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Dr. Andrea Kittrell is a graduate of Duke University and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She completed her Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery (OTO/HNS) residency at Southern Illinois University where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. She also received the Charles F. Ferguson Clinical Research Award from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology as a resident. Dr. Kittrell has practiced General Otolaryngology in Lynchburg, Virginia for over twenty years, opening her solo private practice in 2009. Although she has performed infant frenotomies since residency, it was the astute urging of a well-respected local IBCLC which prompted her to focus on improving her understanding of optimum management of tethered oral tissues. Relationships with experts in Pediatrics, Otolaryngology, and Breastfeeding Medicine led her to join The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) and The International Consortium of Anklylofrenula Professionals (ICAP). Since then, she has sought mentorship from Otolaryngology experts in the field, has attended annual meetings of both ICAP and ABM, has enrolled in breastfeeding education courses though ABM, and was a participant in the inaugural class of the ABM Leadership Academy in 2021. In 2018, Dr. Kittrell collaborated with her extraordinary IBCLC colleague to form Ties that Bind: Maternal & Infant Feeding Medicine. The practice serves dyads struggling with infant feeding issues across central Virginia, many of whom are of lower- income status. In addition to the joy of helping families by improving infant feeding, Dr. Kittrell has a passion for equity and inclusion in access to quality medical care, particularly for women and children of marginalized class or color. Outside of her professional life, Dr. Kittrell enjoys fostering relationships with her four grown children (all formerly breastfed), ACC sports (especially Duke basketball), and travel (see you in Vancouver!).
Committee Lead: Protocol and Consensus Statement
Dr. Sharon Smart is a speech pathologist and lecturer in the Curtin School of Allied Health at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. She has worked as a speech pathologist in paediatric feeding and swallowing disorders for over 20 years. Her research interests are the impact of ankyloglossia on feeding and speech sound production, and paediatric feeding disorders.
Nathalie is located in Abbotsford, BC Canada and has centred her Registered Massage Therapy practice around supporting babies and parents in reaching their state of wellness and growth. She started her Massage Therapy Schooling in 2002 at age 17 and graduated in 2004. In 2005 she started her journey with the Upledger Institute with CranioSacral Therapy and later added Visceral Manipulation & Neural Manipulation with the Barral Institute.
Nathalie is the owner of Womb To Wings & Soar Wellness Clinic. Her aspiration is to help more people than she could ever do alone and opened Womb To Wings in 2018 that focuses on Family Wellness. She has expanded into teaching other practitioners and creating a team of passionate practitioners that use an intergraded approach to wellness.
Dr. Jimmy Chan was born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver. Upon graduating from Eric Hamber Secondary School in 1989, he was accepted into the University of British Columbia. After undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Chan completed his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at UBC in 1996 and worked as an associate dentist at dental practices in Vancouver, Abbotsford and Maple Ridge. In 1997, Dr. Chan took over the dental practice of Dr. Albert Siemens and has since served the Lynn Valley and North Shore communities and beyond for over 18 years. Dr. Chan is committed to providing his patients with the most modern and up-to-date dental care available. To achieve this, he attends over 100 hours of ongoing continuing education every year in order to stay abreast of the latest innovations and treatment modalities (exceeding the minimum College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia requirement of 90 hours over 3 years). Dr. Chan has an keen interest in the high-tech aspects of dentistry to improve and enhance the well-being of his patients. He has achieved Standard Proficiency status in Diode, CO2 and Er:YAG lasers with the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), as well as Standard Proficiency status in the PerioLase MVP-7 Nd:YAG laser with the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry (IALD). Dr. Chan currently holds Fellowship status in both the Academy of Laser Dentistry and the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry.
Dr. Ray loves working with parents and children to create positive experiences at each visit, for every child. He believes his role is to provide all the information needed to help parents make informed choices about their child’s oral healthcare, and to develop a plan that balances the wishes of parents with the wellbeing, health and wellness of the child. Dr. “Ray” completed his Bachelors of Science (BS), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He also completed a four-year residency/fellowship in pediatric dentistry and nutrition at the University of North Carolina Hospitals and School of Dentistry.
Dr. Ray is adjunct faculty at the UNC Department of Pediatric Dentistry, and serves as the Chair for Children’s Dental Health Programs for the North Carolina Dental Society. He has hospital privileges at Wake Med Hospital in Raleigh, NC as well as the Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville, NC. Outside of his clinical and academic commitments, Dr. Tseng enjoys traveling with his wife and his son, Little Ray.
Jessica has been invested in helping families struggling with oral restrictions since giving birth to a tongue tied baby in 2005, while working as a La Leche League Leader, birth, and postpartum doula. She earned her IBCLC credential in 2009 and started a private practice in the Triangle area of North Carolina, in the United States. She provides home visits there and also works regularly to provide integrative care for treatment of ties in infants through the North Carolina Intergrative Tongue Tie Center. She has worked with multiple practices around the United States to initiate an integrative model in multiple geographic areas. She’s excited to see so many families fully supported by the Three Pillar Approach, as well as enjoying time with her husband and 4 children, ranging in age from 19 to 9. She’s also passionate about creating community and inspiring personal connections.
Robyn Merkel-Walsh, M.A., CCC-SLP, COM ® is a Licensed Speech Pathologist and Certified Orofacial Myologist® with over 25 years of experience in the state of NJ. She is employed full time by the Ridgefield Board of Education and runs a private practice in Ridgefield, NJ. She has been elected NJ Kids Top Doctors in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018.
Robyn specializes in Oral-Placement, feeding and orofacial myofunctional disorders in children. Her private practice focuses on Oral-Placement Disorders in children, and she has expanded her practice to teens and adults over the past two years. She conducts evaluations and Program Plans for children across the tri-state area. Her publications include, SMILE (Systematic Intervention for Lingual Elevation), Art Talk, Handy Handouts, OPT-S Kit, and she co-authored Sensory Stix, A Sensory Motor Approach to Feeding, Functional Assessment and Remediation of Tethered Oral Tissues and OPT Goals for Speech Clarity. She has also written several articles for the TalkTools® website, the ASHA Leader and Advance Magazine for Speech Pathologists. She has been published five consecutive years at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
Robyn is a lecturer for professional enhancement courses as part of TalkTools® Speakers Bureau. She teaches OPT, TOTs, Tongue Thrust and Autism classes that have been offered for ASHA CEUs, and has been invited to speak on Oral Placement disorders by the New Milford Board of Education, The Apraxia Network, AAPPSPA, the International Association of Orofacial Myology The American Laser Study Club and the MOSAIC Foundation. She is actively involved in parental support groups for apraxia, TOTs and autism, and monitors an interactive Oral Placement Discussion Board on Facebook. Robyn was a chief clinician in a research project for the Moebius Foundation, and trains Level 3 and 4 Talk Tools candidates.
Robyn received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Montclair State University, where she was later invited to be an adjunct/clinical supervisor. She also taught classes at Bergen Community College, and is a former clinical site coordinator for Seton Hall University and Malloy College. She is a member of ASHA, AAPPSPA, NJEA, IAOM, OMI, Ankyloglossia Bodyworkers, ICAP and The Bergen County Apraxia Association. She served a term on the NJSHA Board of Directors and is the private practice co-chair. She is the Board Chair of the Oral Motor Institute which was founded by Pamela Marshalla. She is the proud recipient of the ASHA ACE Award and the Ridgefield Woman of the Year 2019 in Business.
Robyn has specialized training in Oral-Placement Disorders, feeding, apraxia, Applied Behavioral Analysis, TOTs, autism, Myofunctional disorders, orofacial myology, cranio-facial anomalies, Beckman Techniques and PROMPT. Robyn also has a specialized interest in integrative medicine and holistic healing.
Dr Shifa Shamsudeen after her schooling went ahead to pursue dentistry as her profession by choice, in that time when dentistry was chosen only by chance. After finishing her Bachelors in Dental surgery in 2006, she proceeded to specialize in Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry and completed the same n 2009. It was during one of the days as a residency clinic, it started with a question in her mind “If I have to walk in to my practice every day hoping to see and treat sick children can I call myself a healthcare Provider? Since then she has been exploring, learning, unlearning and relearning the path of PREVENTION in pediatric head and neck health.
In 2009 after graduation she was on board of many leading corporate practices in Chennai, she started few cases with removable myo appliances and then started exploring the role of epigenetics in development of crooked teeth. After about treating 100 plus children, of which few were without any monetary benefits she observed a tremendous improvement many of which were comparable to gold standard treatments. In 2012, she moved to Coimbatore to start her own practice WE Little. She met Dr. Chris Farrell in 2013, by which she had 350 children undergoing the Myofunctional preventive treatment under her care and seeing positive results. It was during this learning she discovered the role of Orofacial Myofunctional therapy in prevention of crooked teeth. In 2014, she became a Myobrace certified Provider after showing skills in treating hundreds of children with precision and global standards. In 2015, WE Little expanded to a bigger and international standard facility. By then Dr. Shifa had started her own protocols (Adapted and modified from MRC Australia) and the practice was helping thousands of children. Dr. Shifa became extremely active in creating awareness among public and professionals on the need to prevent crooked teeth. In 2017, she was promoted as Myobrace certified trainer being one of the very few globally.
With primary focus on prevention of crooked teeth her journey like a maze has led her to where she is today. Over the years of practice, she realized the need for promotion of breastfeeding and its role in the optimal development of craniofacial component. In 2017, she was certified at the tongue tie institute Australia. Her practice WE Little promotes exclusive, extended breastfeeding and have launched breastfeeding pods in public places. In 2017 WICE (We Institute of continuing dental education) was launched and ever since has trained many doctors in following preventive practice. WE Little was awarded the emerging entrepreneur in the health care category in 2018.
She continues her journey on Prevention with a vision to be a National leader in Preventive Pediatric Dentistry with WE littles presence nationally. It was almost a decade of conservative, non-invasive preventive practice with over 4050 children that she realized the need to create awareness on Pediatric sleep. She finished her Mini-Residency in Pediatric Sleep at Tufts University (BOSTON) and have been active in treating hundreds of children with SDB (sleep-disordered breathing) and helped improve their sleep quality. She is active in creating awareness about breastfeeding, oral health disciplines to be followed for good health and pediatric sleep through blogs, talks, lectures and training to mothers, children and professionals.