Our fight against oral cancer can only be won with strong partnerships and collaboration. With allies, we can continue to drive change in the world of this disease.
The RDH community is vital to shaping how and when oral cancer is discovered. They are a powerful force in education- not only within the dental community, but the public they interact with on a daily basis. They recognize the growing problem of oral cancer and actively work in not only early discovery, but the dissemination of vetted information that raises awareness to those who may not know of this disease.
They promote these ideals in their professional lives while actively working with us in order to propel change. Many of our volunteer walk coordinators are RDHs, making them the driving force behind funds that go directly to research, educational campaigns, and advocacy. They partner with OCF year-round to conduct free oral screening events in their office, allowing those who don’t have the opportunity to regularly see a dental professional to be screened.
The RDH community are our champions for change, and that’s why we are excited to introduce our RDH Advisory Board. By partnering with those who are successful and influential within the RDH community, we can work together to change the world of oral cancer.
Jo-Anne is a sought after writer for leading dental journals and publications across North America. The editors of PennWell publications selected Jo-Anne’s article entitled “Sex and Oral Health: What’s the Connection?” as one of the “The Most Important Dental Stories Published” focused on the rising incidence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer.
In the midst of preparing to present her extensive research on HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer to her national association, Jo-Anne’s family were dealt a crushing blow of having a family member diagnosed with late stage HPV-positive tonsillar cancer. The subsequent loss of this family member further ignited her passion to proudly partner with the Oral Cancer Foundation in conveying the urgent need for changing the way in which we screen for oral cancer both professionally and through self-examination to meet the needs of today’s population.
A breast cancer diagnosis given to Jill’s mother ignited a passion for the oral concerns of oncology patients. Additional experiences with friends, family members and patients continued her drive to learn about the field now known as Dental Oncology. Jill earned a certificate in Oncology Management from the University of Southern Indiana.
Jill is a 2014 recipient of the Sunstar Americas/RDH Award of Distinction, a Regional Coordinator for the Oral Cancer Foundation and a contributor to various dental and oncology resources. She is a member of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, the Wisconsin Dental Hygienists’ Association and an inaugural member of the American Academy of Dental Oncology.
Jill and her husband are the owners of Side Effect Support LLC, which is dedicated to helping survivors of all types of cancer to manage oral side effects of their diagnosis and treatments. She continues to practice in a general dentistry office in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
During her education in dental hygiene, an opportunity to go to Romania on a two week mission trip ignited her passion for service and the value of public health programs. This led Amber to pursue her Master’s in Public Health. As a writer, company owner, professional speaker, consultant, and clinically practicing dental hygienist, Amber enjoys every facet of the career path she has chosen. Amber also provides preventive services abroad on an annual basis leading dental professionals to join this initiative.
She is an accomplished author, sought after speaker, maintains memberships in numerous professional associations, is a key opinion leader to dental corporations, and serves on several advisory boards. Karen facilitates interactive workshops leading dental professionals to perform effective and comprehensive head and neck examinations including oral cancer screening to ensure the provision of the best possible opportunity for earlier discovery of oral cancer.
As a dental hygienist for many years, Maria’s career has focused on prevention. This focus has translated into advocacy, public speaking, leadership and volunteerism to spread the word regarding earlier detection of many diseases such as oral cancer. Maria is a noted researcher, author, speaker and the owner of Seminars for Women’s Health and Sex Based Medicine, whose goal is to educate professionals about the differences in health and disease between men and women, and the link between oral and general health. To date, Maria continues to offer courses and webinars on oral cancer prevention and early detection. Maria was a member of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center for 12 years working together with over 80 American health professional organizations and health care institutions to increase the cessation rate for smokers.
As an international speaker, Amber has the ability to impact her peers across the globe. The focus of Amber’s lectures is to empower dental professionals to understand the strong connectivity with oral health and systemic health. Her message further incites today’s dental professional to recognize their role of advocacy for patients and the positioning of our influence as an integral healthcare professional.
Amber is dedicated to performing oral cancer screenings as a part of every single patient encounter. This level of commitment has provided Amber with many opportunities to intervene with appropriate referral management pathways related to early discovery. Having a number of patients in her practice who are survivors of oral and throat cancers struggling with the day to day impact of both the disease and the treatment has inspired Amber to never ease up on screening patients, educating them on their own risks and actively referring.
Tricia has been extremely involved in leadership in her profession for her entire career as an enthusiastic lifelong CDHA and ADHA member and a dedicated advocate for advancing the profession. She was appointed to the Dental Board of California in 2002 for a four-year term. Tricia is the 2015 recipient of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Alfred C. Fones Award for her dedication to leadership. Also recognized for her many efforts and contributions to the Dental Hygiene profession, Tricia has received several awards including the CDHA’s President’s Recognition Award, the ADHA Bausch and Lomb Distinctions in Dental Hygiene Award and the ADHA Distinguished Service Award.
An author, clinician, educator, consultant, international presenter, mentor and business owner coupled with her passion for the profession radiates in her presentations! Her passion lies in creating awareness to patients as well as clinicians of the importance of oral cancer screening and initiating conversations about these life savings opportunities.
Alison has been most impacted by the survivors of oral and oropharyngeal cancer that she has met through her involvement with public awareness events and support forums. Ironically, she had a family member diagnosed and treated for late stage oropharyngeal cancer in 2013 and is grateful that she could direct him to OCF for additional guidance and support. Alison learned a lot through his personal journey in battling this disease from surgery through the long recovery phase. She feels that many dental professionals do not have a clear understanding of what oral cancer patients must endure, especially if the diagnosis occurs at a later stage. In her course “The Faces of Oral Cancer”, Alison shares many personal stories of oral cancer patients in hopes that dental professionals will personally commit to early discovery initiatives and patient education about risk factors, trends, and self-exam. Alison strives to be the voice for the many oral cancer patients who have had their voice taken away by this disease.
Susan is passionate about oral health care and particularly oral cancer screening. Susan spent the majority of her dental hygiene career in private practice, she currently works as an Integrative dental hygienist in an FQHC for the homeless. She has served as regional coordinator for The Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) since 2011 and is past recipient of the OCF Volunteer of the Year in 2011.
Susan serves as the Oral Cancer Screening Coordinator for Colorado Mission of Mercy, is part of the Denver Homeless Head and Neck Cancer Screening and Care Group, is an advisory member of HPV Free Colorado, and founded M.A.D. for Healthy Smiles as part of the Donny Osmond Make a Difference program. She’s organized countless free screening and awareness events
Kathryn has been on the front lines of the early detection of oral cancer throughout her thirty-year career. She serves on the advisory board of the Oral Cancer Foundation and as the Director of Education of Oral Cancer Cause. Kathryn has organized the free head and neck cancer screenings for the OCF Walk for Awareness in Houston and in her community.
Kathryn credits her experiences with patients, friends, and family members who are oral and oropharyngeal cancer survivors as the drivers of her passion for early detection. Kathryn presents impactful, hands on courses on early detection of head and neck cancer, HPV-related head and neck cancers, and how to care for patients undergoing treatment for cancer. Her course, “Three Minutes to Save a Life” has been one of her most popular presentations. Kathryn’s personal philosophy of care is to provide a head and neck abnormality screening for every patient at every visit, and she trains her coaching clients and conference attendees to do the same.
Kathryn’s interest in the medical side of dentistry led her to years of advanced study into the oral-systemic link, including twice graduating from the prestigious Bale Doneen Preceptorship for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention for Healthcare Practitioners. She earned a charter fellowship in the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) in 2018.
Kathryn is an honors graduate of the University of Nebraska and The University of Texas Health Science Center. She has published numerous continuing education courses and articles that have been featured in The Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, AGD Impact, Dental Economics, RDH Magazine, Dentistry Today, Modern Hygienist, and Hygiene Mastery Magazine.
Patti was a leader in an annual 5K walk/run for awareness in Illinois along with dozens of public screening events throughout the community. Her passion for early oral cancer detection was fueled when she found early squamous cell on a family with seemingly no risk factors.
As the author of 7 books on coding, Patti leads an active group shaping the future. In fact, the American Dental Association recognized her expertise by inviting her to write a chapter in its CDT 2017 Companion book and again for CDT 2018 Companion. Patti holds publishing and speaking licenses with ADA for Current Dental Ter¬minology©2019.
Patti has published 30+ articles annually, and presents 50-70 programs annually. Patti has received numerous awards and recognitions Dentistry Today’s Leaders in CE 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Sunstar Award of Distinction 2014, Sonicare Mentor of Distinction 2013, and the Illinois Dental Hygienists Association RDH of Year 2000.
As often as possible, Kyle educates non-dental professionals on the importance of oral cancer screenings so that they can advocate for themselves with their dental provider. Her ability to connect easily with anyone has enabled her to be a great asset to the Oral Cancer Foundation and her work with supporting event coordinators. She writes a monthly dental blog for a local organization supporting families of young children and teaches the oral health unit for certification for community health workers. In addition to speaking, she is a published author in RDH Magazine and a recipient of the 2017 SUNSTAR Award of Distinction as well as the 2018 HuFriedy/ADHA Master Clinician Award. Kyle is a member of the AADH, ADHA, ODHA, NNHH, and ADHP.