Who We Are
Here you will find members of the WVDHA Volunteer Board. Follow this link to view our component's (Tri-State Dental Hygienists’ Association) volunteer board!
Featuring your volunteer officers of executive board!
Lauren French, BSDH, RDH
Lauren is a Public Health Registered Dental Hygienist in rural Pocahontas County, WV. She graduated from Bridgemont Community and Technical College with an associate degree in Dental Hygiene in 2013, where she served as SADHA Treasurer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene through West Liberty University in 2021 and plans to further her education in Public Health. Since graduating in 2013, she has worked as a clinical hygienist in public health and private practice settings, in addition to teaching clinical hygiene as an adjunct faculty member. She enjoys volunteering for organizations such as RAM, providing care to underserved populations. Lauren is passionate about integrated patient care and especially passionate about addressing public health needs, such as access to care disparities in rural West Virginia communities.
Lauren and her three children live in Marlinton, WV and enjoy being outdoors hiking, kayaking and fishing. Lauren coaches’ soccer and enjoys engaging with the children in her small community. In her free-time, she loves to take spontaneous road trips, attend music festivals/shows, and traveling someplace new.
Liz Puette, MSDH, CTTS, FADHA, RDH
Liz is a graduate of Old Dominion University obtaining a BSDH degree in 2002 and a MSDH degree in 2003. She has worked in private practice, public health, and dental hygiene educator sectors of the dental profession. She is currentlyan assistant professor at WVU School of Dentistry, Department of Dental Hygiene in Morgantown, WV and serves as the 100 Million Mouths Campaign oral health champion
for the state of WV, integrating oral health topics into primary care curriculum. Passionate about reducing the burden of oral and oropharyngeal cancers in the state, she is an active member WV Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition and organizes oral
cancer education and screening events. In her free time, Liz enjoys traveling with her son and family, spending winter doing all activities snow related and summers on the water!
Heather Fogus, BSDH, RDH
Immediate Past President
Heather was installed during the Annual Session and CE Event September 23, 2017. She is studying to receive her Master's in Career and Technical Education through Marshall University. Heather is a 2014 graduate of BridgeValley CTC. Prior to studying dental hygiene she worked as a certified dental assistant with Fizer Dental Care. Heather is now a Dental Assisting Instructor at ACT in Beckley, WV. Heather lives in White Sulphur Springs, WV with her husband Josh and children Hallie and Raylan. She loves to cook and travel, enjoying the adventure and beauty offered by West Virginia.
Janna Thornsbury, MSDH, NCTTP, RDH
Janna is a 2003 graduate of WVU Institute of Technology where she obtained an AS degree in Dental Hygiene. She went on to graduate from Marshall University in 2018 with a BS degree in Health Science, and in 2022 received her MSDH from West Liberty University. Presently, she is a public health dental hygienist and the Research Coordinator for the Community Oral Health Division at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University. Janna lives in Winfield, WV with her husband and two children, and in her free time enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time outdoors.
Mary Ann Yandrich, BSDH, RDH
Tri-State DHA Trustee
Mary Ann received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from West Liberty State College. She has worked in private practice in Ohio and West Virginia throughout her professional career. At present, she is employed as an Academic Laboratory Instructing Assistant in the Sarah Whitaker Glass School of Dental Hygiene at West Liberty University (formerly, West Liberty State College)
Ashlee Sowards, BSDH, MSDH, NCTTP, RDH
Ashlee has been a full time faculty member of the WVU School of Dentistry, Department of Dental Hygiene since 2011. She received her BSDH from WVU in 2007 and her MSDH from WVU in 2011. While pursuing her master’s degree, she also worked in a private practice in Morgantown, WV. She received her NCTTP (National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice) from UMDNJ in April 2013. She utilizes this certification while teaching and treating clients at the WVU School of Dentistry. Ashlee is very active with committee work on four levels: the Department of Dental Hygiene, the School of Dentistry, the Health Sciences Center, and the University. She is currently serving her second three-year term as one of two elected representatives from the School of Dentistry on the WVU Faculty Senate. She will be serving as Chair of the WVU Faculty Senate Teaching Assessment Committee for the 2019-2020 academic year. In addition to teaching, Ashlee serves as a Faculty Mentor to students as they complete their 2-year research study. She resides in Fairmont, WV with her old son, Carson.
Carly Scala, BSDH, RDH
Carly is a Parkersburg, WV native that graduated in 2014 from West Virginia University as her SADHA Class President. She was the recipient of the "Golden Scaler" award and the Robert E. Sausen Distinguished Student award while at West Virginia University. After practicing full-time clinically in Vienna, WV for 5 years, Carly relocated to Charleston, WV to pursue a grant-funded research position through WVU Research Corporation. Upon the grant's completion in 2022, Carly transitioned to education at BridgeValley Community and Technical College as full-time faculty. Carly is pursuing her Master's degree from Marshall University in Leadership Studies. Carly was recently appointed as the West Virginia Dental Hygiene Liasion for The National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety’s Dental Hygienists Liaison Project.
Sharon Hinchman, MSDH, RDH
Social Media Chairman
Sharon received her Master of Science in Dental Hygiene from West Virgnia University in 2011. Based on
her thesis, her research was accepted for publication in 2016 in the Journal of Dental Hygiene. Her
research was also accepted as a Dentsply graduate poster presentation at ADHA in 2012. Sharon has
been a judge of ADHA graduate poster presentations. Sharon is a lifelong learner with interests in education, infection control, ergonomics, emerging science, public health, research and mentoring.
Sharon was honored with the WVDHA Distinguished RDH award in 2019. She was selected as one of 40
RDHs, to attend the ADHA UYP (Unleashing Your Potential) leadership workshop in 2012.
Sharon has been a career long member of ADHA/WVDHA. In 2016, she developed the WVDHA
Operational Manual with assistance of two former District III Trustees (now called Directors). She
secured Directors & Officers and General Liability insurance, prepared documents and submitted the
information for the required incorporated ADHA/WVDHA Charter agreement. She served as Treasurer
and event Co-coordinator 2012-2019, Facebook creator, website, email blast and CE certificate content
creator 2012-2018. She has also served as Secretary 2011-2013, 2007-2009, President, legislative chair,
and delegate/alternate to ADHA House of Delegates.
Sharon lives in Elkins, WV with her husband, Mike and two cats, Sammy and Max. They have two
children. Sharon is an avid reader of political, legal, crime novels. She is an instructor at the YMCA for
Silver Sneakers circuit training and yoga, designed for increased strength and stability/balance.