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Speaker Bios


M. Suann Gaydos, MSDH, NCTTP, has a National Certification in Tobacco Treatment Practice and a gubernatorial appointment as a member of the West Virginia Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Task Force. Suann became a Tobacco Treatment Specialist in 2010 through training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and is involved in presenting tobacco treatment continuing education programs both locally and nationally. She is a Professor in the Departments of Public Health and Professional Practice and Dental Hygiene at West Virginia University’s School of Dentistry where she serves as course director for two periodontal courses and as clinical faculty. Professor Gaydos also serves as the Director of the WVU, School of Dentistry Certified Tobacco Treatment Training Program which trains healthcare providers with evidence-based tobacco treatment strategies. She is fulfilling Dr. Clay Marsh’s initiative to integrate this program’s accredited tobacco competencies into the curricula of WVU’s Health Science Center programs. Currently, WVU’s dental, dental hygiene, pharmacy and physician assistant programs, along with BridgeValley Community and Technical College’s dental hygiene program are involved allowing their successful students to graduate with tobacco treatment specialist credentials.

Ashlee Sowards, BSDH, MSDH, NCTTP completed both of her Dental Hygiene degrees at West Virginia University and began teaching full time at the WVU School of Dentistry in 2011. She currently serves as the Course Director for 7 dental hygiene courses in addition to her role as Clinic Supervisor for the third-year dental hygiene students. In 2013 she completed the Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In 2018 she transitioned her TTS into the National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice (NCTTP). Ashlee is very active in the West Virginia Dental Hygienists’ Association (WVDHA) serving as both treasurer and state liaison to the Institute for Oral Health. Aside from her service on multiple School of Dentistry committees, she also serves as a WVU Faculty Senator. Ashlee has a passion for education and is currently pursuing her 2nd Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from WVU.

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Juan M Bugueno, D.D.S., MS, Diplomate ABOM, Assistant Professor Oral Medicine, Department Diagnostic Sciences, West Virginia University School of Dentistry (WVU SOD), Morgantown, WV Dr. Bugueno earned his dental degree at the University of Concepcion in his native country, Chile. He graduated cum laude, worked as a general dentist, and then completed an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency at the same university. He emigrated to the U.S. in 2000 to do a fellowship in maxillofacial trauma at the University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL. Later, he completed an Oral Medicine Residency, a Geriatric Fellowship, and Oral Biology Master’s Degree Program at the University of Pennsylvania. During this time, he won the 2013 Lester Burket Research Award and a case presentation prize at a national meeting. Subsequently, he became Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine. In 2017, he won the ADEA/AAL Faculty of Color Tuition Scholarship for Professional Development and participated in the ADEA Summer Program for Emerging Academic Leaders. Currently, he collaborates in teaching, clinical, and administrative activities. He is a fellow in the ADEA Leadership Institute, and member in the Admission and Recruitment Committee as well as Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of WVU SOD. He directed the COVID-19 Task Force of SOD during the pandemic. He has published scientific papers and has an active participation in research. He is part of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Oral Medicine and Chair of the Publication Committee of this organization. He also belongs to the WV Cancer Plan Committee. As leisure activities, he enjoys outdoor adventures with family and friends and reading, particularly biographies and history.

Elizabeth Southern Puette, RDH, MSDH, CTTTS is an assistant professor in the Department of Dental Hygiene, WVU School of Dentistry.  She received her BS and MS degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.  She is a member of the WV Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition and is Chair-elect of the MOH Early Detection Subcommittee. Liz previously served on the 2021-2025 WV Cancer Plan Committee and was actively involved in developing the new WV Cancer Plan. She is passionate about reducing the burden of oral and oropharyngeal cancers in WV, which includes educating the community and healthcare professionals on the relationship between HPV and cancer.   Her previous work history includes serving as a registered dental hygienist in private practice, Mon County Health Department Dentistry and public health volunteer opportunities, and a dental hygiene educator.  Liz is the current 100 Million Mouths Campaign West Virginia Oral Health Education Champion and develops oral health curricula at primary care training sites in the state of West Virginia. In her free time, Liz enjoys traveling with her son and family.

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