As the CEO and Dental Director of the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Karen Becerra, DDS, MPH, brings two decades of clinical research and expertise as a practicing dentist to help establish the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center. Dr. Becerra is a dedicated health professional with a track record of excelling at both the provision of dental care services to diverse populations and public health research.
Dr. Becerra oversaw all phases of planning for the new Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center – from concept to facility design, licensure and permits, to business planning and fundraising. She now serves as the CEO and Dental Director.
Dr. Becerra has been a co-author on several papers and has participated in various medical research projects. In 2008, she earned the American Dental Association scholarship and received the Diversity in Leadership award, chosen one of 12 elite dentists in the country selected to receive additional training. She is a past president of the Hispanic Dental Association of San Diego and has served as a new dentist board member of the California Dental Association Foundation.
Her grandfather was a lab technician who supported his wife and 13 children through his work in Colombia. Dr. Becerra was the first in her family to have graduated from a university. Dentistry now runs in the family, making her one of four dentists. She holds a D.D.S. from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, and a master’s degree in public health from the Universidad del Rosario in Bogota, Colombia.