Meet the board
Drew Christianson, President
It is my honor and privilege to be representing the MDTA as your new President. Bill Heitzman, our former president, has paved the way once again to ensure that the position was left with the wind in our sails. In this past year, the MDTA has been able to be represented at various conferences throughout the US, host continuing education courses, and provide insight to Minnesota dental offices throughout the state. It was a very busy year for all involved.
At this time I would like to introduce and congratulate Danae Seyffer, our newly elected Vice President. Danae brings on tremendous insight and knowledge of Dental Therapy, as well as her dedication to increasing awareness of our profession. We will have continued leadership with Sheri Solseng Trif fulfilling the Treasurer position, and Karen Bohnen reprising her role as Secretary. Without continued support and effort by all of these board members, the association would not be as flourishing as it today.
Throughout the year, the MDTA has been asked to represent DTs at various conferences and talks throughout the US. Washington, Arizona, North Dakota, and Wisconsin to name a few. This was all made possible by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. We thank them for their continual support and efforts to increase awareness. We were able to host two CE events. One event was hosted at Normandale Community College and the other at the Star of the North Convention in St. Paul. The association continues to provide information to offices throughout the state. If you are interested in doing a lunch learn and represent the MDTA, please contact any board member.
Our membership is also increasingly growing. 61 members as of July 2018! We continue to attract not just DTs to our association, but allied professionals and dentists. From current statistics, there are 88 licensed dental therapists, 52 of those being certified as advanced dental therapists. For our profession to stay on the rise and attract more individuals to the dental therapy profession, the association and its members need to stay true to the mission of dental therapy and strive to embrace the differences we have created in the dental world.
As we begin our new terms and flow into new leadership, our mission and goals remain the same. Dental Therapists were made to serve, and to provide excellent care safely and effectively. Continue to be pioneers, continue to do more and continue to be compassionate.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Drew Christianson, MDT, ADT
Danae Seyffer, Vice President
Danae is passionate about increasing access to high quality dental care to underserved populations and is excited to see the profession grow in years to come. In her spare time, she loves traveling the world and spending time with family and friends.
Danae Seyffer was in the inaugural Dental Therapy class at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, earning her Master of Dental Therapy in 2011. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at her alma mater where she teaches dental, dental therapy, and dental hygiene students. She also serves at the advisor for the Dental Therapy Student Association. In addition to teaching, she is an Advanced Dental Therapist at Community-University Health Care Center, a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center in Minneapolis.
Bill Heitzman, Immediate Past President
Bill Heitzman, ADT, currently practices at True North Community Dental Clinic located in Shakopee, Minnesota. This newly formed clinic uses an innovative model featuring an advanced dental therapist as the primary care provider working under general supervision of the collaborating dentist. The clinic exclusively serves patients who are insured through Minnesota Health Care Programs or are uninsured.
Before that, he practiced in rural Grand Marais, Minnesota. As he lived and worked, he found a sense of satisfaction by making relationships and providing care in the community. He also participated in research made possible by the Delta Dental Foundation of Minnesota documenting the impact of integrating a dental therapist into a solo rural private practice. Another contribution he made was with the Oral Health Task Force, a local non-profit that won the MDH Rural Health Team award for its efforts to improve the oral health of children through community oral health efforts.
He earned his Master’s degree in Dental Therapy from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 2012 after working in industry and as a teacher.
Some of his favorite things to do in life are to bike to work, drink really good coffee, spend time with his family doing anything and everything active.
Sheri Solseng Trif, Treasurer
Sheri Solseng Trif, BSDH, MSADT believes in improving oral health access for members within a community. With 20 years of experience as a dental hygienist, Sheri’s professional growth as a dental therapist further expands her role to improve oral health. In May 2016, she graduated with a Master of Science in Advanced Dental Therapy from Metropolitan State University. Sheri’s experience as a dental professional has provided care for both rural communities and urban areas with diverse populations emphasizing education, prevention and restorative procedures. Her career has brought her into settings such as Long Term Care facilities, Head Start, WIC, mobile clinics, and public schools where she has provided oral health education and dental care. Sheri is employed by Dental Associates in Savage where she provides quality and affordable care for patients who travel near and far to access dental care.
Sheri lives in Chaska with her husband and three children. Together they enjoy the great outdoors along with trips to her home state of ND.
Karen Bohnen, Secretary
Karen Bohnen is currently working as an advanced dental therapist at Dental Associates in St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated from the dental therapy program in December of 2014 from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Karen volunteers through Common Hope, an organization that promotes hope and opportunity by partnering with families and communities to improve their lives through education, healthcare, and housing. Through this organization, she travels to Guatemala once a year to provide dental services and help improve the oral health of families affiliated with Common Hope. She sits on the School of Dentistry Alumni Society board as a dental therapy representative. She currently serves as the Secretary for the Minnesota Dental Therapy Association. Karen resides in Maplewood, Minnesota.