2021 Conference Speakers

Biographies & Resources


Ifetayo B. Johnson, MA Executive Director  

Oral Health Progress and Equity Network, Inc. (OPEN)


Ms. Johnson is the first Executive Director of the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network, Inc. (OPEN), a position she has held since January 2020. OPEN is a national network of over 2,500 members across all 50 states who are dedicated to oral health, health equity, and social justice.


Her work and interests have always focused on health and equity. From 1999 to 2020, Ms. Johnson served as the Executive Director of United Health Organization (UHO) and Project Healthy Living in Detroit, Michigan. She has been an activist in the Healthy Cities movement and has directed several community projects focused on disease prevention, and health and wellness promotion. She supported Emory University’s “Faith-based and Community Partnerships: Reaching Vulnerable Populations” program that builds capacity in faith- and community-based organizations to reach populations at risk of influenza.  Johnson served as the Senior Program Manager for the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the only national organization dedicated solely to improving the health and wellness of our nation’s 21 million Black women and girls. She is a national presenter on preventive health, health disparities, influenza, and childhood obesity prevention, and currently serves on the board of the Los Angeles Care Harbor temporary dental clinic. 


Ms. Johnson also served as the Director of “Healthy Detroit,” an initiative of the Greater Detroit Area Health Council (GDAHC). She was a faculty member of Bowling Green State University, Appalachian State University, and Livingstone College and directed the Detroit Cable Commission and a teen parenting program for the Urban League of Greater New Haven, Connecticut. Ms. Johnson has been a board member of the Detroit Innovation Academy, VISION Housing and Community Development, Detroit Police Chief’s Advisory Board, and the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority Community Advisory.


Ms. Johnson is a native of Detroit and is married to a retired army officer and the mother of two adult sons and an adult foster daughter.  

Betsy Bray, RDH, BS- Director, Health Affairs, New York State Dental Association


Betsy Bray is Director of Health Affairs for the NYS Dental Association. Having earned a Bachelors’ Degree in Health and Human Service from Empire State College, Betsy has a broad range of over 30 years of clinical experience in the field of dental hygiene, as well as extensive independent work as a practice development consultant, a continuing education presenter, and an oral health coordinator. Betsy has been published and featured in RDH magazine on issues pertaining to school-based health and access to care for children.

Action for Dental Health (ADA) Community Dental Health Coordinator

Action for Dental Health (ADA) Community Dental Health Coordinator Program Overview

Program Information

New Tools for Navigation will allow participants to understand how oral health impacts overall health and the existing disparities within underserved communities.  A new workforce model; Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) will be introduced.  And a review of how tele-dentistry and technology is changing the landscape by assisting with oral health literacy, ED utilization rates and health home establishment.

Leah Carpenter, DMD
Bassett Healthcare Network


Leah Carpenter has been a School Based dentist with Bassett Healthcare Network since 2013, and chief of their Dental Services department since 2016.

Program Information

Bassett’s School Based dental program employs 4 hygienists, 1 dentist, and one dental assistant. It serves approximately 2,200 students K-12 in a 3 county region in rural central New York.

Paul Glassman, DDS, MA, MBA
California Northstate University


Dr. Paul Glassman is the Associate Dean for Research and Community Engagement at the College of Dental Medicine at California Northstate University in Elk Grove, CA and Professor Emeritus at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni, School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA. He has served on many national panels including the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Oral Health Access to Services which produced the IOM report on Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations.

Program Information

Teledentistry: New Era for Oral Health. There has been increasing interest over the last several years in using teledentistry systems to reach people who are not having regular dental care. The COVID Pandemic has accelerated this interest. This program will provide an overview of the development of teledentistry in the oral health industry, specific recommendations for staying in touch with patients and proving dental care in the current environment, and considerations for using teledentistry to enhance dental practices as we move into the post-COVID world.

Expanding Oral Health: Teledentistry

Teledentistry: Rules

Michele Griguts, DDS Dental Director, Division of Medical and Dental Directors, Office of Health Insurance Programs,
New York State Department of Health


Dr. Michele Griguts is the Dental Director for the Division of Medical and Dental Directors within the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Health Insurance Programs. She started this position in September of 2017 after seventeen years of practicing dentistry in an Article 28 facility located in Albany, New York where she provided dental care to the special needs population. The Division’s dental team focuses on policies that strengthen the oral health of New York Medicaid members, especially children, and works to promote access to dental services.

Richard Niederman, DMD
Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion at New York University College of Dentistry
Director of the WHO Collaborating Center.


Dr. Richard Niederman is a professor and chair, Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion at New York University College of Dentistry, and Director of the WHO Collaborating Center. He graduated magna cum laude and received his periodontal specialty training from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.  He received certificate training in Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University. He co-founded the journal Evidence-Based Dentistry, co-authored the book Evidence-based Dentistry, and more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles. 

Over the last 15 years, he developed and implemented CariedAway, a school-based, aerosol-free caries prevention and treatment program.  The program reduces caries by 50% by bringing care to kids rather than kids to care. CariedAway is supported by the NIH, PCORI, Medicaid and foundations. Programs are currently running in urban New York and rural New Hampshire. He previously worked in urban Boston, and rural Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, and Maine.  He has also collaborated on programs in Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.

Jean Moore, DrPHP, FAAN
Director of the New York Center for Health Workforce Studies at the School of Public Health, SUNY Albany


Dr. Jean Moore is the Director of the New York Center for Health Workforce Studies (the Center) at the School of Public Health, State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany. She serves as the Principal Investigator for two Cooperative Agreements funded by the Health Resources and Services   Administration, the Oral Health Workforce Research Center and the Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center.

Dr. Moore has worked as a health workforce researcher for more than 20 years and has served as director of the Center  for over 15 years.  Her experience as a researcher and a leader has allowed her to make substantive and sustained contributions both nationally and internationally through the generation, synthesis and dissemination of data and research on the health workforce.  

Dennis G. Johnson
Managing Director for Strategy & Evaluation, Mother Cabrini Health Foundation


Dennis Johnson is Managing Director for Strategy and Evaluation at Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. Prior to that he was executive vice president for government affairs at Children's Health Fund and policy director at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. In his twenty-seven years at Children’s Health Fund, Mr. Johnson also served as vice president of external affairs and interim director of the Fund's national network of mobile-based pediatric programs.

 Prior to his tenure at The Children's Health Fund, Mr. Johnson was a senior program officer at the Fund for New York City Public Education and a research analyst at the Public Policy Institute of the Business Council of New York State.

Mr. Johnson received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his Master's Degree in Political Management from the Graduate School of Political Management at Baruch College.

Melissa Burroughs
Oral Health Campaign Director at Families USA


Melissa Burroughs is the Oral Health Campaign Director at Families USA. Since 2016, she has led Families USA’s Oral Health for All Campaign to improve oral health policies that drive health equity, expand oral health coverage, and support access to care. Her work includes Campaign visioning and planning, coalition building, educating policymakers, developing advocacy movements, supporting policymakers and partners with technical assistance, communications, and action tools on policy details and advocacy strategy.  Before her work with the Oral Health Campaign, Melissa spent several years in partnership and policy work at Families USA focused on consumer advocate engagement in health system transformation, Medicaid 1115 waivers, and Medicaid expansion. Families USA is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all people in America.

Dionne Richardson, DDS, MPH

State Dental Director, NYS State Department of Health   


Dr. Richardson has served as a State Dental Director for NY State Department of Health. She oversees the Division of Family Health’s oral health programs and  initiatives implemented and managed through the Division and she provides guidance for programs and policies that provide valuable public health services and preventive interventions to improve oral health across the lifespan. 


She has over 25 years of training and experience in oral health promotion, prevention, and directing oral health programs for vulnerable populations.


Dr. Richardson received undergraduate and dental degrees from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Tennessee. She has also completed extensive post-doctoral training in general dentistry, research, public health, neurodevelopmental disabilities in special needs populations, and health policy. She received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester NY.   

Her quest to eliminate oral health disparities in vulnerable populations has been a guiding force throughout her career in public health. Developing and implementing interventions and strategies to address oral disease in populations have helped to develop her understanding of the impacts of social determinants of health and her perspectives on lessening the impacts of these determinants to improve the oral health of the most vulnerable populations.    

Stacey Chazin, MPH

Director of Capacity Building and Technical Assistance

Oral Health Progress & Equity Network (OPEN)


Stacey Chazin, MPH, leads capacity-building, training, and technical assistance for the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN) – a network comprising more than 2,000 advocates, organizers, providers, policymakers, and other oral health stakeholders across the country. OPEN members work in their own communities and states, and collectively, to take on America’s oral health challenges so that everyone has an equitable chance to thrive. Critical to OPEN’s work is the elimination of disparities and the structural racism that underlies them.


Prior to joining OPEN, Ms. Chazin spent nearly a decade with the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), a national health policy center, where she was director of prevention programs. In that role, she established and directed a portfolio of work focused on improving access, quality, and outcomes in oral health for Medicaid-enrolled children and adults.

Ms. Chazin has extensive experience designing and leading multi-stakeholder collaboratives and providing technical assistance to state Medicaid agencies, their contracted plans, and public health partners to better serve low-income and diverse populations and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in care. Through this work, which has focused on oral health, she has honed skills in collaborative-building and learning; stakeholder engagement; needs assessment and program development; quality-improvement frameworks; evaluation; and data analysis. Prior to joining CHCS, she worked in the health communications field.

Ms. Chazin holds a master’s degree in public health from Temple University, a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, and a bachelor’s degree in economics/marketing from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in organizational development and leadership at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Joseph Gambacorta

University at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine


A native of Buffalo, New York Dr. Gambacorta currently serves as the associate dean for clinical affairs and a clinical associate professor at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He graduated from the University at Buffalo in 1989 with a degree in biology and earned his dental degree from the School of Dental Medicine in 1993. He completed a general practice residency at Buffalo’s Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital in 1994. Dr. Gambacorta then established a private practice and began working in community clinics throughout Western New York. In 2002, he began as clinical instructor at the School of Dental Medicine and in 2012 he accepted a full-time appointment as the assistant dean for clinical affairs and assistant clinical professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry.

Elizabeth Mertz, PhD, MA

University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry


Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Mertz is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry. She is affiliated with the UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health (CANDO), the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and Healthforce Center. Dr. Mertz’s research encompasses a broad range of health care workforce, health policy, and health services research topics. She holds a BA from the University of Southern California, a MA from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a PhD in medical sociology from the University of California, San Francisco.

Kevin Whitaker, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Jamestown Public Schools


Dr. Kevin Whitaker joined Jamestown Public Schools as the Superintendent of Schools in June 2020 after a nearly 30-year career in education. Prior to coming to Jamestown, Dr. Whitaker was the Assistant Superintendent for School Improvement & Accountability for the Geneva City Schools, a highly diverse district of approximately 2,500 students in the Finger Lakes Region, with high levels of poverty.  He is focused on equity issues and high performance for all students.


Dr. Whitaker began teaching in the Albany area before coming to the Rochester area to work at the middle school, high school and PK-12 levels. He has experience as a high school and middle school teacher, a department chair, staff developer and national-level consultant, assistant principal at the early middle, middle and high school levels, principal at the high school level in a high-needs district, and as an assistant superintendent.


Dr. Whitaker has been an adjunct professor at the University of Rochester since 2016 where he teaches a class in school law to aspiring school administrators.  He regularly participates on panels and other special events to give back to the educational community.

Dr. Whitaker earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology at Union College in Schenectady, NY, followed by a Master of Arts in Teaching, also from Union College, a Certificate of Advanced Study from SUNY Brockport, and a Doctorate from the University of Rochester. He has been married for 26 years and has two daughters: Emily, a graduate of St. John Fisher College in Rochester, and Katie, who is graduating from high school this year and will be attending Furman University as a freshman and a member of the women’s basketball team.

Dr. Raymond Dailey, DDS

Swinomish Clinical Dentist


Dr. Raymond Dailey graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1995 (GO HEELS!) and immediately went to work for Indian Health Services with the Klamath Tribal community in Chiliquin, Oregon. In 1997, he transferred to the Swinomish Reservation in LaConner, Washington, where he continues to provide comprehensive dental care to the Swinomish Tribal community.

Dr. Dailey has always had a passion for teaching and training. He hopes to inspire in others a desire to serve tribal communities. To that end, he has hosted over 40 dental students, several of whom have gone on to work for native populations.  Dr. Dailey also instructs dental assisting students at the Bellingham Technical College.

The Swinomish Dental Clinic has seen incredible success in their sealant program under the direction of Dr. Dailey. We see all of the native children from 1st to 12th grade. There is a short documentary production that can be found on Vimeo entitled “Swinomish Sealant Day.”

In 2010, Dr. Dailey volunteered for a six-week mission on the USNS Mercy and provided services for the underserved populations of Vietnam and Cambodia. While this mission was personally rewarding for Dr. Dailey, he also became more acutely aware of the need for basic dental care around the world.

Dr. Dailey has been actively pursuing the introduction of a mid-level provider position in the state of Washington since returning from the USNS Mercy mission in 2010. That dream became a reality in 2016. Today there are two dental therapists working here at Swinomish!

During 2015-2016 Dr. Dailey took seven months off to provide dental care and see the world with his family. From the jungles of Vietnam to the slopes of Mt Everest and thriving communities in Ghana, Dr. Dailey provided dental care, learned about alternative practices around the world, and made some amazing friends that inspire him to this day.   


In his free time, you will find Dr. Dailey enjoying the beauty of Western Washington with his wife and two sons.