Founder & CEO, Pacific Dental Services
Stephen E. Thorne IV, BA, MHA, is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Dental Services® (PDS), a leading dental and medical support organization established in 1994 and headquartered in Irvine, Calif. PDS offers business support services to almost 1,000 dental and primary care practices, situated in some of the largest designated market areas in the United States, spanning across 25 states.
In 1989, Mr. Thorne entered the healthcare industry by accepting a job offer from his father, a dentist, to manage a struggling dental office. The success of the first office led him to continue working with his father for several years, after which he founded PDS.
PDS aims to be a global leader in the integration of dental and medical care, with a dedicated focus on supporting practicing clinicians. The company is committed to being the premier choice for healthcare providers, achieved through the development of efficient practices, providing effective management services, and maximizing individual and professional God-given potential.
PDS is guided by its core value statements, known as “We Believes.” In addition to these values, the organization is dedicated to serving others, both through its internal “We Serve” department, which engages team members in acts of service, and through supporting the Pacific Dental Services Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides oral healthcare service programs locally, nationally, and internationally.
Through Mr. Thorne’s leadership, PDS has become a prominent authority on the Mouth-Body Connection® (oral-systemic link), working to highlight the growing need for better collaboration between dental and medical professionals to improve patient outcomes. PDS was the first dental support organization to integrate Epic®, the most widely used electronic health record, into its supported dental practices, marking a departure from the traditional dental-only record approach. All organizations using Epic can easily exchange patient data, improving care coordination, reducing duplication, eliminating guesswork, and closing care gaps between providers. This enables patients to view their entire acute, primary, and dental health history in one place, providing them with a wealth of information and enabling better overall health outcomes.
Mr. Thorne’s influence extends beyond PDS to the wider dental industry. He was instrumental in forming the Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO), which represents some of the largest DSOs in the world; he served as the founding President for the first three years and currently sits on the organization’s Executive Committee. Mr. Thorne also serves on the Santa Fe Group’s Strategic Advisory Council, which is comprised of trusted dental scholars and professionals focused on expanding oral healthcare access to aging Americans.
Mr. Thorne also lends his expertise to academia. He is a member of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine’s Board of Fellows and Initiative Board, where he helps drive the group’s ambitious agenda to integrate oral health and medicine. He serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at A.T. Still University Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, High Point University Workman School of Dentistry Board of Advisors, and the ADEAGies Foundation Board of Trustees.
In addition, Mr. Thorne is an active member of the boards of several prestigious research institutes both domestically and internationally. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Forsyth Institute, one of the only independent research institutes in the United States focusing on the connections between oral health and overall wellness. Mr. Thorne is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the DMS German Mouth-Health Foundation (Deutsche MundgesundheitsStiftung), based in Solingen, Germany.
Mr. Thorne graduated from the University of California Los Angeles in 1989 with a degree in business economics. In 1994 he earned his master’s degree in Health Administration from Chapman University. In 2016 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from A.T. Still University, the world’s first osteopathic medical school.
Mr. Thorne and his wife Pam have been married for 32 years and currently reside in Nevada. Together, they have seven children and five grandchildren.