The CAPHD Board of Directors is pleased announce one CAPHD award recipient for 2023. Ms. Leslie Topola has been awarded the CAPHD Life Member Award to recognize her significant contribution to dental public health in Canada.
Congratulations Leslie on your achievement!
Ms Leslie Topola
Leslie recently retired from her Clinical Integration Manager position with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. She is currently a surveyor for Accreditation Canada and will pursue this in retirement.
Leslie is a dental therapist who graduated from Wascana Institute of Applied Arts and Science in 1974, in the first class of dental “nurses”. She worked as a dental therapist in the Saskatchewan Dental Plan (SDP) when it was launched in 1974. She was one of the senior SDP staff who were retained after the SDP was privatized in 1987. Leslie became a dental health educator in Saskatoon Rural Health until 1992 when she accepted the position as Director of the Dental Health Education Program for Community Health Services, Saskatchewan Health. In this role she managed the provincial Dental Health Education program. Since 1995 she has managed a variety of portfolios in public health and Primary Health Care. Better Oral Health in Long-Term Care programming, population oral health surveillance, public health dental clinics, wide-spread provision of fluoride varnish by public health nurses/nurse practitioners in the community and achieving the addition of a dental hygienist classification to the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan collective bargaining agreement, are a few initiatives she implemented. She has been awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Saskatchewan Dental Therapists Association, awarded an Honorary Member in the Saskatchewan Dental Assistants’ Association, was recognized by the Saskatchewan Dental Hygienists Association as a collaborative partner, and awarded the Muriel Jarvis Award for Quality by the Saskatoon Health Region. She served as President of the Saskatchewan Dental Therapists Association from 2001-2006 and has over 49 years of experience in community-based dental public health. She has used this experience to initiate and grow the Saskatchewan Oral Health Coalition Inc., over the past decade, into a charitable organization. Leslie is one of eight SOHC Inc. Directors and plans to dedicate her efforts to this charitable organization in the future.