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JCNDE Members and Appointing Organizations

picture of dr. lisa heinrich-null, vice chair
Dr. Lisa Heinrich-Null (ADA), Chair

Dr. Lisa Heinrich-Null, chair of the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, is a dentist in private practice in Texas. She currently chairs the Texas Dental Association’s Political Action Committee. She has also served on the American Dental Association’s Legislative Action Committee, and as a member of the Texas Dental Society, the American Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the Doctors of Conscious Sedation. Dr. Heinrich-Null holds a D.D.S. from the University of Texas and practiced with her father, Dr. David L. Heinrich, for 14 years before purchasing the practice.

Picture of Dr. William Robinson
Dr. William Robinson, Vice Chair

Dr. Robinson, chair of the Committee on Research and Development, is a dentist in Florida who has served as chair of the Florida Board of Dentistry. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists and served as chair of the ethics committee, where he contributed to "An Ethics Handbook for Dentists." He is a fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the International College of Dentists, where he served as international councilor.  He graduated cum laude with a D.D.S. from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and received the Life Achievement Award from both the Hillsborough County Dental Association and the West Coast Dental Association.

picture of dr. dale r. chamberlain (aadb)
Dr. Dale R. Chamberlain (AADB)

Dr. Dale R. Chamberlain, a dentist in private practice in Helena, Mont., is a member of the Montana Dental Association and president-elect of the Western Regional Examining Board, where he is also a grading examiner. He graduated with a D.D.S. from Creighton University in 1988 and was inducted into the International College of Dentists in 2007.

picture of dr. melissa "mitz" g. efurd (adha)
Dr. Melissa “Mitzi” G. Efurd (ADHA)

Dr. Melissa “Mitzi” G. Efurd, who chairs the Joint Commission’s Committee on Dental Hygiene, is a Registered Dental Hygienist and associate professor and chair of dental hygiene at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, a master’s degree in dental hygiene from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas. 


picture of dr. cheryl d. haley (ada)
Dr. Cheryl D. Haley (ADA)

Dr. Cheryl D. Haley, a dentist in private practice in Ozark, Mo., has served as president of the Greater Springfield (Mo.) Dental Society, as a trustee to the Missouri Dental Association, and as a Missouri delegate to the ADA. She was named dentist of the year in 2010 by the Missouri Dental Association and was inducted to the American College of Dentistry in 2011. She is a board member of the Missouri Dental Association Foundation, where she serves on the endorsement committee and also is responsible for the Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM), a dental clinic that provides free oral healthcare to underserved patients of all ages. Dr. Haley, an ADA Washington Leadership Conference alternate since 2009, was named dentist of the year in 2010 by the Missouri Dental Association and was inducted to the American College of Dentistry in 2011. She holds a D.D.S. degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, and also is a graduate of St. John’s School of Nursing.

image of Dr. Roy Irons
Dr. Roy Irons (AADB)

Roy L. Irons, DDS, is a dental practitioner in Gulfport, Mississippi, providing much needed high-quality dental care and treatment options in a part of the country often overlooked. Dr. Irons earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Tougaloo College in 1972 and his dental degree from the University of Iowa in 1976. Following graduation, he spent four years as active military in the United States Navy, serving as a general dentist before spending 20 years in the Reserves. He retired as a U.S. Navy Captain. Dr. Irons’ distinguished career has included active service in a number of national and local professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, National Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Mississippi Dental Association, the Mississippi Dental Society and the Jamaica Dental Association. He joined the faculty of the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry in 1976 and continues to serve as an instructor, in addition to serving on the faculty of the UMC Community Dentistry Department.

picture of ms. issie l. jenkins, esq., public member
Ms. Issie L. Jenkins, Esq., public member

Ms. Issie L. Jenkins, who serves as the public representative on the Joint Commission, is also a member of the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners and a public member of the American Association of Dental Boards. She is a retired attorney and a consultant in executive coaching and labor relations. Ms. Jenkins has been an active member of community, civic, and professional organizations, including serving as chairman of the board of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Educational Foundation. She also was a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice, and was the first female executive director of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she also served as deputy general counsel. She is the recipient of the Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award, the Presidential Rank Award from President Reagan, and the National Civil Service League Award.

picture of dr. cataldo leone (adea)
Dr. Cataldo Leone (ADEA)

Dr. Cataldo Leone, chair of the Committee on Examination and Development, is professor of Periodontology and associate dean for academic affairs at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. He also maintains a hospital appointment at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Leone was awarded a D.M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983, and holds a certificate in Periodontology and a Doctor of Medical Sciences in Oral Biology degree from Harvard University. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 image of Dr. Frank Maggio
Dr. Frank A. Maggio (AADB)

Frank A. Maggio, DDS, practices periodontics in Elgin, IL. A graduate of the University of Illinois and the Loyola University School of Dentistry, Dr. Maggio spent two years as a Captain in the US Army Dental Corps. He received his certificate in periodontics and, following his military service, went into private practice. Dr. Maggio is an active member of the American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, Illinois State Dental Society, American Academy of Periodontology, Illinois Society of Periodontology, and several other professional organizations. He has held several teaching positions over his career and currently is a faculty member at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry Department of Periodontics.

picture of dr. nader a. nadershahi (adea0

Dr. Nader A. Nadershahi (ADEA)

Dr. Nader A. Nadershahi, chair of the Committee on Administration, is professor and dean at the University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. He received his D.D.S. from the University of the Pacific in 1994, and in addition to completing a General Practice Residency, Dr. Nadershahi also holds a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate degree in education. He is a fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the Academy of Dentistry International, the American College of Dentists, and the International College of Dentists.

image of Dr. Ragu
Dr. Kanthasamy Ragunanthan

Dr. Kanthasamy “Ragu” Ragunanthan, DDS, MS, is the president and owner of Canton Family Dentistry in Canton, OH and has been in private practice for more than 25 years. In addition to practicing general dentistry, Dr. Ragu has several years of teaching experience at dental programs in the Akron area. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the Ohio Dental Association and a past president of the Stark County Dental Association. Dr. Ragu is a graduate of the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka and Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dentistry. 

image of Wesley Thomas 
Dr. Wesley Thomas (AADB)

Dr. Wesley Thomas, DMD, currently serves as the Vice Chairperson of the District of Columbia Board of Dentistry. He is a Dental Board Licensing Examiner for the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA) and the Council of Interstate Testing Agencies, Inc. (CITA). He is also a Fellow in the International College of Dentists. Dr. Thomas worked briefly in private practice before accepting his current position as a General Dentist for the US Department of Defense at The Pentagon. He is also a military officer in the District of Columbia Army National Guard. Dr. Thomas is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College and received his D.M.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. 

image of Dr. Joseph Zambon
Dr. Joseph J. Zambon (ADEA)

Joseph J.  Zambon DDS, PhD, currently serves as dean of the University at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Zambon has been a faculty member at the University at Buffalo, School of Dental Medicine since 1982, rising to the rank of State University of New York Distinguished Teaching Professor. He previously served as associate dean for academic affairs for fifteen years. As a faculty member, he practiced periodontics for over thirty years. Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Zambon served as a dental officer in the U. S. Navy. Dr. Zambon is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on oral microbiology and a prolific scientist with over 300 publications. His research and teaching have been recognized with numerous awards and honors. 

JCNDE Liaisons and Observers

picture of dr. chad p. gehani, ada board of trustees liaison
Dr. Chad P. Gehani, ADA Board of Trustees liaison

Dr. Chad Gehani practices Endodontics in New York and is an adjunct clinical associate professor of Endodontics at New York University. In 2014, Dr. Gehani was installed as an ADA trustee for the second district, representing New York state. Previously, he served on the ADA’s Committee on International Programs and Development, the Council on Membership, and the National Summit on Diversity. He also has served as president of the New York State Dental Association. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indian Dental Association in 2016.

picture of mr. aaron henderson, asda student observer
Mr. Aaron Henderson, ASDA Student Representative

Mr. Aaron Henderson, the student observer on the Joint Commission, is a student at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Henderson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, is serving as a 2016-2017 ASDA national vice president.

image of Jeffrey Kerst, ASDA student observer
Mr. Jeffrey Kerst, ASDA Student Observer

Jeffrey Kerst, Student Commissioner on the JCDNE, is a dental student at the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is from Hot Springs, Arkansas, and serves as the ASDA District 5 Trustee, as well as delegate to the ADA. He has held various positions at his school, including ASDA Vice President, and is co-founder of Natural Teeth, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a quality oral health education to elementary students in underserved areas. Jeffrey enjoys going on dental mission trips, playing sports, and playing music, especially in the dental school band, Developmental Groove. He plans to practice general dentistry in private practice following his graduation in 2019.

Wanted: Test Constructors

The JCNDE is looking for qualified test constructors to generate questions for the National Board Dental and Dental Hygiene examinations. Find test constructor information and download the National Board Orientation Manual.