OrOHC's Board Members are responsible for facilitating the coalition's decision making, networking, and finances. They are also chairs for OrOHC's committees and help plan yearly events. Each board member brings their unique talents and experiences to the coalition. Get to know them in their bios below.
Gary Allen, DMD, MS has been part of the OrOHC board since April 2012 and currently serves as the Board Chair. He is the Dental Director at Advantage Dental; his primary responsibilities are to represent the Advantage oral health delivery model and philosophy of care at state and local meetings, to perform case reviews, and to develop and implement evidence-based practice guidelines. In addition, he also works as a dental consultant to PacificSource Health Plans. Prior to these jobs, he worked as Dental Director at Willamette Dental and had been in the Army Dental Corps for 26 years, retiring as a Colonel and Commander of the North Atlantic Regional Dental Command. A few of Gary's many contributions to OrOHC include chairing OrOHC's Geriatrics Committee, serving on the Conference Planning Committee, and moderating the last few OrOHC conferences and summits.
Gary has two daughters and two grandsons that he enjoys watching Duck sports with. Since he was introduced to good tasting beer while living in Germany, his quest is to sample a pint from every microbrewery in Oregon to find his favorite.
Bruce Austin, DMD has been involved with OrOHC since March 2015. He brings 30 years of clinical dentistry experience, his passion for public health, and his connections with Oregon Health Authority to the Board. After spending a year working for Capitol Dental Care, first as a clinical dentist and then as their dental director for community dentistry, Bruce recently became the Oregon Statewide Dental Director in February 2015.
Bruce's hobbies include running marathons, wood carving and sculpture, cooking, and spending time with his wonderful wife, Mary, and step-kids, Peter and Talia.
Lisa Bozzetti, DDS is the Dental Director at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Centers, which serve Washington and Yamhill Counties. She supervises dentists, hygienists, and dental managers. She also works as a dentist one day a well. Her other responsibilities include working with the executive team in the expansion, planning, and oversight of Virginia Garcia's dental programs; coordinating rotations with the OHSU School of Dentistry and Pacific University dental hygiene students; and fostering external partnerships. Though Lisa's job is always changing and busy, she loves helping people receive quality and culturally sensitive dental care in their clinics as well as working with college students.
Lisa began her involvement with OrOHC's Early Childhood Caries Prevention Committee in 2008 and became a member of the board in the summer of 2010. Since Lisa is a practicing dentist and works in a community health center setting, she provides a strong public health background for the board. One of Lisa's proudest moments was when she suggested to invite Eli Schwarz to one of the OrOHC board meetings in 2011. At the time, Eli was new to Portland and OHSU, but his support of the organization and crafting of DentaQuest grants has proved invaluable.
When she's not championing oral health care, Lisa loves being outdoors and hiking. An adventurous eater and a bit of a foodie, Lisa enjoys checking out new restaurants in town, trying new food, and cooking at home with her husband and friends. She feels she is a great representation of the melting pot here in the US as she is half Swedish and half Italian. She is fluent in Swedish and very active in the Swedish community in the Portland area; one of her activities is the Swedish Women's Educational Association, whose primary purpose is to promote Swedish culture and traditions abroad.
Melissa Freeman, MPH is the Director of Strategic Projects at The Oregon Community Foundation and has worked at OCF since 2008. She joined the OrOHC board in March 2018. Her passion for oral health comes from running a statewide Children’s Dental Health Initiative, facilitating the Oral Health Funders Collaborative and serving on the Steering Committee for the Portland fluoridation campaign. She’s partnered with OrOHC to expand First Tooth Training and develop the Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon. Prior to OCF, she directed a national health promotion program for Oregon Health and Science University. She’s an Oregonian with two children and enjoys running, river rafting and traveling.
Laura McKeane, EFDA joined the OrOHC Board in December of 2016. Currently, she works as the Oral Health Integration Manager at AllCare Health CCO (Coordinated Care Organization) — which serves Jackson, Josephine, Curry and the southern end of Douglas County. She began her career in high school working as a dental assistant which led to her serving in the United States Air Force. Eventually after transitioning into Dental Practice Management for many years Laura joined AllCare Health in April of 2014. She sits on the Healthcare Workforce Committee for the State of Oregon as well as the Board of Directors for the Oregon Rural Health Association. She is responsible for many elements of oral health in the CCO world including promoting oral health integration into the primary care setting, chairing the South Coast Oral Health Coalition, serving on the Jackson/Josephine Oral Health Coalition. She also chairs the Dental Care Organization Contractors Meeting and several regional and State meetings.
Laura is involved in many outreach projects to promote access to oral health for the community. She is an Oral Health Trainer for OrOHC and has trained many providers all over Oregon. She has been involved with the Oregon Oral Health Coalition at the local and state level serving on the Local Coalitions Committee. Her hope for the future of health in Oregon is that oral health will continue to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds as it such an important part of overall health. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, grandkids and two miniature dachshunds. She loves to fish, hunt and camp, and enjoys all Oregon has to offer.
Christina Peters joined the OrOHC board in April 2016. As the Oral Health Project Director for the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NWPIHB), she assists tribes as they explore opportunities to improve oral health access and outcomes in their tribal communities. She also educates and supports them with exploring and implementing workforce solutions to respond to the oral health crisis facing many tribal communities in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. In collaboration with tribal oral health programs, NPAIHB utilizes dental therapists to increase the number of native providers serving native communities and providing consistent, culturally competent care.
Christina is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with many members of the oral health community that are part of the Oregon Oral Health Coalition. She brings years of experience working in coalitions to further collective state-wide goals around health and oral health as well as the voice of tribal communities in Oregon.
When she's not working, Christina spends time with her two amazing daughters, exploring their ever-growing world with them. Their family also includes an old, sweet dog who enjoys sleeping all day and barking at all sounds, real and imagined.
Heather Simmons, MPH joined the OrOHC Board of Directors in January 2018. She brings with her vast expertise in dental services and oral health content. Heather is currently the Dental Services Program Manager of Government Programs at Pacific Source in Bend. She works closely with stakeholders across the care delivery ecosystem to drive transformation with care, quality, access, and payment systems. Previously, she served at the Multnomah County Health Department as a Program Manager for the schools, community, and clinical dental services program. Heather became aware of the intersectionality of oral health during her 10-year tenor managing health, nutrition, safety, and wellness services at a Head Start program in Salem. There, she saw first-hand the direct relationship between oral health and social, emotional, and physical well-being. It was her experience at Head Start that inspired her to choose public health and Medicaid health care advocacy as her path. She holds a Masters of Public Health, with concentration in Advocacy and Social Justice, from Portland State University. She also earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Oregon University. Heather has a particular passion for program planning and continuous quality improvement and holds a Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt certificate from Portland State University. Heather lives in Bend and enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities including following her wife up vertical rock faces and participating with recreational and competitive road cycling.
Matt Sinnott, MHA officially joined the board in January 2016 and serves as OrOHC's Treasurer. Matt works as Willamette Dental's Director of Government Affairs and Contracts. His responsibilities include contract management for the 11 CCO contracts Willamette maintains, program management for the Oregon Health Plan, coordination of lobbyist activities in the Northwest, and developing reports and response recommendation with respect to federal and state legislative and regulatory activity. Matt provides OrOHC with his business and health policy knowledge as well as his strong skills in collaboration and relationship building.
The centerpieces of his world outside work are his wife and two dogs; they enjoy being active and going hiking. Fall is Matt's favorite time of year because college and professional football season are in full swing. Matt is a dedicated Beavers fan.
Kelli Swanson Jaecks
Kelli Swanson Jaecks, MA, RDH is the Founder and President of Verbal Impact, LLC, an educational company offering keynotes, workshops and health care courses. She travels across the country and around the world to present, motivate and teach from the podium.
Considered to be a "significant player in the healthcare scene" by The Salem Business Journal (2017), Kelli is a nationally published author and prolific, entertaining speaker on women's health issues, oral health and general team building.
Kelli holds a Master's degree from Oregon State University in Communication and Adult Education, where she taught Leadership and Public Speaking, She has worked in the dental profession for 21 years holding a variety of positions in education, sales and marketing, consultancies and speaking. She has over 14 years of clinical dental hygiene practice experience, including management and adjunct faculty status. She also holds an expanded practice permit, which allows for independent dental hygiene practice to underserved populations.
Kelli's charitable spirit keeps her busy both in her hometown of Salem, Oregon and throughout the U.S. She is a big believer in giving back to the community that she lives in and is active on many boards and committees with local, state and international organizations. Kelli is an active leader in the American Dental Hygienists' Association, and was the national president in 2014-2015. She is busy writing her popular blog on women's health and well-being.
When not working, Kelli enjoys traveling to cool venues for scuba diving and participating in live theater.
Phil Wu, MD became an OrOHC Board Member in the spring of 2016. He currently works part-time with the Community Benefit at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. His responsibilities include working on policy and system changes that promote healthy communities. Prior to this, he was a Kaiser Permanente clinical pediatrician. He retired in 2012.
In addition to being a part of OrOHC, Phil is the Vice-chair on the Northwest Health Foundation Board of Directors and a member of the Outside In Board. Phil represents the "medical" or "primary care" perspective on oral health and the desirability of integrating oral health into primary care practice.
When Phil is not working towards healthier communities, he is often hiking, biking, swimming, and enjoy Oregon's access to nature. He also enjoys cooking, good simple food, and wine (especially Oregon Pinot Noir)!
Caroline Zeller, DDS joined the OrOHC board in September of 2018. A graduate of the University of Missouri Dental School in Kansas City, Dr. Zeller relocated to Portland to pursue an internship in oral and maxillofacial surgery at OHSU. She is a student in the OHSU/PSU public health department, working toward a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management. Her clinical time is currently divided between two roles; at Smilekeepers, she works as an internal surgery referral for patients that qualify for Medicaid, and at OHSU she is a General Practice Residency hospital faculty member, where she escorts patients with special needs to the operating room for teeth extractions.
As a “newer dentist,” Dr. Zeller strives to represent her generation of Oregonian dentists, and aims to recruit and encourage them to have a voice, to become involved in evolution of the profession and explore how it contributes to the overall health throughout Oregon. She looks forward to learning from the multitude of experiences from other board members, and providing her own unique perspective, supporting OrOHC’s mission in creative and innovative ways.
Dr. Zeller is the creator and host of the podcast Removing the Bite Block. A minimalist who finds humor in all things, she enjoys creating, connecting, absorbing, distilling, and laughing. A great day for her starts with a bagel and coffee and ends with glass of Malbec.
Ex-Officio Board Members
Eli Schwarz, DDS, MPH, PhD has been a non-voting consultant to the Board since the spring of 2011. He currently works as the Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Dentistry at the OHSU School of Dentistry. Previously he worked as the Dean of Faculty of Dentistry for University of Sydney, Executive Director of the International Association for Dental Research, Professor of Public Health and later Interim Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry for University of Hong Kong, Chief Dental Officer for the Department of Health in Denmark, and a range of academic positions at the Royal Dental College of Copenhagen, Denmark. Eli tries to apply his past experiences and his present engagement in Oregon's health transformation process to the advocacy and policy issues of the Board with the goal of contributing to the betterment of oral health in Oregon.
When Eli isn't working, he sings for the Scandinavian Chorus and bikes the trails around Portland with his wife.