College of Nursing

Continuing Education and Development for Nurses

E-Learning Event - February 28, 2013

Demystify Dental Health and Disease - Lessons Learned in Saskatchewan

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The Oral Health Coalition represents a diverse group of health professionals and stakeholders in Saskatchewan whose goal it is to highlight the importance of oral health. The work of the coalition includes the development and dissemination of tools for assessment of oral health, provides undergraduate education about the relationship between oral health and systemic health, and puts a spotlight on oral health for segments of the population such as children and older adults in long term care.

The learning event will focus on oral health across the lifespan and the continuum of care. The presentations will provide a demystification of oral health and disease, introduce best practice tools that are available to support assessment and timely referral, and highlight the work of the Oral Health Coalition in Saskatchewan.


The objectives of this learning event are to support health care providers, allied professionals, and communities to:

  • Understand the determinants of oral health.
  • Understand the relationship between oral health and systemic health throughout the lifespan.
  • Prepare them to use the tools that are available for assessment of oral health.
  • Prepare them to recognize pathology and facilitate timely referral to oral health care professions.
  • Increase their knowledge about the work of the Oral Health Coalition in Saskatchewan.
  • Increase their knowledge about the special conditions in Northern Saskatchewan.

Target Audience

Includes health care providers and allied professionals from health, education, and human services sectors in acute, long term, or community care settings who have an interest in or are invested in learning more about oral health.

Pre-workshop and workshop reading material

*Please make sure to bring your own copy, as this material will NOT be available at the sites.


Gerry Uswak - Dean & Associate Professor Community Dentistry/Public Health, College of Dentistry, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Gerry Uswak joined the College as an Associate Professor in Community Dentistry in 2005 and assumed the role of Acting Dean in 2006. His appointment as Dean was formalized in July 2008. He received his DMD in 1989 from the University of Manitoba, followed by a hospital dentistry internship at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg (1990). His Dental Public Health specialty training was completed at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Public Health (Master of Public Health 1992) and the North Carolina Division of Dental Health (Residency in Dental Public Health 1993).
From 2002 to 2005, Dr. Uswak was CEO of the Inuvik Regional Health and Social Services Authority, which included Canada's most northerly hospital. For most of his career, Dr. Uswak has been involved in northern, rural and remote community outreach programming as a clinician, administrator, educator, consultant, clinic owner, and dental services contractor both nationally (Northwest Territories and Nuvavut) and internationally.Between 1994 and 2000, Dr. Uswak co-coordinated and delivered outreach programming in Bolivia. Dr. Uswak's clinical practice has primarily focused on hospital-based pediatric dentistry. His research interests include the the oral health in Canada's North, and dental health human resource planning using GIS mapping.

Marcella Ogenchuk - Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
Marcella Ogenchuk RN PhD is an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan. She has practiced nursing in a variety of settings in acute care and in the community for the past 25 years. Her teaching and research is in the area of pediatrics. Along with this Marcella is keen on multidisciplinary approaches to improve pediatric health and roles that nurses have in various settings.

Janet Gray - Technical Dental Consultant/DHE, Population Health Branch, Ministry of Health
Janet is employed by the three Northern Health Region Authorities as a dental technical consultant/educator, and is also the dental technical consultant for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health. She strongly believes in promoting good oral health as it relates to overall general health and has been a very strong advocate for inter-jurisdictional services and for acquiring comprehensive dental services for residents of northern Saskatchewan where she chairs the Northern Oral Health Working. Janet has completed her education in both dental nursing (therapy) and dental hygiene.

Leslie Topola - Population and Public Health, Saskatoon Health Region
Leslie is currently a Program Manager in Population and Public Health for the Saskatoon Health Region. She is a dental therapist and graduated from Wascana Institute of Applied Arts & Science in 1974. She worked as a dental therapist in the Saskatchewan Dental Plan until 1987 and as a dental health educator for Saskatchewan Health until1992. From 1992-95 she managed the provincial Dental Health Education Program as the A/Director for Saskatchewan Health-Community Health Services. Since then she has managed several programs in the Saskatoon Health Region. She has over 38 years of experience in community-based public health and has used this knowledge to assist in the development, promotion and growth of the Oral Health Coalition.

Associated Files and Registration

This event is available for viewing via ecast (on your own personal computer). There is a limit of 25 spaces. Viewership will be based on and the first 25 participants to register and cannot be held or reserved. When selecting your site, please choose ecast from the drop down menu. You will be notified with further instructions from CEDN on how to access the program. Certificate of Attendance and any applicable study credits will be available through ecast.