stark County, Dr. Paumier’s impact is recognized. His leadership in state and national dental organizations has given him the opportunity to inform, represent and serve the public and dental profession throughout Ohio.
As the current president of the ODA, he represents the interests of more than 5,000 dentists and their patients statewide on legislative, regulatory and third-party payer issues. His leadership links Ohio’s dental stakeholders, catalyzes partnerships and connects those in need to resources, maximizing the standard of the dental profession and providing optimal oral health care.
Elaine adds, “Tom Paumier is a community connector, a dental mentor, and a generator of ‘ripples of influence’ that impact the oral health and total wellbeing of not only those in Stark County, but of all Ohioans.”