First Tooth trainers across the state help prevent early childhood caries.
Oral Health Educator Karen Hall has educated professionals from different regions of the state and certified them as First Tooth trainers. These trainers are then able to serve their local communities by holding First Tooth trainings and making awareness, education, and prevention of early childhood caries stronger.
Meet the Trainers
Quanita Anwar, EPDH
Quanita is an Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist at Advantage Dental in Newport. Her responsibilities include clinical hygiene and community outreach. She is also the OSHA supervisor for this clinic. "The best part of my job is providing care to those who haven't had access to care for most of their lives and serving the underserved," she says.
Quanita has a Bachelors in Dental Hygiene and an Associates in Dental Assisting. She is currently enrolled in Pacific University's Masters in Healthcare Administration program. Additionally, Quanita is a volunteer at Creston Dental Clinic and will be serving on the Moldova dental mission trip with Medical Teams International in May 2016.
As an official First Tooth trainer as of February 2016, Quanita serves Lincoln County and the adjacent counties. When she's not working, Quanita enjoysrock climbing, whitewater rafting, zip lining, and other adrenaline inducing activities. Her love of travel has taken her to 38 states and 11 countries.
Ashley Danielson, RDH, EPP
Ashley has been a First Tooth trainer in Wasco and Morrow County since fall of 2014. She attended Oregon State University and finished her dental hygiene education at ODS College of Dental Science in La Grande. For the past three years Ashley has been working with Advantage Dental as their Regional Community Expanded Practice Permit Dental Hygienist. Part of her job is providing services in clinical and community settings. Conducting school based dental screenings and providing dental education at WIC have also been her responsibilities. The best part of Ashley's work is that she's able to educate people about oral health and build relationships with patients and families.
Ashley and her husband live on a ranch in Grass Valley with their Yorkie named Sonny, horses, chickens, and cattle. She farms wheat, regularly goes to barrel races with her friends, and on sunny days enjoys John Day River with her family and friends on the pontoon boat. Fishing and riding horses are two of her favorite activities.
Amy Benson, BSDH, RDH
Amy is a health coach at Moda Health and has been a First Tooth trainer for Eastern Oregon (and sometimes the Portland area) since September 2015. In addition to creating materials for the dental coaching program, Amy's responsibilities including communicating with people all across the state to partner with them on their health goals, including a total body approach that includes oral health. This is a great position for Amy because she used to work as a dental hygienist and "I enjoy working with colleagues with different health backgrounds and skill sets."
After starting as a dental assistant in high school, Amy trained to be an RDH. Her Bachelor's of Science in Dental Hygiene is from Ohio State University. She enjoyed doing difficult periodontal work and helping medically compromised patients in the private practice setting for 15 years. She was also involved with the ODS College of Dental Science, which built a clinic in LaGrande; for seven years she enjoyed passing on knowledge and experience to dental hygiene students.
Amy enjoys being active - paddle boarding, riding bikes, and walking her dog, Frannie. "There is a lot to explore in the different topography of Oregon, and I want to continue to explore its peaks and valleys, water ways, rocks, and snow fields."
Mindy Bentley, RDH, EPP
Mindy is a graduate of Oregon Institute of technology in Klamath Falls and has a Bachelor's of Dental Hygiene. During her senior year, Mindy was able to travel to Honduras to provide dental services. Since then she has worked in private practice (8 years) and now works for Advantage Dental. When she started with them in 2011 her responsibility was working chair-side in their Prineville Clinic. In 2012 her duties were expanded to include working in her community. Currently she is working full-time as a Regional Community Outreach Expanded Practice Permit Dental Hygienist in Crook, Harney, Jefferson, and Lake Counties. Mindy provides services to WIC sites, Head Starts, preschools, elementary and middle schools, retirement and assisted living facilities, health fairs, and in-patient and out-patient drug and alcohol detox/rehabilitation facilities.
One thing Mindy loves about her job is that it is always changing. "While the goal of reaching and providing services to those who are not likely or unable to be seen in the clinic, every day is different and I love the variety!" Mindy also enjoys educating parents in order to increase awareness and decrease dental disease. Mindy also promotes awareness and prevention of early childhood cares as a First Tooth trainer. She received her official certification in July 2015.
When she is not working in her community, Mindy is "all about family" and loves spending time with her handsome sons and her husband. Her weekends include trucks, playing ball, going shooting, and family dinners. "I enjoy hitting the gym daily - this is 'mommy's time' - and any chance of shopping is gladly taken advantage of!"
Katie Clanton, EPDH
Katie is an outreach program dental hygienist working with the sealant program and school based health center in her community. She travels to different schools each week to complete dental screenings and place sealants as needed. "The best part is helping kids have a fun dental experience." Katie enjoys helping students become more at ease with dental services and proud of getting sealants on their teeth. She became a First Tooth trainer in February 2016 to serve Marion and Polk Counties.
Katie's educational background includes an Associates degree in Dental Hygiene and a Bachelors in Psychology and Human Services. Before working for Capitol's outreach program, Katie spent 5 years as a private practice hygienist and the 2015-2016 school year as a Salem Keizer dental hygienist for their sealant program.
When Katie isn't serving her community, she and her husband enjoy spending time with family and friends, white water kayaking, and hiking.
Kassandra 'Kassi' Coleman, BSDH
Kassi graduated from Oregon Tech in 2016 with a BSDH. She is now an EPDH with the Capitol Dental Outreach program. She has experience as a co-located hygienist in Lebanon as well as working at WIC, headstart programs, school sealants and teledentistry from the Smile Keepers Dental van at Childhood Health Associates of Salem. She enjoys the diversity of working with different aspects of public health. She wants to make oral health care more easily accessible to people who otherwise may not have access and create positive dental experiences for children at a young age.
She joined the First Tooth team in December 2016 and serves Linn and Marion Counties. When she is n't working she enjoys spending time with family, friends, her husband and Vizsla puppy, Sage. She likes camping, hiking spending time at the coast and Central Oregon and being outdoors.
Calley Dean, EFDA, EFODA
Calley is a dental assistant with Clackamas County Health Center in Oregon City. She has a background in private practice as well as community health and graduated as an EFDA and EFODA from PCC Sylvania in Portland. The best part of her current job is working with kids and young adults. Calley also credits her great team of coworkers for helping make work fun.
Calley became a part of the First Tooth program in 2015 and serves Clackamas County area. When she isn't working or conducting First Tooth trainings, Calley enjoys trying new restaurants and cooking for her friends and family. "I'm a big foodie." Her other interests include traveling to new destinations.
Tiffany Foy, BSDH, EPP
Tiffany has been a First Tooth trainer since September 2015 and serves Deschutes County and the central Oregon region. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from Oregon Institute of Technology. Currently, she works for Advantage Dental as a Regional Community Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist. Her responsibilities include providing services to prenatal clients and their children at WIC sites in Deschutes County. Additionally, Tiffany provides on-site services at Head Start, relief nurseries, school-based health clinics, etc. Her favorite part of the job is working with children. "I love having the opportunity to empower parents and being a source of hope." She is very passionate about early childhood caries prevention.
When she's not working, Tiffany loves being outdoors and spending time with family and friends. She enjoys trail running, cycling, hiking, and practicing yoga as well as volunteering within her community. During dental hygiene school she had the opportunity to travel to Peru and provide dental services to under-served children in an orphanage. She hopes to do many more dental outreach trips and obtain a Masters (most likely in public health) in the future.
Laura has a Bachelors of Science from Oregon State University and an Associates of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene from Mt. Hood Community College. She worked for two years in private practice in Arizona. She has been working in Dental 3 for the past six months doing Headstart screenings, varnish treatments and sealants in elementary and middle schools in Washington and Clackamas County.
She loves working with children and helping improve their oral health. Since many children either have bad experiences or no experience with the dentist she enjoys being able to provide them with a positive experience and put a smile on their faces. At the end of the day she always goes home with a full heart and smile on her face because of her job.
Laura started training for First Tooth in September 2016 and serves primarily in Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties at Headstart sites.
In her free time she enjoys being active and spending time outdoors. She recently moved from Arizona where she lived for two years with her husband and took advantage of the sunshine by playing lots of golf, hiking as often as possible and running her first marathon. In Oregon she and her husband enjoy being near family and continuing to hike when they can and enjoy outdoor activities as much as possible.
Kristin Hockema, EPDH
Kristin works for Capitol Dental's outreach team. Her responsibilities include coordinating co-located hygienists working in medical offices in Linn County, providing sealants in elementary and middle schools, and providing screenings, education, and fluoride varnish for local Head Start and WIC programs. Her favorite aspect of her career is being able to provide oral health education and encouragement to children and their families. "I love knowing that I can have a positive impact on their oral health for life! I also love integrating medical and dental together in our co-locations."
Kristin has been a First Tooth trainer since 2015 and serves Linn, Benton, and Marion Counties. Prior to being a hygienist, she graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Pacific University's dental hygiene school.
When Kristin isn't in the clinics or helping her community, she enjoys spending time with her dog named Hondo, her outdoorsy husband, and a large close-knit extended family. Her hobbies including hiking, camping, and exploring at her family's cabin on Detroit Lake. Kristin is also a skilled sewer, cook, and can crochet.
Shaunna Jennings, RDH, EPP
Shaunna is a dental hygienist with Advantage Dental and works in clinical and community settings. "The best part of my job is when I can restore a person's oral health, education and motivating them towards a healthier, happier future. I love helping people smile again." A hygienist for 6 years, Shaunna attended Carrington College's dental hygiene program in Boise, Idaho. Before hygiene school she worked as a dental assistant.
As a First Tooth trainer since December 2015, Shaunna serves Lane County. When she isn't working, she enjoys being outdoors, especially to hike and ski. "I enjoy all types of fitness, from running to yoga to crossfit to barre3." Shaunna also has a big furry orange tabby named Rusty. "He is the most lovable and cuddly cat I have ever met!"
Alexa Jett, BSDH, EPDH
Alexa started her career in dentistry in 1995 with an entry-level position and quickly realized she was drawn to the profession of dental hygiene. She graduated from Oregon Health and Science University with a Bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene in 2000. Since then, Alexa has worked in both public health and private dental clinics. Her most rewarding professional experiences were working with the HIV+/AIDS population at OHSU's Russell Street Clinic and at Multnomah County's safety-net clinic in downtown Portland, which largely serves the homeless, mentally ill, and drug addicted community. In addition, she has also served on 5 international dental volunteer missions to Central America (she loves Nicaragua), volunteer locally on the Medical Teams International's Dental Van, and for 14 years chaired the dental hygiene study club that she founded.
Since July 2015, Alexa has been CareOregon's Dental Innovation Specialist. "It's a privilege to use my education and professional experience to support our partner FQHC organizations in helping them meet Triple Aim goals and CCO metrics." Her responsibilities include providing technical assistance for quality improvement projects, creating sustainable infrastructure, and improving operational efficiencies. The best part of her job when providing direct clinical care was the relationships she built with her patients, especially those that weren't used to receiving health care. Now, the best part of Alexa's work is to provide this on a bigger scale by supporting whole clinic systems instead of individual participants.
Alexa completed her First Tooth training in November of 2015 and trains for the Jackson Care Connect CCO (Jackson County) and Columbia Pacific CCO (Tillamook, Clatsop, and Columbia Counties). She is also available to serve to Portland Metro region. Alexa enjoys kickboxing, golf, wine tasting, and sharing laughter and meals with family and friends.
Jill Jones, RDH, EPP
Jill is an OHSU College of Dentistry graduate and holds a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the Iowa College of Dentistry. Also, she earned an Expanded Practice Permit. Jill has worked in private practice in several states as well as taught dental and dental hygiene students. Currently she works part-time as dental hygiene faculty at Lane Community College in Eugene. She teaches Community Dental Health, Local Anesthesia, Pharmacology, pre-clinic, and clinic. By integrating First Tooth training into her teaching, Jill is a Lane County advocate for early childhood caries prevention. She has also begun a quarterly "Baby Days" program into her dental clinic with help from her students. Jill loves working with the next generation of dental hygienists and sharing her passion for community dental health programs and opportunities.
Jill enjoys volunteering for sealant programs, water fluoridation promotion, and state and local component dental hygiene boards. She and her spouse enjoy traveling with their two teenagers.
Meagan Kintz, BSDH
Meagan has been working in the dental field for 9 years. She graduated from Chemeketa Community College dental assisting program in 2006 and went on to work as an endodontic dental assistant in Salem. In 2011 she was accepted into the dental hygiene program at Oregon Tech and graduated in 2014 with her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.
Currently, Meagan works in public health and private practice. One day a week she works at Northwest Dental Arts in Keizer. The other four days she works for Capitol Dental Care in Polk County utilizing her expanded practice permit in different capacities. This fall she will be in elementary schools within the Central School District utilizing the state's first tele-dentistry pilot taking intraoral photographs, radiographs with a portable x-ray unit, and collecting data on kindergarteners and first graders. She'll also be placing sealants on students in all elementary and middle schools in Polk County. In addition, she'll visit Head Start sites in her region to provide their students with dental assessments and fluoride varnish applications three times during the year.
Meagan also contributes at the Central School Health and Wellness Center; she sees students and community members for preventive care. The best parts of her jobs are showing up each day with a passion for what she does, helping people understand the link between oral health and overall health, and assisting under-served populations by improving access to care for them. Meagan also helps First Tooth by training in Marion and Polk Counties.
An outdoor activity enthusiast, Meagan enjoys hiking, boating, camping, exercising, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and her two dogs.
Kathy has been with First Tooth since February 2014 and currently trains medical providers in the Tri-Counties. A graduate of University of Wyoming with an Associates of Science in Dental Hygiene, Kathy earned an award for outstanding community services. She has also worked as a dental assistant and worked in an oral surgery office, so she has 30 years of experience in the dental field.
Now Kathy works at FamilyCare Health, a Medicare and Medicaid managed care organization. As Dental Reviewer at Family Care, where she has been employed since Oct. 2013, Kathy works closely with medical providers to help identify children and adults who may be at high risk for tooth decay. The best part of her job is working with medical providers and their staff because she enjoys educating people on the benefits of good oral hygiene and helping to prevent future tooth decay.
Kathy relaxes by sewing and enjoys having a nice hand-made gift for special occasions.
Chalene Lincecum, EPDH
Chalene has been a First Tooth trainer in the Douglas County region since September 2015. She works as a Region Community Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist for Advantage Dental and has been with them since 2014. Her responsibilities include providing services at WIC, Family Development Centers, Family Relief Nurseries, and Health Kids Outreach Program. Chalene's favorite part of the job is getting to encourage and support children and their families to live a healthy lifestyle.
Chalene is a Lane Community College Dental Assisting graduate and also completed Mt. Hood Community College's Dental Hygiene program.
When she is not working, Chalene enjoys hiking, hunting, and camping with her family.
Cynthia McCarty, EPDH
Cynthia is a native Oregonian whose family started some of the first pear orchards in southern Oregon. In 1998 she attended hygiene school at the University of Alaska in Anchorage.
Since then, she’s worked 15 years in dental hygiene and spent the last 5 years working in public health. Most recently, Cynthia worked at Rogue Community Health in southern Oregon as the Dental Program Manager. The very best part of that job was helping families remove barriers to oral health care and educating them for a better oral health future. “I think working together for the health of the whole patient is the best idea."
Vanessa is a Bilingual dental hygienist who graduated from Pacific University with a Bachelor’s of Oral Health Dental Science and a minor in Inter-professional Studies. She has been with Capitol Dental Care for 2 years and works as an Expanded Practice Dental hygienist for the outreach program. She has worked in multiple co-locations serving mainly diabetic, pregnant women and doing Inter-professional integration with PCP’s for children’s well child checks. She has also coordinated Head start meetings, screenings and Fluoride with the WIC program to educate expecting mothers and children about early childhood caries prevention. She has provided tele-dentistry from the dental bus and sealants for the Polk and Marion county schools.
She says that the best part of her job is getting to help diverse populations to improve their oral health and better their overall health as well as educating them. She enjoys one on one patient care because she can devote time in helping patients make healthier lifestyle choices.
She became a first tooth trainer in December of 2016 and serves Marion, Polk, Linn and Yamhill County. She spends spare time with family and friends. She enjoys community events and helping those in need. She also enjoys “DIY” projects at home as well as cooking, exploring new foods, documentaries, long quiet walks on sunny days and watching Portland Trail Blazers and Beavers.
Laura started dental assisting in high school with on-the-job training. She decided to join the Air Force after that and continued her dental career and traveled to Germany. She later progressed to front office in the dental field and finally to practice management. She worked at Capitol Dental Care and considers them a valuable asset to her career. After the Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) were formed, Laura went to work for AllCare Healthy CCO in Southern Oregon. This organization serves Jackson, Josephine, Curry, and the tip of Douglas County. Laura's responsibilities include helping physical health, mental health, and transportation to integrate with oral health. She works with all of AllCare Health's Dental Care Organization (DCO) partners as well as community partners to make sure all AllCare Health members are taken care of.
In addition, Laura has been a First Tooth trainer for this region since 2014 and enjoys training providers and educating them on caries and disease prevention. Her work in the south has been the most rewarding of her career and she feels blessed to be a part of the health care transformation of the great state of Oregon.
Whitney Knowles, RDH, EPP
Whitney is a Clinical and Community Outreach dental hygienist at Advantage Dental as well as a certified First Tooth Trainer. She provides early childhood caries prevention services to children with limited access to dental services in Head Start and Migrant Head Start programs in rural Eastern Oregon including Umatilla, Morrow, and Gilliam Counties. She also provides services to prenatal clients and their children at WIC sites in these counties.
When she is not working in a clinic or out in the community she likes to be outdoors at her ranch. Whitney loves working with children and is passionate about early childhood caries prevention!
Karen Phillips, BSDH, EPDH
Karen has enjoyed all aspects of her career as a dental hygienist. She worked in a private dental practice for 14 years before making a full-time change into dental public health about 7 years ago. Karen worked for the state, then became involved with Capitol Dental Care's school-based dental sealant programs. She currently works for Dental 3, a new non-profit collaborative in the tri-county area that provides coordination of care as well as school-based screenings, fluoride varnish, and sealant programs. Karen provides screening and varnish for Head Starts and also provides clinical oversight for Head Start and sealant programs. The best part of her job is working with children and providing access to dental services.
As a First Tooth trainer since May 2015, Karen serves Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. When she isn't working for Dental 3 or giving First Tooth trainings, Karen is busy working on her Masters in Public Health. She also spends as much time as possible with her family, especially her 3 young grandchildren. Karen enjoys gardening, sewing, and reading, and owns dogs, kittens, and chickens. She and her husband are volunteer crew for a hot air balloon company in Newberg and help inflate, chase, and deflate the balloons.
Zora Santiago, EPDH
Zora is First Tooth's bilingual trainer. Zora, who holds a BA in Anthropology and an AAS from PCC, has many talents and works for as faculty for PCC's Community Oral Health class; Dental 3, a non-profit in the metro area that works to organize sealants; and Capitol Dental outreach. She also conducts First Tooth trainings for Yamhill and Marion counties. The best part of her work is making the world better through service and education.
Zora is Puerto Rican and loves visiting her home island. She also has two daughters, Alena and Elise.
Brenna Southwick, BSDH, EPDH
Brenna earned her Bachelor's of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. She is currently employed by Advantage Dental and works as a Regional Community Outreach Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist for Klamath, Jackson, and Josephine counties. She works with prenatal and postpartum women, young children, and teens at organizations such as WIC, Head Start, OCDC, Hearts with a Mission, etc. providing services such as oral health and hygiene education and caries prevention and treatment services. Brenna is passionate about reaching the community where they are and making oral health care more accessible. Joining First Tooth in 2015, Brenna serves Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties.
When Brenna isn't serving her community, she spends time with her dachshund, Oliver, who keeps her on her toes because he is a rascal. She also enjoys traveling and dancing.
Jessica Steele, BS, EPDH
Jessica is a Registered Dental Hygienist. She obtained her Bachelors of Dental Hygiene education at ODS College of Dental Sciences through Oregon Institute of Technology. She worked in private practice for 6 years, was a clinical instructor for ODS College of dental sciences for 4 years, and worked for Oregon Health Authority providing the dental sealant program to Eastern Oregon for 6 years.
Jessica now works for Advantage dental as the Southeastern Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist serving Baker and Malheur counties. She loves all aspects of dental hygiene. "Getting to help someone’s oral health and making a change for the better is a GREAT feeling!"
An official First Tooth trainer since March 2016, Jessica serves Baker and Malheur counties. When she's not working or training, Jessica spends time with her family on their ranch. "I am married to my best friend and we have an amazing daughter, Jetta." Jessica also does mounted shooting when she can get away for a shoot!
Brittnay Trujillo, EPDH
Brittnay is an Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist working for Capitol Dental Care and graduated with honors from Portland Community College in 2014. She has been with Capitol for two and half years and is part of their outreach program. She is responsible for oral health education, screenings, fluoride varnish, and sealants within elementary schools, WIC, Head Start, teen parent programs, and more. Since the fall of 2015 she has become the coordinator and lead hygienist for the outreach program in Yamhill County. In this position, Brittnay is a leader for the school sealant program (which includes 17 elementary and middle schools), serves 5 Head Start locations, and is a member of the YCCO Quality Clinical Advisory Panel. The best part of her job is working with children. "I knew from the beginning I would work in public health, but I didn't know I would be privileged to work almost exclusively with children. I love that dental public health is ever-changing to meet the needs of the community. I can get bored pretty easily and always want to do more!" With many opportunities for EPDHs in public health and always evolving as a professional, Brittnay stays extremely engaged in the many facets of her work.
Officially finishing her trainer certification in March of 2016, Brittnay serves as First Tooth trainer in the Yamhill County region.
When she is not working within her community, Brittnay spends much of her time with her family. "My husband is an Iraq war veteran, I am his caregiver and together we have 4 children. We also have an 8 year old Yorkie named Fifi." Brittnay's children are 13, 9, and 5 years old, and her youngest is 9 months old. Her family loves the outdoors, traveling, football, photography, cooking (and eating), music, movies, and games.
Alynn Veinot, EPDH, MPH
Alynn graduated from the University of Colorado School of Dentistry in 2006 with her BS in dental hygiene and has loved working in community-based settings since dental hygiene school. Her favorite aspect of this work is providing care to individuals who most need care and are least able to afford it.
She moved to Oregon in 2009 to pursue her Master's Degree in Public Health from Oregon State University. Upon completion of her degree, she was recruited to work with Neighborhood Health Center (NHC) to provide on-site preventative dental services to Head Start children in Clackamas County. Alynn's role has expanded over time to include providing clinical dental hygiene services in the Oregon City dental clinic as well as continue coordinating NHC's growing community-based services. These local efforts include serving three Head Start programs in Clackamas County, providing dental services out of Milwaukie High School's school-based health center, and developing NHC's Baby Dental Days Program which aims to establish a dental home for 0-3 year old children and provide therapeutic and educational interventions to prevent early childhood decay. Alynn became a First Tooth Trainer for the Clackamas County area in 2014 and loves being a part of the First Tooth Team!
Alynn was born and raised in Colorado, where she was introduced to hiking and camping from a very young age. She is an avid hiker, and has summited thirteen 14ers (14,000ft+ mountains). Alynn enjoys running and has completed numerous 5K and 10K races as well as one half marathon so far. She loves to travel and particularly enjoys exploring the variety of God’s amazing creation in the northwest. One of her dreams is to backpack in Patagonia.