Oral Health Day

Equity in Action


About the Summit

Past Events


Log in Information for day two of Oral Health Day 2022: Equity in Action

Already registered but need the Zoom info for Oral Health Day? Click here to access the meeting on June 23rd: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85672972284

If you are planning to call in by phone, dial 301-715-8592 and enter meeting ID 856 7297 2284.

The event will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

If you have any trouble accessing the event, please reach out to Brady Blackburn at brady.blackburn@foundationhli.org.

Recap: Oral Health Day 2022

Thank you to everyone who attended day 1 of Oral Health Day 2022: Equity in Action! You can find the full event recording below. Slides from day one, including data slides, can be found here.

For those who want to attend the solutions workshop on Thursday, June 23, you can find log in information above.


Agenda and Speakers

This year’s Oral Health Day will take the form of an equity summit. Speakers will focus on all aspects of health equity during a two-day event including a hands-on, solution-oriented workshop. See the event agenda and speaker bios below for more details.

Keynote Speaker


Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, FICD

Assistant Dean of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Dr. Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, FICD, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. She earned her dental degree from Meharry Medical College, completed her dental public health residency at Boston University, and earned her PhD from Vanderbilt University. She completed additional post-graduate training as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer where she investigated disease outbreaks and conducted studies to promote health equity.

Over the course of her career, she has developed subject matter expertise in infectious and chronic disease epidemiology, and previously served as the dental epidemiologist overseeing the Oral Health Component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. She has been the principal investigator on a number of studies and has informed public health surveillance at state, national, and international levels. She holds leadership positions in the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Public Health Association, where she completed a term on the APHA Science Board; she was also actively involved in the National Dental Association serving on its Coronavirus Task Force. Dr. Fleming currently serves as an ex-officio member of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Diversity Advisory Council.


Panelists and Moderator

Yazmin García Rico, MSW

Director of Hispanic/Latinx Policy and Strategy
North Carolina DHHS

Yazmin García Rico is the Director of Latinx and Hispanic Policy and Strategy at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Yazmin has worked in the health and nonprofit sectors to advocate for the health and well-being of the Latino community, increase access to higher education for youth, and serve underserved and uninsured populations. In her current role at NCDHHS, Yazmin leads the Department’s Latinx/Hispanic strategy and engagement efforts, most recently supporting COVID-19 prevention and response efforts to promote equitable distribution of vaccines.

Yazmin currently serves on the Governor Cooper’s Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Future of Public Health Task Force, and the United Way of Alamance County board of directors. Yazmin graduated from Guilford College with a bachelor’s degree and received a Master of Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Marie Helms

Parent Advisory Committee Member
NC Child

Marie is the mother of two children, a 13-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter. Her daughter Elliana was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy at 6 months old and has endured 13 surgeries, three of which were lifesaving events.

Marie’s daughter has an extensive medical team in three states. Through her medical processes, Marie has learned what it takes to advocate for and create change. Having experience with a typical developing child as well as a child with special needs in the oral health care space, Marie believes oral health is imperative for children, particularly those with special needs.

Often, oral health care is pushed aside for more pressing medical needs. However, left untreated, it can create chaos later in that child’s life. Marie would like to see more emphasis and support for oral health care at early ages and for all children regardless of ability or economic status.

Marie lives in Davie County where she volunteers with the school system as much as possible. She was recently elected to serve on Davie County’s Board of Education.

She is currently on the Parent Advisory Council for NC Child, has been a Make a Wish Ambassador for the Make a Wish of NWNC, and runs with her daughter with Ainsley’s Angels, a group where kids and adults with disabilities are angels who pull runners in specialized strollers during races.

Curt Ladig, BBA

President and CEO
Delta Dental of North Carolina

Mr. Ladig was named president and CEO of Delta Dental of North Carolina in January 2011. Under Mr. Ladig’s leadership, the company has grown its customer base by 737 percent and is one of the fastest-growing Delta Dental organizations in the United States.

Shortly after Mr. Ladig’s arrival in North Carolina, he initiated the “Smiles for Kids” program with the Delta Dental Foundation. The program provides grants in communities across the state to help at-risk children receive direct oral care services or oral health education. The program has now contributed more than $600,000 and has helped over 333,000 children and their families across the state.

Mr. Ladig received a Bachelor of Science in business administration and accounting from Indiana University Bloomington. He began his career with Ernst & Young in Louisville, Kentucky, where he served clients in the health care and energy industries. After his service with Ernst & Young, Mr. Ladig worked for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Kentucky as the executive director of audit services for eight years. Mr. Ladig then joined Delta Dental of Kentucky as the Chief Financial Officer and, later, the added role of Chief Operating Officer.

He currently serves on the boards of Leadership North Carolina (Immediate Past Chair), the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, and the NC Chamber. Mr.Ladig also serves on the Board of Advisors for the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.

His personal interests include time with family, Grand Canyon hiking, piano, ballroom dancing, being an instrument-rated pilot, and traveling.

Susan Mims, MD, MPH, FAAP

President and CEO
Dogwood Health Trust

Susan Mims, MD, MPH, FAAP, with over 20 years of experience in clinical and healthcare leadership in North Carolina, currently serves as the President and CEO of the Dogwood Health Trust, a $1.8 billion private foundation. She leads a team of public health-oriented philanthropists using creative and innovative investments to change the factors that influence health beyond health care services, focusing in four strategic priority areas grounded in equitable opportunity for all: housing, education, economic opportunity, and health and wellness.

Prior to joining Dogwood Health Trust, Dr. Mims worked with the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) as the Chair of a new Department of Community and Public Health at University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Sciences, leading the Asheville campus of the UNC Gillings School of Public Health in collaboration with UNC Asheville, community health outreach programs, rural and minority health professions workforce development.

Through 14 years with Mission Health System, Dr. Mims held several roles working to meet the healthcare needs of the people and families of Western NC (WNC), including Vice President for Children’s Services, Chief of Pediatrics, and Vice Chief of Staff. Arriving in WNC in 2000, Dr. Mims served as Medical Director at the Buncombe County Health Department for six years, leading all aspects of public health and the largest community health primary care clinic in the county.

Dr. Mims attended college at the University of Georgia on an athletic scholarship. After college she volunteered in Guatemala for a year in community development before returning to UNC in Chapel Hill to earn a Master of Public Health and MD degrees. She continued her medical training at UNC Hospitals in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Public Health and attained board certification in all three disciplines.

Dr. Mims is active in national, state and WNC regional community health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, NC Pediatric Society (Past President), Western Carolina Medical Society, the Buncombe County Commission on Early Childhood Education, and the NC Institute of Medicine Task Force on the Future of Public Health. Dr. Mims holds an appointment as adjunct faculty with UNC and serves on the editorial board of the NC Medical Journal. She enjoys teaching, coaching, presenting on public health, and spending time with her family in the mountains of WNC.

Rachel Radford

Parent Advisory Committee Member
NC Child

Rachel Radford is a parent serving on the Parent Advisory Council for NC Child. She volunteers her time as a child and family advocate for special needs families in Wayne County. She also works locally for a nonprofit supporting Christian ministries.

Rachel has been advocating for Medicaid expansion for many years. She believes oral health can only get better if we expand Medicaid in North Carolina. She is very passionate about oral healthcare involving children with special needs, more specifically Autism, and ways that we can advance that care. Rachel is a mother of two handsome Autistic sons who drive her passions in advocacy.

Amadeo Valdez, DDS, MAS

General Practice Residency Program Director
Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC)

Dr. J. Amadeo Valdez is the General Practice Residency Program Director at Mountain Area Health Education Center. A native from Coahuila, Mexico, he completed his dental degree at the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon. After receiving his master’s degree in Clinical Research at the University of California San Francisco, he completed a general practice residency and oral medicine specialty program at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. His clinical focus and research interests are access to dental care, treatment for oral lesions, salivary gland disorders, facial pain, and dental treatment for medically complex patients, including those undergoing cancer therapy.

Lewis Lampiris, DDS, MPH | Moderator

Adjunct Associate Professor
UNC Adams School of Dentistry

Dr. Lampiris retired from the UNCCH Adams School of Dentistry (ASOD) as Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Outreach in July of 2020. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the ASOD Department of Pediatric and Public Health. He served as the director of the American Dental Association’s Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations from August 2006 to September 2012 and Chief of the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Oral Health from 1977 to 2006. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dental Medicine in 1977 and his Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1997. He served as a dental officer in the United States Army Dental Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from 1997 through 1981 and then entered private practice in Chicago as a general dentist from 1981 to 1994. He served as the president of the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors from 2004 to 2006. Dr. Lampiris is the recipient of the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors Distinguished Service Award (2007), the American Dental Association’s Presidential Citation (2010) and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry’s Distinguished Service Award (2013).


2022 NCOHC Oral Health Equity Award

At the first day ofOral Health Day 2022: Equity in Action, NCOHC presented one outstanding oral health care organization with the 2022 NCOHC Oral Health Equity Award. The award went to an organization that has demonstrated tangible success in reducing disparities and improving oral health by implementing solutions to advance health equity.

Congratulations to the Cabarrus Health Alliance, winner of this year’s Equity Award!


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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past two Oral Health Days have been virtual events, featuring dynamic lineups of expert speakers on important topics in oral health, health equity, and public health.

This year’s oral health day will take the form of an equity summit. Speakers will focus on all aspects of health equity during a two-day event including a hands-on, solution-oriented workshop. Learn more and watch past virtual oral health days below.


Watch Oral Health Day 2021


Watch Oral Health Day 2020 Parts 1 and 2