PRESIDENT – Ricardo Y. Mendoza, DDS, FICD, MS – Chicago, IL
Dr. Mendoza specializes in Pediatric Dentistry, a call he decided to pursue while finishing dental school at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and working briefly in Caracas as a General Practitioner. After obtaining a Master’s Degree at the Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry, he continued with a two-year fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry where he has taught for the last 18 years as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Peds Department.
He wears several hats including Community Outreach Dental Coordinator, UIC Peds Dentistry Faculty member, attending at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, and managing partner of CHICAGO SMILE SPECIALISTS and THE ORTHO SUITE formerly known as Just Kids Dental & Orthodontics in Logan Square in Chicago. An HDA member since 1998, Dr. Mendoza was invited to become part of the Board of Trustees where he has served two different terms for seven years. He was also the 2013 President of the HDA Greater Chicago Professional Chapter. His passions include working with Special Needs individuals and he is serving as the Chairman of the Special Olympics, Special Smiles Program in the state of Illinois for the last 15 years.
President-elect – Edwin A. del Valle-Sepulveda, DMD, FAAMOS, FACD, FICD, JD – San Juan, PR
Dr. del Valle-Sepulveda is a board-certified oral surgeon. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in pre-professional sciences from Purdue University in West Lafayette. He went on to earn his doctoral degree and complete his residency at the University of Puerto Rico. For several years he has been an active member of the Dental community by participating in several professional organizations. Dr. del Valle-Sepulveda has authored multiple poster presentations in scientific meetings and publications in scientific journals. He is also a regular presenter for various dental student programs and associations.
Treasurer – Jose Alamo, DMD – Austin, TX
Dr. Jose Alamo is from the borderland city of El Paso, Texas, a majority Latino community rich in Mexican culture. Growing up between El Paso and neighboring Ciudad Juarez, Mexico offered Jose the opportunity to experience the effects language, politics, and culture have on standards of living. Among being a healthcare provider shortage area, Dr. Alamo experienced challenges seeking mentorship opportunities for young Latinos ready to learn, participate, and contribute. Knowing that many people would need dental healthcare in their life he pursued a career in dentistry so he could be a central part of his community both as a healthcare provider and a mentor.
Dr. Alamo completed his Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree in 2006 from Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, and undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas in 2001. He entered post-doctoral residency at King’s County Hospital and New York/Presbyterian Hospital in New York, New York completing a two-year General Practice Residency in 2008. For the next 5 years he worked in community health before opening his private practice in 2012 in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Alamo co-founded the Austin HDA chapter in 2014, he actively speaks and mentors University of Texas Latino pre-health students interested in dentistry. Dr. Alamo is part of the HDAF scholarship committee awarding dental students and hygienists funding for their dental education. He volunteers locally with Hispanic Dental Association clinics and Texas Missions of Mercy; and internationally, in Nicaragua and Panama providing dental care. Dr. Alamo is interested in learning better ways to deliver healthcare and increasing access to healthcare, he co-founded VeMiDoc in 2014, building a mobile device platform with his team for dentist and medical professionals to consults with their patients.
Secretary – Rosa Chaviano-Moran, DMD, FICD – Newark, NJ
Dr. Chaviano-Moran graduated from Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. She is RSDM Associate Dean for Admissions and serves as faculty, recruiter, advocate and mentor, encouraging and supporting prospective and current students.
She is the principal investigator for the ADEA GIES Foundation grant, “Creating Awareness in Academic Dentistry”. The goal of this project is enhance exposure and excitement about careers in academia for dental and hygiene students especially those from diverse backgrounds and marginalized groups. She is the Co-PI and dental director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation “Summer Health Professions Educational Program” and all RSDM educational pipeline programs, promoting dentistry and achievement for ALL students. She is the faculty advisor for the RSDM- Hispanic Student Dental Association and the Dental Association for Equality, a platform for student advocacy in the LGBTQ community.
She has been recognized with the “Chair of the ADEA Board Citation” and the Rutgers University “Leaders in Faculty Diversity Award” for her national leadership roles in the holistic admissions process and advocacy for student diversity. She is a member of ADA, Fellow of the International College of Dentists, ADEA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, Chair of the ADEA-Gay Straight Alliance, Consultant Holistic Admissions in Academic Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National Association of Medical Minority Educators, and National Association of Advisors to the Health Professions. Before elected secretary, Dr. Chaviano-Moran served as a trustee on the HDA Board.
Immediate Past President – Anna M. Munne, MD, DDS, MS, FACD – Houston, TX
Dr. Anna M. Munne was born in Barcelona, Spain. She obtained her M.D. Degree from Universitat Central de Barcelona as well as her D.D.S. Degree. She worked in the General Hospital of Catalunya under the direction of Dr. Jaime Cuenca where she completed her specialty in Endodontics. Coming to the United States, she studied and worked at the UTDB in Houston, Department of Periodontics, and obtained her certificate in Periodontics and Master in Sciences Degree in 1993.
Dr. Munne engaged teaching and research duties as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Periodontics in 1993-1994. She has lectured nationally and internationally and enjoys her private practice in Periodontics and Implants in the Museum area. Dr. Munne has a passion for organized dentistry and its mission. Among others, she has served in the Star of the South Council, the Greater Houston Society of Periodontics, the Greater Houston Dental Society Board and is currently Fellow of the American College of Dentists and President of the Hispanic Dental Association.
Dr. Munne enjoys cooking, dancing, painting, interior design, geography, geology and more than anything entertaining friends and family.
National Professional Trustees
Ana N. Fuentes, DMD, MPH, FACD, FICD – San Juan, PR
Ana N. López Fuentes, D.M.D., M.P.H., FACD, FICD; is a tenured Professor, at the UPR School of Dental Medicine at the Community Dentistry Section. Served as Dean of the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine (UPR SDM) from 2014-2018. Works at UPR SDM since 1988 and has also served as the Curriculum Director, Community Dentistry Section Chief, and Executive Associate Dean of the dental school. At the university level, she has been a member of the Academic Senate, and represented the Medical Sciences Campus at the President’s Board, participating in various committees. She was also the Executive Secretary of the President’s Board.
Dr. López Fuentes is currently serving at the Medical Sciences Campus Academic Senate representing the faculty and has been a professor at the school for 30 years. Implemented and directed the first dental assisting program at the University of Granada, Spain in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico. Graduated from many leadership institutes including the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), Summer Program; ELAM, and the Bell’s Leadership Institute. Dr. López started the local celebration of Give Kids A Smile Day, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015. She is the mentor of the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), and was recently elected to the HDA Board of Trustees. She also serves as mentor of the American Association of Women Dentists student chapter, which celebrates the Smiles for Success activity empowering victims of gender violence and drug abuse among other activities for the association.
Dr. Ana López has been a Women Liaison Officer (WLO) to ADEA since 2006, and as Dean of the dental school was instrumental in the amendments of the local dental law, the implementation of electronic health record at the dental school, and the recent approval of the Periodontics Graduate program, among other landmark achievements. She was the first Dean of the dental school to be part of ADEA’s Administrative Board of the Council of Deans. Dr. López is Co-Chair of the ADEA’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and currently a member of the ADEA’s International Women Leadership Conference (IWLC) Planning Committee and ADEA’s Annual Session Planning Committee (ASPC). She is co-chair of the WLO Revitalization and Restructuring group. Recipient of the Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors Citation for significant contributions to dental education and ADEA at the 2018 Annual Session. She was recognized for her outstanding leadership while Dean of the dental school during and after Hurricane Maria; maintaining the school’s accreditation, keeping it open, and giving support to students, faculty, staff and the communities affected by the event.
Dr. López-Fuentes created the UPR SDM Infection Control and Quality Assurance Protocols and currently acts as a consultant in Infection Control and Risk Management. She is also the continuing education speaker in Infection Control for Puerto Rico and abroad.
Christina Meiners, DDS, FAGD, FICD – San Antonio, TX
Dr. Christina Meiners was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. In 2007, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Honors College at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. At an early age, Dr. Meiners had a desire to pursue dentistry. As a participant in the Dental Early Acceptance Program, she received a conditional letter of acceptance to dental school by the age of 18. In 2010, Dr. Meiners received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA).
After graduation, Dr. Meiners worked part-‐time as an associate clinical professor at UTHSCSA. She now serves as an adjunct faculty member for UTHSCSA, overseeing dental students during their clinical rotations at Communicare Health Centers, the non-‐profit community clinic she once rotated through as a student and now provides patient care as a staff dentist. She has participated in the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership and serves on multiple committees at the local, state, and national level of various organizations. Dr. Meiners currently serves on the board of directors for the National Hispanic Dental Association and the Texas Academy of General Dentistry. She also currently holds various officer positions as Secretary of the San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic, Vice President of the San Antonio District Dental Society (SADDS), Immediate Past President of the San Antonio Academy of General Dentistry (SAAGD), and Past President of the Greater San Antonio Hispanic Dental Association (GSAHDA). She helped found the Building our Leaders in Dentistry (B.O.L.D.) program to provide mentorship to pre-‐dental students. The award winning BOLD program presents hand-‐on activities and lectures to inspire a career in dentistry to high school and college students throughout South Texas, and has recently been adopted nationally by the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA).
In 2018 Dr. Meiners was named as one of the 10 under 10 Awardees of the ADA honoring the top 10 dentists in practice 10 years or less who are making a mark on the profession.
With service at the center of her heart, Dr. Meiners has served on multiple missionary trips both locally and internationally and coordinated multiple local community events to help deliver care through patient education, providing free dental treatment, and distributing donated oral hygiene supplies.
During her term as president, GSAHDA was recognized nationally and awarded Professional Chapter of the Year by HDA and the Texas Academy of General Dentistry recognized SAAGD as Component of the Year. This leadership and dedication to the community has helped her become the recipient of HDA’s National Service Award and receive nominations by both SADDS and SAAGD for the Texas New Dentist of the Year Award. Dr. Meiners is a fellow in the Academy of Dentistry International and the International College of Dentists.
In her spare time Dr. Meiners enjoys traveling, watching movies, and watching the Spurs win with her husband and two dogs.
Mercedes Mota-Martinez, DDS – Corona, NY
Dr. Mota-Martinez completed her undergraduate education and received her dental degree in her native Dominican Republic, at the Universidad Central del Este in San Pedro de Macoris. Upon her arrival in the United States, Dr. Mota-Martinez received her Doctor of Dental Surgery certification from the New York University College of Dentistry. Dr. Mota-Martinez continued her post-graduate training in Periodontics, Orthodontics, and Implant Dentistry and has received post-graduate certification in all of these branches of dentistry.
Upon completing her training, Dr. Mota-Martinez established her private practice in Co
rona, where she has provided quality dental care and cultivated deep community bonds for more than 20 years. Dr. Mota-Martinez’s involvement in organized dentistry spreads well beyond the office in Corona having served in numerous leadership roles at the local, state and national level. Dr. Mota-Martinez is currently President of the New York City Chapter of the HDA.
Martha J. Mutis, DDS, MPH, FICD – New York, NY
Dr. Mutis’ grew up between the United States and South America, but began her professional journey in Colombia. She certified in International Human Rights Law and specialized in Healthcare Quality Management after attending dental school in Colombia, while she was working with the Army as general dentist and as professor in health care management for various universities in Latin America. Dr. Mutis was appointed in different leadership positions in dental professional organizations since she was a freshman student, being treasurer, dental student trustee and dental student representative before regional organizations. Her latest leadership positions in Latin America were as founder advisor at the Regional Health Workforce Observatory Linked to the PAHO, Strategic Advisor for the Latin American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, Guest Adviser of the Expertise’s Government Committees in Fluoridation, dental products and medical devices, advisor at the higher education’s accreditation commission, member of the board of trustees at the Colombia Dental Federation and founding member of the Colombian Dental College for professional regulations.
Dr. Mutis specialized in Dental Public Health at New York University Langone Health, a call she decided to pursue while she was developing her PhD and after her MPH degree at Nova Southeast University. Complimentary, she has been working the latest years as assistant community professor at NSU, and as leader of various professional organizations in United States, ultimately at the International College of Dentists in the International Section, consolidating the teamwork of dental professional Diasporas to support dental health initiatives and humanitarian missions on vulnerable populations around the world, especially in Latin America.
Herminio Perez, DMD, MBA – Newark, NJ
Dr. Perez is the Director of Student & Multicultural Affairs at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. He earned a BS degree from the University of Puerto Rico and a D.M.D. degree from the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. He completed a General Practice Residency and a Chief Residency program at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, where he became an Attending and Site-Supervisor. To further his education, he completed a one-year certificate in Aesthetic Dentistry from NYU College of Dentistry and later earned a Master in Business Administration with a concentration in the Health Sector Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Silberman College of Business.
He serves as Course Director of the Introduction to the Dental Profession, a course that has been crafted to introduce dental students to the history, attitudes, ethical principles and responsibilities of the profession. Recently, Dr. Perez developed a Patient Simulation Series, which exposed second-year dental students to diverse cultural and ethnic scenarios while helping them develop effective communication skills. In addition, he has an active role in pre-clinical instruction for first and second year students. As an advocate of inter-professional education, he has developed training for facilitators based on the core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Dr. Perez has several research interests that relate to improving the experience of dental students during their academic years. For over a decade, Dr. Perez has been a mentor for many students, residents and young dentists.
Dr. Perez is the Co-Principal Investigator in a program funded by the ADEAGies Foundation. The program is designed to encourage students who are underrepresented, including LGBTQ students, to become faculty and administrators at dental schools and schools that educate dental hygienists.
Dr. Perez has been an active member at the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). He has served as Chair of the Student Affairs/ Financial Aid Section (AFASA) and currently he holds the position of Chair of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
At Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Perez serves on various committees, including Student Academic Performance, Post Accreditation and Admission Committee. Also, he is Chair of the Community Advisory and Multicultural Affairs.
In his spare time Dr. Perez enjoys photography, music and reading.
Carlos Sanchez, RDH, BSDH, MPH – Los Angeles, CA
Carlos Sanchez, RDH, BSDH, MPH is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Southern California’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. He works in the Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry as co-director of its Neighborhood Mobile Dental Van Prevention Program, which focuses on reducing the prevalence of childhood caries in underserved areas of Los Angeles. Upon completion of his degree from USC’s School of Dentistry, he attained a Master in Public Health degree with an emphasis on Health Education and Promotion from the USC Keck School of Medicine. Aside from working in academia, he also enjoys working as a clinician in a family and cosmetic dental practice in Ventura County.
He has collaborated on several humanitarian efforts associated with promoting health abroad and has partnered with numerous organizations in providing dental services and education to multiple community outreach health events throughout Southern California including the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. He is an active contributing member to several organizations including the American Dental Association, American Dental Hygiene Association, & Hispanic Dental Association. He has held executive leadership positions as President of the Latino for Dental Careers Organization and the Hispanic Dental Association of Los Angeles which provides Service, Education, Advocacy and Leadership for the elimination of oral health disparities in the Latino community. He currently serves on the national scholarship committee for the HDA Foundation; is on the Board of Directors for the USC Century Club Dental Alumni Association; is the Treasurer to the HDA- Greater Los Angeles professional chapter and is the faculty advisor for the Hispanic Student Dental Association at USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. He’s an avid sports enthusiast and athlete himself and loves traveling the world both near and far.
Ana Zea, DDS – Boston, MA
Dr. Zea is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of General Dentistry and Health Policy & Health Services Research at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. In her Role as Director of Community Health Education, Dr. Zea coordinates all curricular Community-Based and Service Learning rotations and externships for DMD students at GSDM. Dr. Zea joined GSDM in 2007, and is Director of the Applied Professional Experience (APEX) and Externship Programs, Co-Director of the Comprehensive Pre-Clinical Dentistry Course and member of the Dean’s Council on Ethics and Professionalism, Promotions and Admission’s Committees at GSDM.
Dr. Zea is inspired by students’ engagement and commitment to reducing oral health disparities through research, promotion and participation in community-based and outreach activities. She has been Faculty Advisor for the school’s chapter of HSDA since 2013, and joins the HDA Board of Trustees in contribution to the organization’s efforts to provide leadership support and opportunities for students to be successful and engaged in carrying out the organization’s mission for the Hispanic Community during and beyond their dental education.
Dr. Zea is native from Colombia, and graduated from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in 1996. She is currently completing her Doctor in Public Health (DrPH) studies at Boston University School of Public Health.
National Student Trustees
Herta Granado is currently a DMD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine. She is originally from Damascus, Maryland and attended the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland for her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. During her undergraduate career, Herta embraced her upbringing as a Latino woman and developed her passions for helping the underserved Hispanic community through various local community efforts, including serving as a volunteer Spanish interpreter at the University of Maryland, School of Dentistry. During this time, she also undertook various pursuits in research, becoming published for a paper discussing ways in which oral health practitioners can help reduce disparities that may play into childhood obesity. Herta currently serves as the student trustee on the Hispanic Dental Association Board of Trustees and is motivated to connect HSDA chapters across the nation to maximize the reach our organization has on the Hispanic student and patient population.