Meet Dr. Neilesh Patel DDS
Dr. Neilesh Patel is a social entrepreneur and leader in global public health. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Patel was raised in California the majority of his life. He attended both public and parochial schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from St. Francis High School. He received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration on Computer Science in 2003, and simultaneously earned a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Patel then worked one year to work in the cardiac device market in both Minneapolis and Tokyo. He helped gain regulatory approval from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approval for one of the most needed life-saving cardiac defibrillators in 2004. The devices approval for sale in Japan helped save the lives of many of Japan's elderly citizens. Subsquently, he then matriculated at UCLA School of Dentistry and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.). During his training, Dr. Patel matriculated at the UCLA Anderson School of Management to pursue a dual degreee DDS/MBA for a short period. Instead, he received a certificate in Global Health from UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. Patel is currently pursuing a Masters in Publc Health (M.P.H.) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health through its Europe-based online program.
Following dental school, Dr. Patel went to work in Bakersfield, CA and along the US-Mexico Border in some of the most poverty-stricken areas of the United States, where he treated migrant farm workers and other underserved people who form the backbone of our subsistence economy.
Neil fought for the children of California in 2007, when AB1433 became law requiring all children entering kindergarten receive a dental screening before entry into public elementary school's kindergarten or first grade. HealthCare Volunteer launched a full front attack on the access to dental screenings issue by imploring dentists statewide to provide free dental screenings to children from the comfort of their dental offices.
Neil has started three non-profits in the state of California since 1997. His first was started during the dot-com boom in the Silicon Valley. StudentsHelp.org Consulting provided free computing services to some of the state's most disadvantaged youth including marginalized youth in East Palo Alto, CA and numerous other California cities. The organization eventually helped thousands of non-profits and underserved people statewide with their computing needs. Next, in 2006 while at UCLA, Patel started HealthCare Volunteer, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that has helped thousands of underserved children receive medical and dental services they would otherwise not receive. Patel was awarded the CEY Humanitarian Award at UCLA for his efforts and his name was permanently engraved on display in UCLA's Ackerman Hall. In 2013, Dr Patel won the 2013 Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual Under Age 35. He was 31 when he won this award the same age as Apple Founder Steve Jobs, when he won the same award in 1986. Patel joins Lance Armstrong, Faith Hill, Peyton Manning and Bobby Jindal as a recipient of this award.
Dr. Patel has a long history of serving in public service positions including having volunteered in the US Armed Forces Component's Reserve Health Readiness Program, the US Army ROTC and the Indian Health Service. Moreoever, Neil worked in the Food and Drug Administration in the Pacing, Defibrillators and Leads Branch as an expert reviewer of software cardiac devices in 2003. In 2011, Dr. Patel was appointed by Commissioner Suehs as the Public Services Representative for the Children's Policy Council for the Texas Health And Human Services. Dr. Patel was also appointed as an expert consultant for the U.S. FDA Medical Devices Advisory Committee - Dental Products Panel in 2011. In 2013, he was selected as the county dental consultant for the Tulare County Office of Education - Early Childhood Program