Leadership Council

Leadership Council

Brianna Miller (she/her/hers) is proud to serve as AZOHC’s Coordinator. She loves being able to bring passionate oral health advocates together to work toward the kind of meaningful systems change necessary to attain good oral health for all Arizonans. Brianna’s passion for community service started in the U.S. Peace Corps as a youth development volunteer where she worked on various initiatives related to the prevention of HIV/AIDS in Botswana, Southern Africa. Brianna holds a MA from Arizona State University in Social Justice and Human Rights. Outside of work she enjoys spending time traveling and hiking with her husband and is a self-professed Star Wars nerd.

Brianna can be reached at azohcoalition@gmail.com

Layal Rabat (she/her) is currently the Programs Director for Asian Pacific Community in Action as well as the Chair of the AZOHC. Layal Rabat joined the coalition in order to influence systems change in the oral health system and move it from a silo to being a part of overall health. She joined to ensure that equity and inclusion are at the center of what the coalition does both internally and externally. Her proudest accomplishments include all of the wonderful people that continue to show up and participate in the coalition, the passing of Dental Therapy, and making an impression at the Arizona State Legislature.

Layal can be found singing karaoke, making art, watching Star Trek, and traveling to unique and interesting places when she’s not working.

@apcaaz on IG/FB/Twitter

Tamara Baca
Tara Walstad (she/they) is the secretary of the AZOHC. After working briefly as a dental hygienist in private practice, Tara decided to change course and begin their career in public health. They worked with the Maricopa County fluoride varnish program and enrolled in grad school to receive their Masters in Public Health, which led them to join the AZOHC as an intern in 2019. While Tara’s current day job is not focused on oral health or advocacy, they strive to improve the oral health of the community with the AZOHC. In the unlikely event of free time, Tara enjoys crafts, baking, reading, and spoiling their cats.
Zaida Dedolph (she/her) is the director of health policy at Children’s Action Alliance, which serves as AZOHC’s fiscal sponsor. Through her work in public health policy and advocacy, Zaida strives to promote community-driven solutions that promote health justice and access to care. Zaida loves being part of AZOHC because of its commitment to making our health systems more equitable and promotion of oral health as a facet of whole person health. Zaida holds a BS in Anthropology from Loyola University Chicago and an MPH from the University of Arizona. She has solved the New York Times crossword every day for the past 837 days and intends to continue this streak forever. Outside of (and sometimes during) work, she tries her best to wrangle a toddler, several cats, and a Sulcata tortoise. Zaida can be reached at zdedolph@azchildren.org.
Sandi Ernst Perez, Ph.D. is pleased to serve on the state coalition as the representative from the Northern Arizona Oral Health Coalition. She owns SandRose, LLC, a consulting business building the capacity of healthcare, government, and nonprofit organizations. As a licensed clinical psychologist of 25 years, she specializes in improving board governance, management, organizational design, and quality improvement. She spent 15 years in Phoenix’s philanthropic community beginning at the Arizona Community Foundation, then the BHHS Legacy Foundation, and finally the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation. As a volunteer, she serves as the Chair for the Survivorship/Quality of Life workgroup for the Arizona Cancer Coalition and a Board Member for Cancer Support Community Arizona. Sandi is mom to two adult children plus two beautiful rescue dogs (Bodhi and Clyde). She loves reading, cooking, eating, and is frequently seen toting post-It notes, markers, and always her mobile hot spot with dog fur as a constant wardrobe accessory!
Scott Howell (he/him/his) is the Director of Public Health Dentistry & Teledentistry at A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. Dr. Howell works with dental students and dental residents teaching them about the ins and outs of teledentistry. He also teaches students about how to be advocates for oral health. As a member of the AZOHC, Dr. Howell is a member-at-large, an active advocate for dental public health in Arizona, and is eager to see teledentistry expand throughout the state. Dr. Howell is passionate about health equity and challenging the status quo of the American healthcare system. In 2020 Dr. Howell was chosen as an American Dental Association 10 Under 10 award recipient and in 2021 received a Teledentistry Innovation award from MouthWatch. Dr. Howell loves to travel and had the opportunity to visit several unique locations, including North Korea and Malaysian Borneo.
Matt Jewett (he/him/his) has been the Director of Grants at Mountain Park Health Center since 2013, building on a career in advocacy for children and health. He has overseen grant-funded outreach and enrollment assistance programs that increased the number of children with health insurance. Matt has also obtained funding for preventive dental care for pregnant women. Matt envisions policies that understand there is no good health without good oral health. He can be reached at mjewett@mphc-az.org.
Da-Nell Pedersen (she/her/hers) is the Director of Communications and Training at the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers (AACHC) – the Primary Care Association for the state of Arizona. Prior to joining AACHC in 2019, Da-Nell worked at DentaQuest for six years, first with the Safety Net Solutions program and then as the Manager of Communications and Strategy on the person-centered care team. Toward the end of her time at DentaQuest, Da-Nell assisted with the development of value-based care curriculum and co-authored several publications. She has become an oral health value-based care subject matter expert and has presented on the topic at the state, regional and national level. Da-Nell is passionate about community-based healthcare and a strong believer in the health center model of care. She received a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 2010, and a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona in 2017. Outside of work, Da-Nell enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs and enjoys traveling, hiking, and bike riding.