Learn about the 2021 DentaQuest Health Equity Heroes

Health Equity Hero Logo
Dr. Adele Della-Torre
Dr. Adele Della-Torre and the team at Ready, Set, Smile care for the oral health of kids in Minneapolis schools, meeting critical dental health and wellness needs of the city’s diverse population. Dr. Della-Torre is using her Health Equity Hero award donation to continue the work of Ready, Set, Smile.
Dr. Jeremy Simms Alexander Dr. Jeremy Simms Alexander and Miles for Smiles Mobile Dental Care bring dental care to kids in grades K-12 in three school districts of northern Louisiana. Dr. Alexander is the first African American dentist that many of these children have seen and that makes him a powerful a career role model. He is using the Health Equity Hero award donation to continue the work of Miles for Smiles Dental Care.
Dr. Karen Fields-Lever As one of the few African American female dentists in the Chicagoland area, Dr. Karen Fields-Lever of 28 to Brush is a STEM champion for young females and a mentor to young women aspiring to careers in oral health care. Dr. Fields-Lever is sharing her Health Equity Hero award donation with community nonprofits, including Black Village Foundation, Urban Initiatives, Breakthrough, Spelman College and Oak Grove AME Church.
Dr. Kadambari Rawal Dr. Kadambari Rawal, geriatric dentist and clinical assistant professor at Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine, cares for community-dwelling long-term care older adults in Boston. COVID-19 highlighted glaring deficiencies in access to oral health care for the elderly. She is working on fixing that. Dr. Rawal is directing her Health Equity Hero award donation to Smiles for Success Foundation and the AID's COVID Fund for India.
Dr. Yashashri Urankar Dental director Dr. Yashashri Urankar's patients at Community Health Centers of South-Central Texas also suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. COVID-19 precautions led many with dental pain to seek help at the local hospital emergency department. Dr. Urankar is supporting Gajanan Maharaj America Devotees Parivaar and Central Texas Food Bank with her Health Equity Hero award donation.
Deb Oswalt For the past 20 years Deb Oswalt and the Virginia Health Care Foundation have helped uninsured Virginians and those in hard-to-reach communities receive medical, dental and mental health care. These days, VHCF is excited about the newly approved state dental benefit for adults. Deb is directing her Health Equity Hero award donation to the Virginia Health Care Foundation.
Dr. David Jourabchi Dr. David Jourabchi, DDS of Pacific Dental Services (PDS) Foundation Dentists for Special Needs in Phoenix, Arizona, specializes in treating patients with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). Dr. Jourabchi provides the appropriate accommodations for his patients, including desensitization, to combat challenges with physical disabilities as well as sensitivity to sensory stimuli like speech, sound and light. The US needs more providers who have the compassion, energy and skills to meet the unique needs of IDD patients. Dr. Jourabchi is using his Health Equity Hero award donation to support Special Olympics of Arizona and PDS Foundation.
Jim Mangia As COVID-19 Flared in South Los Angeles, Jim Mangia President and CEO of St. John’s Well Child and Family Center activated a COVID testing and tracing program, telehealth, outreach to the homeless, and a vaccination program that inoculated over 270,000 at-risk residents (and counting) — all while running one of LA County’s largest nonprofit health centers caring for over 100,000 patients annually. Understanding the importance of housing on health, Jim selected Esperanza Community Housing Corporation as the recipient of his Health Equity Hero award donation.
Erica Neff and Jackie Houze Within a three-week window, the St. Elizabeth Physicians Pharmacy and Operations team vaccinated 4,000 teachers and school staff from COVID-19 over four weekends. The effort was led by Erica Neff, Director of Value Based Performance and Jackie Houze, Director of Operations. Neff and Houze are directing their Health Equity Hero award donation to St. Elizabeth’s Foundation Associate Crisis Fund.
Dr. Charles Madden Since opening a dental clinic at the Good Samaritan Free Health Center, Dr. Charles Madden recruited dozens of volunteer dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants to serve the oral health needs of financially challenged Cincinnatians. Even with COVID-19, the all-volunteer dental staff provided over $200,000 in completely free dental care. Dr. Madden is directing his Health Equity Hero award donation to The Good Samaritan Free Health Center.
Dr. Amarilis Jacobo Neighborhood dentist and state and national dental leader, Dr. Amarilis Jacobo was a natural addition to Governor Cuomo’s New York Forward Reopening Advisory Board where she provided knowledge and expertise to get the state’s dental offices back on track to return to caring for patients who had put off dental treatments during the pandemic. Dr. Jacobo is directing her Health Equity Hero award donation to the New York State Dental Foundation.
Marsha Wilkes Beatty Marsha Wilkes Beatty is a solid champion for oral health improvement. Through her work at The Oklahoma University College of Dentistry and as Chair of the Oklahoma Oral Health Coalition, it is her mission to improve the oral health and wellness of her fellow Oklahomans. Beatty is directing her Health Equity Hero award donation to a number of Oklahoma nonprofits working to improve access to dental care.