The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Oral Health Advisory Committee

The NIHB Oral Health Advisory Committee (NOHAC) is an independent advisory body of highly qualified oral health professionals and academic specialists. They bring impartial and practical expert views, advice, and recommendations to the NIHB program to support the improvement of oral health outcomes for First Nations and Inuit clients. The advice and recommendations provided by the Committee follow an evidence-informed approach and reflect scientific knowledge, as well as clinical and oral health care delivery and disease prevention best practices.

NOHAC membership and qualifications

The NOHAC is made up of 8 to 12 members, including First Nations and Inuit oral health professionals. Committee members must hold a qualification and license in Canada as recognized oral health professionals or have expertise in other related academic disciplines.

Committee members contribute their expertise and do not represent an association, organization, corporation or industry.

NOHAC members:

Chairperson: Dr. Carlos Quiñonez

Dr. Quiñonez is a dental public health specialist, and Vice Dean and Director of Dentistry at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. He has extensive experience delivering dental care to socially and economically marginalized groups. From 1998 to 2003, he was a clinician in First Nations and Inuit communities across Nunavut and Manitoba. Dr. Quiñonez is the Past-President of the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry and regularly consults with professional groups and governments regarding public dental care policy. He has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature on equity and technical issues in oral health care.

Vice-Chairperson: Dr. Sacha Singh

Dr. Singh is a licensed periodontist currently engaged in providing intravenous sedation to patients in private-practice settings in Ottawa, Canada. In 2012, he worked with Health Canada to review the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) preventive and periodontal policy. Dr. Singh holds a DDS, an MSc and a Diploma in Periodontics from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry. He is a past member of the Canadian Academy of Periodontics, the American Academy of Periodontics, and the Ontario Society of Periodontists and is a current member of the Ontario Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association.

Dr. Meredith Brownlee

Dr. Brownlee earned her B.Sc. from University of Winnipeg in 1999 and her D.M.D. from University of Manitoba in 2004. She then pursued her dental career providing care for northern indigenous people of Manitoba from 2004 to 2011 in numerous isolated communities. After seven years in private practice, Dr. Brownlee undertook her training in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at University of Connecticut, obtaining her Master of Dental Science in 2014.

Dr. Brownlee was an Assistant Professor and Division Head of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology at the University of Manitoba from 2014 to 2020 in the department of Dental Diagnostics and Surgical Sciences. Dr. Brownlee conducts a private practice of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology imaging referral service, and enjoys giving continuing education lectures. Dr. Brownlee is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.

Dr. Bruce Freeman

Dr. Freeman is an honors graduate of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto. He completed the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York, and his Diploma in Orthodontics and his Master of Science degree in the field of orofacial pain at the University of Toronto. He is also Co-Director of the Hospital Dental Residency Program and Facial Pain Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital where he cares for patients with complex facial pain disorders in addition to participating in the education of the hospital dental residents and specialty dental residents. Dr. Freeman is also a facial pain consultant in the Department of Neurosurgery at Toronto Western Hospital. Dr. Freeman lectures internationally on clinical orthodontics, facial pain, patient experience, mindful communication and virtual surgical planning. Dr. Freeman is a certified yoga instructor with additional training in breathing techniques, meditation, and trauma informed movement.

Dr. Peter Coyte

Dr. Peter C. Coyte is a Professor of Health Economics in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the University in 1987, he was a member of the Economics Department at the University of Alberta and, before that, at Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Coyte is a national and international expert in health economics, health services evaluation, and health policy and planning. In 2002, he was elected President of the Canadian Health Economics Research Association and championed its evolution into the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR). He was elected as CAHSPR's inaugural President in 2003.

In 2000, Dr. Coyte was awarded a CHSRF/CIHR Health Services Chair, for ten-years. He was the Director of CIHR's Strategic Research and Training Program in Health Care, Technology, and Place between 2002 and 2013. Dr. Coyte was awarded the Health Services Research Advancement Award from the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF), in 2010.

Ms. Dawn Sauvé

Ms. Sauvé is a registered dental hygienist currently managing the dental health program at the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) in Ontario. She started at NWHU as a clinical dental hygienist in 1988, where she discovered a passion for dental public health. She has progressed in her field and obtained various positions with NWHU.

The Northwestern Health Unit serves the Kenora and Rainy River Districts with 13 offices, with a total population of approximately 80,721 many of whom are First Nations people.

As Program Manager, Ms. Sauvé provides leadership and direction to dental staff, the dental program, and manages service delivery to a number of First Nations communities in the north.

Mr. Roy Brown

Mr. Brown is a denturist with Honours Diplomas in both dental technology and denture therapy from George Brown College. He is a member in good standing with the College of Denturists of Ontario, the Denturist Association of Ontario and The Denturist Association of Canada. He is a past Chair of the Denturist Association of Ontario Fee Guide Committee.

Mr. Brown has over 30 years experience providing dental prosthetics to both the private and public health sectors. He has worked as a Dental Technician in a prosthodontic specialty office and as a Department Supervisor in a commercial dental laboratory. He has provided denturist services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), in various group dental practices and is currently in private practice in Weston, Ontario.

Dr. Elham Emami

Dr. Emami is a Clinician-Scientist, full professor and Dean of the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences at McGill. She has a MSc in Prosthodontics, PhD in Biomedical Science and 2 years of postdoctoral fellowship in Dental Public Health and Cancer Epidemiology.

Dr. Emami's research program entitled "Fostering Oral Health Through Interdisciplinary Research: Intervention, Access and Impact" improves access to dental care and oral health of Canadian population with a focus on rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

Dr. Emami is a member of the Ordre des Dentistes du Québec, Quebec and Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry and sits on a number of executive committees at the national and international level including International Association for Dental Research (IADR), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute (CIHR) of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Advisory Board and the Fondation de l'Ordre des Dentistes du Québec. She has been the recipient of various prestigious awards such as the CIHR Clinician-Scientist award I and II. In 2019 and 2020, she was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Académie dentaire du Québec and American College of Dentists.

Dr. Darsi Perusini

Dr. Perusini grew up in Spruce Grove, Alberta. He is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry and a fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.

Dr. Perusini runs an inclusive practice in downtown Edmonton focused on providing quality and culturally appropriate dental care to all children, as well as adults with special healthcare needs. He maintains privileges at the Stollery Children's Hospital and the Alberta Surgical Centre. Dr. Perusini is a clinical instructor and lecturer in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

Following graduation from the University of Alberta School of Dentistry, Dr. Perusini moved to Toronto to complete a general practice residency at Mount Sinai Hospital. Subsequently, he completed a Master of Science in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Karl Cuddy

Dr. Cuddy is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon working as an assistant professor at the University of Toronto as the director of education and maxillofacial trauma. He is also on staff at Mt. Sinai, Princess Margaret and Humber River hospitals in Toronto. Dr. Cuddy has dental (DDS) and medical (MD) degrees as well as Master of Science (MSc) in pathology, completed at Western University where he also completed residency training in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS). Following this, he completed additional fellowship training in advanced craniomaxillofacial surgery and trauma at the Head and Neck Institute in Portland, Oregon. His clinical and research interests include utilization of technology and assessment of outcomes in reconstructive maxillofacial surgery including for patients suffering from trauma, tumors and congenital deformities as well as curriculum development in OMFS education.

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