Dr. Keith Da Silva, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C)
Dr. Keith Da Silva is an assistant professor at the College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan where he teaches and conducts research in the disciplines of dental public health, pediatric dentistry, and health policy. After practicing as a pediatric dentist for ten years, he recently completed his MSc in dental public health at the University of Toronto, and is now working towards his PhD in public policy. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada in pediatric dentistry, and a candidate for fellowship in dental public health. Dr. Da Silva has also been very engaged with organized dentistry at the provincial and local level, having served as President of the Halton-Peel Dental Association in 2017-2018 as well as numerous committees for the Ontario Dental Association.
Dr. Amrinderbir Singh, BDS, MPH
Dr. Amrinderbir Singh is an Assistant Professor, Dental Public Health and Director of Inclusive Community Outreach at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Dentistry. He joined USask after working for four years in Northern Saskatchewan in different capacities as Director of Primary Health Care with Saskatchewan Health Authority and Regional Inter-sectoral Coordinator with Northern Human Services Partnership. Dr. Singh completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at Sri Guru Ramdas Institute of Dental Sciences and Research in India and practiced as a dentist before completing his Master of Public Health from USask in 2015. With extensive experience working with Northern Saskatchewan communities, Dr. Singh’s role at USask is to explore opportunities for innovation to extend service and care to priority populations outside of cities. This includes overseeing the six outreach clinics that the College of Dentistry is currently operating across Northern Saskatchewan, as well as establishing relationships and working with different communities and contributors to continue to expand this network of dental clinics that provide care to priority populations across the province. Dr. Singh has spent his career developing and executing a comprehensive, integrated and community based holistic health model. His research interests include Canadian Indigenous oral health, access to oral healthcare services in Canada, spirituality and health, oral health and nutrition, patient and family-centered care, and holistic approaches to oral health.
Ms. Denise Kokaram, MA, RDH
Denise Kokaram is a University of Alberta graduate who passionately advocates for oral health both in clinical practice and public health as a Registered Dental Hygienist. Additionally, she holds a Master of Arts in Leadership with a health specialization from Royal Roads University. As a lifelong learner, she is currently a student of Margaret Wheatley’s Warriors for the Human Spirit training program. Her focus has been on population health, particularly oral health access and equity, with a keen interest in systems innovation and health policy development and implementation. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Nation’s Dental, a social enterprise with a new and innovative approach to delivering quality, affordable, and accessible oral healthcare for priority populations. She pioneered the creation of The Alex Dental Health Bus program and has served as the Oral Health Manager for the First Nations Health Authority. Denise has served on numerous boards and committees focused on oral health, health, and advocacy. Currently, she is a board member for the College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta and has held all executive positions. Additionally, she is a Director with the Healing Centred Cooperative initiative and Calgarians for Kids’ Health, a group advocating for the return of community water fluoridation in Calgary. Denise loves spending time with her family and friends and is an avid adventure traveler who enjoys exploring the world, experiencing other cultures, and being in nature.
Dr. Abiola Adeniyi, BChD, MA, PhD
Dr. Abiola Adeniyi is an internationally trained dentist with background in dental public health. She has vast experience working on maternal and child oral health problems, particularly in underserved populations. Her specialized expertise is in integrated oral health for maternal and child populations. Her research has utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods. She also has technical experience in community based oral health interventions. Dr. Adeniyi recently completed her PhD studies in dental public health at the University of British Columbia. Her PHD research explored the views of healthcare providers and pregnant women on strategies for integrating preventive oral health in routine prenatal servicers from which she produced a model for integrated prenatal oral care for British Columbia. She was the secretary of the Nigerian Association for Dental public health and has been a member of the CAPHD since 2018.
Dr. Aimee Brennan Dawson, DMD, MPH
Dr. Aimee Dawson holds a DMD from Tufts University in Boston and an MPH from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is an associate professor at the Faculty of Dental Medicine at Université Laval in Quebec City where she teaches in dental public health, preventive dentistry and community dentistry. She is co-principle investigator for the Qanuilirpitaa 2017 Nunavik Health Survey in the Arctic. Her research interests include oral epidemiology, geriatric dentistry, health inequalities, preventive dentistry and person-centred care. Dr. Dawson is a founding member of Quebec City’s Clinique SPOT, providing free care to people experiencing marginalization. She serves as a regional coordinator for Project Bouche B, an initiative of Quebec’s dental regulatory body to link low-income people in need of urgent dental treatment with dentists for free care. Dr. Dawson is also responsible for a free teaching clinic with special emphasis on people with disabilities, adolescents, pregnant women and immigrants who lack access to care. She recently completed a year-long visiting professor position at the University of Glasgow where she was embedded with the internationally recognized Child Smile research and evaluation team.
Dr. Abbas Jessani, DDS, MSc, PhD
Dr. Jessani is an assistant professor and coordinator for Operative Dentistry at the College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan. After finishing his DDS from the University of Karachi in 2011, Dr. Jessani joined UBC Dentistry for an MSc and Ph.D. while focusing on access to dental care for the marginalized population such as vulnerable pregnant women and HIV-infected individuals. His diverse teaching experience includes community outreach, problem-based learning, and clinical teaching. During his time at UBC, Dr. Jessani won several awards for clinical teaching excellence as well as academic scholarships for his outstanding research skills. Presently, he is leading projects that aims to identify the unmet dental treatment needs and barriers to access to dental care in marginalized populations in Saskatchewan. When not working, Dr. Jessani likes to travel and volunteer his time in the community.
Ms. Cindy Reed, RDT
Cindy Reed has been employed by the Saskatchewan Dental Therapists Association (SDTA) for over 25 years. As Executive Director she also acts as the SDTA’s Registrar, Secretary and Treasurer. Cindy graduated as a dental therapist in 1983 from Wascana Institute (Saskatchewan Polytechnic) in Regina, SK. As well as her job as Executive Director she is also employed part time in private practice in Swift Current, SK. Over the years Cindy has also worked with the Manitoba Children’s Dental Program (The Pas, MB), Saskatchewan Health Dental Plan (southwest SK) and Children’s Oral Health Initiative-Health Canada (Neekaneet First Nation). Cindy was born in Estevan, SK. She grew up in Estevan and Weyburn, SK and graduated from Weyburn Comprehensive High School. Cindy is married with two children and lives on a farm/ranch in southwest Saskatchewan. Her interests are long distance bicycling, camping, outdoor activities and keeping active.
Ms. Ashley White, RDA, RDT, RDH, BHA
Ashley White got her start in in the field of dentistry 25 years ago as a dental assistant. She went on to complete her studies in the dental therapy and dental hygiene programs, and finally a bachelor of science in Healthcare Administration. Ashley’s employment history is based on a strong knowledge and understanding of the core competencies of dental public health, the broader social determinants of health, community engagement and health promotion in First Nations and Inuit communities. Her passion for public health dentistry has led to a diverse work experience, which includes holding a variety of positions in both the public and private sectors in Switzerland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Africa, the Canadian arctic, Saskatchewan and most recently the national capital region, Ottawa Ontario. Ashley is currently employed by Indigenous Services Canada, a department within the Government of Canada, where she works as the National Oral Health Promotion Officer for First Nations and Inuit Health Branch in Ottawa, Ontario.
Dr. Cynthia Weijs, CIHR Health System Impact Postdoctoral Fellow; PhD (Population Medicine/Social Epidemiology), MPH, RDH (Ontario)
Dr. Weijs completed her Diploma in Dental Hygiene at George Brown College, and a periodontal dental hygiene residency at the University of Toronto. She practiced and taught clinical dental hygiene in Ontario for 20 years, has a BA in Social Psychology, Master of Public Health, and received her PhD in Population Medicine from the University of Guelph in 2016. Currently Dr. Weijs is a CIHR Health System Impact Fellow at Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary. Her work focuses on health system and quality of care impacts related to the private dental system model in Canada. Specifically, her primary interest is in early childhood tooth decay, and strategies to reduce the current late-stage treatment model under general anesthetic, as well as understanding parents’ barriers to access early and appropriate dental preventive care and education. Dr. Weijs has co-developed a whole-health community-based Moms and Tots style program, called Blooming Brushers, that is currently being piloted in two domestic violence shelters in Calgary, Alberta. The pilot aims to provide a rough caries rate for children exposed to domestic violence, improve their access to dental prevention strategies, reduce the stigma and judgment associated with having unaddressed dental decay, and build trust between dental professionals and underserved clients.