Oral Health Day


Featured Speakers

About Oral Health Day


Oral Health Day 2021

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Oral Health Day 2021! We had our largest turnout yet, and we got to hear from four oral health rockstars about the state of dental care, innovations in the field, and outlooks as we look toward the future. If you weren’t able to join us, you can find the full event recording below.




Meet the Speakers

Assistant Surgeon General Timothy L. Ricks

Timothy L. Ricks, DMD, MPH, FICD

Speaking about the current state of oral health, addressing health inequities and barriers to access as well as COVID-19’s impact on oral health and care delivery

Timothy L. Ricks, DMD, MPH, FICD, currently serves as the 20th Chief Dental Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as well as Assistant Surgeon General. He serves as the Surgeon General’s spokesperson on oral health and interacts with chief dental officers from other countries, with military chief dental officers, with leaders in organized dentistry, with state oral health programs, and much more. Rear Adm. Ricks has served in the U.S. Public Health Service for over 21 years. Prior to this service, he was an associate dentist, independent contractor, and sole proprietor, and he also served as a military police officer in the Army National Guard. In addition to his role as USPHS Chief Dental Officer, he also serves in various roles in the Indian Health Service including Continuing Dental Education Coordinator (responsible for 250-300 courses each year), Expanded Function Dental Assistant Coordinator (oversees training and certification of 2,000 EFDAs), IHS National Oral Health Surveillance Coordinator, and National Oral Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Coordinator.


Amy Martin, DrPH, MSPH

Speaking about community-based programming’s role in addressing access and equity barriers for vulnerable population groups through school-based oral health programs.

Amy Martin, DrPH, MSPH, is Professor and Chair for the Department of Stomatology and the Director for the Division of Population Oral Health at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, where she also has a secondary appointment in the College of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences.

Dr. Martin has served in the healthcare sector as Director of Education for Bamberg County Hospital & Nursing Center; Associate Director of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health; and Program Manager and Health Policy Analyst for the Office of Research and Statistics, Budget and Control Board of South Carolina, and as Deputy Director for the SC Rural Health Research Center at the Arnold School of Public Health, USC where she remains an adjunct faculty and senior investigator.

Dr. Martin holds both Doctor and Masters of Science in Public Health degrees from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She was inducted as an Honorary Fellow into the American College of Dentists in October 2020.


William Donigan, DDS, MPH

Speaking about the patient advocate’s role in advancing equity and current barriers for broad scale engagement of dental case management.

William Donigan, DDS, MPH is the dental director at Kintegra Health in Gastonia, North Carolina. He has worked in public health dentistry since 1998, when he became the dental director at the Martin de Porres Dental Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

After stabilizing that clinic, he then went on to direct the expansion of the dental clinic at Flint Hills Community Health Center in Emporia, Kansas in 2002. While working at these clinics, his desire grew to further his public health education. He completed his Master’s in Public Health degree in 2007 at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the same year he moved to North Carolina and became the dental director at Gaston Family Health Services, which is now Kintegra Health.

In 2010, Dr. Donigan was named NNOHA’s Clinician of the Year. In 2016, Dr. Donigan became the first dentist to be named the North Carolina Community Health Center Association’s Outstanding Provider.


Melissa Boughman, RDH

Speaking about the patient advocate’s role in advancing equity and current barriers for broad scale engagement of dental case management.

From the moment she became a dental hygienist, Melissa Boughman says she was “ready to change the world with all my dental knowledge”. She felt certain that her patients would share that passion too. Working in a dental practice that saw mainly adults, she soon felt something was missing.

Several years later, when GFHS’ CEO asked the dental staff for ideas on how GFHS could increase access to dental care for the many children needing a dental home in Gaston County, Melissa had the answer. As a very active parent in school activities, she had observed that many of her children’s classmates were in obvious need of dental care.

GFHS could work with the schools to give every child an opportunity to see a dentist, even if no transportation was available at home. This was the beginning of the Kintegra Dental Access Program—a partnership between Kintegra Health and Gaston County Schools, started in 2006.

In 2008 Melissa turned her vision and passion into the successful Program that she has managed and grown ever since. GFHS became Kintegra Health on April 1st 2020. Now serving 7 school systems with 3 large Mobile Dental Units, the program copleted the 2020-2021 school year serving 3453 children.


About Oral Health Day

Every year NCOHC brings oral health advocates from across the state for a day of action at the North Carolina General Assembly. Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted the first ever “virtual” Oral Health Day, hearing from a panel of dynamic speakers online.

Oral Health Day 2020’s theme was teledentistry, with a special focus on the many ways that virtual care technology can increase access and equity in oral health care.


Watch Oral Health Day 2020 Parts 1 and 2