New Staff Feature: Rhonda Stephens Joins the NCOHC

Rhonda_StephensIn August, Rhonda Stephens joined the Foundation as the Research Director for the NC Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC). In her position, she will build and present evidence to support the NCOHC’s advocacy and policy efforts and serve as a resource for their workgroups. With ten years of previous experience practicing general dentistry in federally-qualified health centers, Rhonda brings knowledge and passion for affecting greater change in oral health status of underserved populations. We asked Rhonda a few questions to get to know her better.

Q: Where are you from and how did you end up in North Carolina?

A: I’m originally from Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to North Carolina in 2015 to pursue specialty training in Dental Public Health with the NC Oral Health Section.

Q: What drew you to the Foundation?

A: The Foundation, and therefore the NCOHC, is on the cutting edge of healthcare reform. I love the fact that as an organization they develop very innovative, “outside the box” strategies to improve health and well-being across the state.

Q: What types of organizations have you worked for in the past?

A: Prior to joining the NCOHC, I spent ten years practicing general dentistry in federally qualified health centers. Working in this environment fueled my strong desire to affect greater change in oral health beyond health center walls, and eventually led me to complete dental public health training.

Q: What are you most excited for in this position?

A: I am most excited about the opportunity to use my skill set as a public health dentist in an environment that encourages creativity and innovation in its programs and among its leadership.

Q: What do you like to do for fun/in your free time?

A: I love trying new ethnic food places; watching movies; interior decorating; fitness classes; being outdoors; cultural festivals; and just hanging out with close friends. And I’m an absolute lover of dogs!!