Greetings from AAPHD’s Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee!

AAPHD continues its journey to support an anti-racist future for oral health with the establishment of an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee. Many years ago, before equity, diversity, and inclusion were trending concepts, AAPHD had a committee that elevated diversity in the organization. In August 2023, the AAPHD Board approved the EDI as a standing committee, thanks to the leadership of AAPHD Past President Dr. Nadia Laniado.

The charge of the EDI committee is to ​​embed and maintain equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice-building practices into the culture and operations of AAPHD. We aim to strive for an organizational culture that fosters equity in members’ voice and sense of belonging, and to support AAPHD members to actively incorporate equity-focused activities in their own work. To do this, we will collaborate across the councils and committees and with AAPHD members to continue the organization’s commitment to anti-racism and countering other forms of oppression in oral health. 

Our strategic activities for this coming year include an organizational needs assessment focused on EDI and belonging, as well as sharing resources and perspectives on EDI-related topics via a monthly “EDI Corner” via Communiquik, as well as on our website. 

Meet our committee members below! If you have thoughts or suggestions about the work of this committee, please reach out to a committee member or to Frances Kim, AAPHD Executive Director, at [email protected]


EDI Corner

February 2024 EDI Corner - Black History Month

January 2024 EDI Corner - Experiences with Racism in Healthcare Settings

December 2023 EDI Corner - Disrupting Unconscious Bias

November 2023 EDI Corner - Inclusive Communication


AAPHD EDI Committee Members

Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH; Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dental Public Health, University of Maryland School of Dentistry; EDI Committee co-Chair
Julie Reynolds, DDS, MS; Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry; University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics; EDI Committee co-Chair
Karen Raju, BDS, MPH; Chair, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Sub-Group; CavityFree SF
Christina Demopolous, DDS, MPH; Dental Public Health Residency Director; Professor, Biomedical Sciences; University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine
Josefine Ortiz Wolfe, PhD, MPH, RDH; Education Specialist; CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
Elizabeth Powell, DDS, MPH; Dental Director; Codman Square Health Center
Patrick Smith, DMD, MPH; Assistant Professor, Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB); University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry
Nadia Laniado, DDS, MPH, MS; Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health; Dental Public Health Residency Director; Jacobi Medical Center
Candace Hsu Owen, RDH, MS, MPH; Education Director; National Network for Oral Health Access
Sofía Iribarren, DDS, MS; Pediatric Dentist; All Smiles Pediatric Dental
Brittany McCrorey, DDS, MPH; Part-time DPH resident, Jacobi Medical Center; Director of Membership and Chapters, American Association of Women Dentists

As part of service to the committee, members have committed to the following value statements1:

  • I value diversity of life experiences, perspectives, and worldviews.
  • I will be an agent for change as part of the Dental Public Health community.
  • I will examine my own biases and beliefs and embrace the discomfort of this important work.
  • I am open to receiving feedback when my biases and beliefs are not in alignment with the value of promoting dignity and respect for others.
  • I will promote dialogue and have critical conversations.
  • I will listen first, acknowledge my peers, and be empathetic to viewpoints different from my own.
  • I will assume good intentions but also acknowledge the impact of saying or doing something that hurts someone else, even if it is unintended.
  • I value the humanity of others and pledge to stand with others when the value of others is not fostered.
  • I will be courageous in the face of adversity, willing to confront and challenge controversial issues.

1Adapted from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Charter at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.