1. Wolverine Caucus: Oral Health is Whole Health

    Mark Rivett posted March 16, 2023

    Tuesday, March 31, 2023

    12:00pm – 1:00pm

    Christman/MML Building
    208 N. Capitol Ave.,1st Floor
    Lansing, MI 48933

    A trip to the dentist has long been considered as something completely separate from your general healthcare, but research from Dr. Nalliah shows how poor oral health can impact general health outcomes. Often access to care is a major barrier to good oral health in underserved populations. How do we bridge this gap and increase equity in oral health and better get care to underserved populations – which will drive better overall health and save costs with preventative care.


    Dr. Romesh Nalliah
    Associate Dean for Patient Services
    UM School of Dentistry

    Dr. Romesh P. Nalliah is a Clinical Professor and serves as the Associate Dean for Patient Services at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. When he graduated from the University of Adelaide School of Dentistry (2000) he wanted to serve in Australia’s public health system that had served his family and began his career in rural Australia using a mobile dental van. Since then, he has delivered care in small private practices, large group practices, hospitals, community health centers, and faculty practices. While his practice setting has changed, there has been a continuous commitment to public health, efficiency and quality throughout his career. In 2008, Dr. Nalliah began serving as the Senior Tutor for Castle Society at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM). While at Harvard, Dr. Nalliah also completed a Certificate in Medical Education (Harvard Medical School) and a Masters in Healthcare Management (Harvard School of Public Health). Dr. Nalliah has held many leadership roles in the Massachusetts Dental Society including Board Member, Delegate and Chair of Continuing Education. He has taught more than 100 continuing education programs for dentists, physicians and nurse practitioners and also served as Dental Director of Special Olympics for Massachusetts. In 2015, Dr. Nalliah began as the Director for Clinical Education in the DDS program at the University of Michigan. For more than a decade, Dr. Nalliah has maintained a national and international reputation as an expert in health services research and public health. He has published well over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, won several research awards and serves on the Editorial Boards of several journals. He also serves as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Dental Education. He brings expertise in data science into the clinical environment and has published studies related to efficiency and quality in hospitals, community health centers, and dental schools clinics

    Renée Smiddy
    Senior Director of Finance Policy
    Community Engagement
    Michigan Health and Hospital Association

    Renée Smiddy is Senior Director of Finance Policy at the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. Previously, she served as the association’s director of research and performance measurement, and before that as the association’s data science manager. She has over ten years of experience working with health care data to help improve hospital operations and patient quality of care. Some of her previous projects include promoting healthcare data transparency across Michigan hospitals and serving as the data lead for the Great Lakes Partners for Patients Hospital Improvement Innovation Network. Her interests are to leverage data to impact policy and operational changes to better support patients and their families.

    Smiddy’s past positions consist of being a public health researcher for the U.S. Army Public Health Command, where she interpreted data to help implement health policies at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and an analyst at the Henry Ford Health System, where she supported redesigning the system’s policy platform and approval process. She holds a master’s degree in business analytics from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and bachelor’s degrees in business management and international relations from Michigan State University.

    Dr. Holli Seabury
    Executive Director
    Delta Dental Foundation

    Holli Seabury, EdD, is the Executive Director of the Delta Dental Foundation, which is dedicated to oral health equity and advancing dental science through education and research. From 2009 to 2019 Dr. Seabury was the CEO of McMillen Health, a non-profit health education center serving over 90,000 annually. She was the lead curriculum developer for the Brush Oral Health Program, which serves over 1.85 million children nationwide through Early Head Start/Head Start and WIC. Her work has focused on health literacy and developing educational materials for the Medicaid population, especially young families. Dr Seabury holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Defiance College. In 2015 she earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a specialty in educational technology from the University of Florida.

    Wolverine Caucus members are University of Michigan alumni including legislators, lobbyists, staff, and advisors working in and around the State of Michigan government. They meet with U-M experts on timely, relevant public policy subjects during the legislative session. Our mission is to provide diverse forums at which U-M friends can meet one another, enjoy fellowship, exchange views and learn from the world-class talents of U-M faculty and administrators.

    The Wolverine Caucus is a partnership between the University of Michigan Office of Government Relations and the Alumni Association.