Public Health - Dental Emphasis
Don Altman, D.D.S., M.P.H., M.B.A., M.A., DSHc.
Don Altman graduated from The University of Texas Dental Branch in 1983. He completed his master’s of public health at The University of Texas School of Public Health in 1989. He became board certified in dental public health in 1999. Dr. Altman completed his M.B.A. at The University of Phoenix (2002) and a M.A. in bioethics from Midwestern University (2004). Dr. Altman is currently employed by A.T. Still University in Mesa, Ariz. With ATSU’s School of Health Management he is the chair of the dental Master’s in Public Health program. He is also director, public health and research, and associate professor with ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. Dr. Altman has worked for the City of Houston, the State of Texas, and the State of Arizona, as well as The Principal Financial Group. Dr. Altman is a is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health.
Dr. Altman’s research interests are currently centered on public health and higher education. He has published articles in the Journal of the American Dental Association, Public Health Reports, Special Care in Dentistry, and Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.
Jeffrey Chaffin, D.D.S., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Jeffrey Chaffin currently serves as chief, Dental Care Branch, TRICARE Management Activity with responsibility for dental operational and policy guidance to the Uniformed Services in support of the execution and oversight of the dental managed care support contracts within the Military Health System. Dr. Chaffin was a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Tampa in 1988, and received a doctor of dental surgery from the University of Nebraska in 1992, a master’s in public health from the University of Michigan in 2000, a master’s in business administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006, and a master’s in healthcare administration from Baylor University in 2006. Dr. Chaffin is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health, a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a fellow of the International College of Dentistry. He currently serves as a director on the American Board of Dental Public Health.
Dr. Chaffin’s research has focused on dental epidemiological and health services research to support the Military Dental Care System. Specific papers have focused on dental emergencies in the deployed environment, dental readiness, and the determinants of oral health. The latest research has been related to the oral health of incoming recruits of Department of Defense recruits.
Denice Curtis, D.D.S., M.P.H. D.H.Sc.
Denice Curtis is originally from Quito, Ecuador, where she earned a doctor of dental surgery degree from Central University in 1981. In 1994, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and obtained a master’s degree in public health with honors at the University of Kansas, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. In 2010 she earned a doctoral degree in health sciences at NOVA Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Fla., with an emphasis on global health.
Dr. Curtis is a full-time online professor. She teaches online classes for three universities in the United States and for the University of Liverpool. She teaches basic epidemiology and research methods for the Master in Health Science program at NOVA Southeastern University; epidemiology and statistics for Public Health Research for the University of Liverpool; infectious disease epidemiology and international health for the Master in Public Health program at the University of Kansas; dental epidemiology, research methods, and dental ethics for the Master in Public Health program at ATSU and health policy for the Doctor of Health Sciences program at ATSU.
Her research interests include identifying barriers for access to medical and dental care for the uninsured, underinsured, and minority populations and assessing community approaches that address women’s health in developed and developing countries.
Margaret B. Evans, R.D.H., M.S., Ed.D.
Margaret B. Evans has been an adjunct faculty member at A.T. Still University-School of Health Management since 2008. Previously, he was a professor in the Department of Dental Hygiene at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) for 34 years and program director from 1998-2006. In 2000, she was named a charter member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UTHSC and in 2007 as Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Allied Health Sciences. Dr. Evans served on the editorial review board of the Journal of Dental Hygiene and was a curriculum consultant and site visitor for the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. She was developer and director of Urban Smiles, a community-based preventive dental program in Memphis, Tenn.
Dr. Evans worked with the Dental Research Center at UTHSC to study a variety of basic science topics including inhibition of neutrophil and monocyte defensive functions by nicotine, and to conduct in vitro studies on the antiplaque activities of various agents including sanguinarine, chlorhexidine, and sodium bicarbonate. Her clinical research interests include the incidence of pathogenic periodontal microflora in healthy adult smokers and the effectiveness of mechanical plaque removal techniques. Dr. Evans has also researched distance education, learning style theory, outcomes assessment, manpower, and ethics.
Jaana Gold, DDS, PhD
Jaana Gold has been an online faculty member at A.T. Still University - School of Health Management since 2011. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida, College of Dentistry from 1997-2008. Dr. Gold is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, in the Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences.
Dr. Gold received her DDS degree from the University of Oulu, Finland in 1992 and a PhD degree in Cariology and Preventive Dentistry in 2005. She has 20 years of experience in teaching, research and practice in dentistry. Her research has focused in the area of caries management and prevention, oral health promotion and dental education and dental public health. Her original research work on different prevention modalities, such as xylitol gum, fluoride varnishes and sealants to prevent dental caries in vulnerable populations have gained national and international interest and as a result, she has served as a consultant for health departments, organizations, researchers, and practitioners nationwide. She has published original research articles in peer-reviewed journals in her field and presented in several international and national conferences.
She is a member of several dental organizations, and has served in leadership roles such as a Chair for the Fellowship Committee of the AADR (American Association of Dental Research), Secretary/Treasurer for the Cariology Group of IADR (International Association of Dental Research), a member of the central CAMBRA (Caries Management by the Risk Assessment) coalition. She has served as a Director of Cariology Program and as a Coordinator of Preventive Dentistry for the University of Florida, College of Dentistry.
H.J. Lacy, M.Ed.
H.J. Lacy has served as an adjunct faculty member at A.T. Still University since 2008, facilitating educational governance structures, educational technology, practical research planning and design, profit and non-profit organizations, and the M.P.H – dental requirement course. Lacy also serves on the board of directors at the Benjamin Harrison Site and the Midwest Academy School.
Lacy recently served as an adjunct for Butler University, a project manager at United Way, as an associate dean at ITT Technical Institute, and the Technology and Curriculum Coordinator at Park Tudor Schools. Lacy’s previous board of director positions include Schools on Wheels, the SENSE Charter School, and Ball State University Development team. Lacy also served as chair for the Indiana Association of Independent Schools, the Indiana Chair for the Independent School Association of the Central States, and board liaison for LDI Ltd., a for-profit company based in Indianapolis.
Lacy is a doctoral candidate at the University of Phoenix, Ariz., currently finishing his dissertation.
Michael Lazarski, D.M.D., M.P.H.
Michael Lazarski is originally from Chicago and received his B.S. in biology from the University of Michigan. He studied at Harvard University where he received both his D.M.D. and M.P.H. degrees. Thereafter, he completed his certificate in endodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz., where he has a private practice limited to endodontics. Dr. Lazarski has been an instructor at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health since its clinic opened in 2005, teaching in both the pre-clinical laboratories and in the endodontic clinic. He is also an instructor at ATSU’s School of Health Management, teaching courses in the Dental M.P.H. program.
Dr. Lazarski’s research interests and publications include studies of surgical motor skills and factors influencing the success of endodontic therapy. His surgical motor skill research focused on the acquisition of simulated surgical skills and the evaluation of variables important while learning surgical tasks. His endodontic research utilized epidemiologic techniques, mining data from large insurance company databases. His 2001 retrospective study was the first to analyze data from over 100,000 endodontic procedures and has been used as a model for subsequent research in this field.
Michael D. McCunniff, D.D.S., M.S.
Michael D. McCunniff is department chair, dental public health and behavioral science, and director of outreach programs at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Dentistry. Dr. McCunniff is an active member of Missouri Rural Health Association, the National Disaster Medical System, the Missouri Primary Care Association, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and the American Dental Association. He is also the faculty representative for the American Student Dental Association. He is a current member of the Kansas Dental Association and the Fifth District Dental Society. Dr. McCunniff earned his D.D.S. degree from UMKC in 1983, a master’s in dental public health from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1995, and board certification in dental public health in 2003.
His research interests include access to oral healthcare among underserved populations and dental education. Access to care topics have included evaluation of state Medicaid programs, obesity in children, oral and pharyngeal cancer, and oral health and emergency room visits related to oral health issues. Dental education topics have included community-based service learning, extra-mural training programs, and affirmative action related to student admissions to professional schools.
M. Dean Perkins D.D.S., M.P.H.
M. Dean Perkins received his D.D.S. from UMKC School of Dentistry and his master’s of public health from the University of North Carolina, School of Public Health. Prior to joining the Missouri Department of Health in 1985, he practiced general dentistry in rural southern Missouri for 10 years. He retired as state dental director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services in 2003. During his tenure as state dental director, he served ASTDD as secratary/treasurer, president-elect, and president. He became executive director of ASTDD in 2000 and moved to his current role as executive director emeritus and webmaster for the association in 2009. Dr. Perkins is a former adjunct faculty member at the UMKC School of Dentistry and the St. Louis University School of Public Health.
His research interests include dental public health infrastructure at the state and local level, dental public health leadership training, oral health surveillance, and dental public health policy.
S.D. Shantinath, D.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D.
S.D. Shantinath is a multi-disciplinary professional who has worked in the academic, governmental, non-governmental, and private sectors.
She specializes in pediatric dentistry and public health dentistry, and is licensed to practice dentistry in the United States and psychology in Switzerland. Her expertise includes oral health, mental health, and the use of technology for health information dissemination and large-scale social change.
She holds a joint appointment with the School of Health Management and the ARizona School of Dental and Oral Health, where she teaches full time in the dual-degree MPH-Dental and Public Health certificate programs. In addition to working in oral health, she has been recognized by experts in psychology and public health for her innovative strategies to address the global epidemics of violence and depression. Prior to coming to ATSU, she taught pediatric dentistry and health psychology in the United States and public health and health psychology in Switzerland.
Her work has been supported by universities, foundations, UNICEF, NIH, and the Swiss Secretary of Economic Affairs. She has field experience in St. Lucia, the Dominican Republic, and Ethiopia. In addition to publishing in professional and scholarly journals as a writer and editr, her work for lay readers on emotional health has been read by more than one million people in 20 countries. She is the author of the book The Time-Starved Woman's Guide to Emotional Wellbeing - Tools and Strategies for Balance.
Dr. Shantinath holds a D.D.S. degree from Northwestern University, a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Vermont. Her post-graduate work includes internships, residencies, and fellowships at Eastman Institute (formerly Eastman Dental Center) at the University of Rochester, the New York City Department of Health, the University of Washington, Montreal General Hospital, and Stanford University. Her hobbies include hiking, writing humor, and listening to music of all kinds from everywhere.
James N. Sutherland, D.D.S., M.P.H.
James N. Sutherland attained his B.S. (1981), D.D.S. (1987), and M.P.H. (1988) degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 1995, he was detailed to Louisiana as the state oral health program director while completing a part-time dental public health residency through Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas. He completed his dental public health board certification in 2000.
Dr. Sutherland is founder of Oral Health Improvements, LLC and volunteers his time by serving on various committees and workgroups including the American Board of Dental Public Health, Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, Medicaid State Dental Association, Oral Health Colorado Coalition, National Network for Oral Health Access, and many others. He recently retired from 21 years of service with the United States Public Health Service. Most recently he served as the regional dental consultant for the Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Regional Operations, Denver Regional Division as captain in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He also served in USPHS Emergency Response as Region 8 Regional Incident Response Team Lead and has responded to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, as well as during the Democratic National Convention. He has also served on the USNS Comfort and provided direct clinical services for the countries of El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Peru.
Dr. Sutherland continues to research dental workforce related issues and participates on various committees related to this area and is conducting a workforce assessment in Colorado supported by the Colorado Health Foundation.
Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., Ph.D.
Roland J. Thorpe, Jr. is an adjunct faculty member who teaches biostatistics at ATSU’s School of Health Management. Dr. Thorpe received his doctorate degree in epidemiology with a graduate minor in gerontology and a master’s degree in statistics from Purdue University in 2004 and 1997, respectively. He completed a three-year National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship in gerontology and health disparities in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology and the Center on Aging and Health at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2007.
Dr. Thorpe is an epidemiologist and gerontologist whose research agenda focuses ascertaining potentially malleable social, biobehavioral, and environmental factors that underlie racial and SES disparities in function and health status with the objective of identifying appropriate targets for decreasing and ameliorating such inequalities among middle- to old-age adults.
Jeanine Tucker, D.M.D., M.P.H.
Jeanine Tucker received her D.M.D. from OHSU School of Dentistry, her master’s of public health degree from Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, and completed her dental public health residency with the Indian Health Service. She became a diplomate in dental public health in 2000. Prior to joining the United States Public Health Service in 1985, she practiced general dentistry in Portland, Ore., and worked for Oregon’s juvinile dention facility for felon boys for four years. She retired as the Indian Health Service Area dental officer in Alaska in 2005 and now reviews dental insurance claims for P&R Dental Strategies. During her tenure as area dental officer, she chaired a workgroup that wrote a caries risk curricula and led the development of the Alaska Dental Health Aide Therapist program.
Dr. Tucker’s research interests include caries risk assessment use, dental workforce, oral health surveillance,and dental public health policy.