Meet The Officers

Current CODHA Officers

 

Valerie Cuzella, RDH, BAS

President

 

Valerie graduated from the Community College of Denver with her AAS in 2012 and went back and completed her BAS with an education focus in 2018. She has been practicing clinical dental hygiene for nine years, and briefly taught clinical dental hygiene at Community College of Denver in 2019. She loves the oral-systemic link and educating her patients on better oral and overall health. Other volunteer positions she has held for CODHA include: Explorer newsletter editor for 2018-2019, and 2019-2020, CODHA delegate, and CO delegate to ADHA.

Lisa Westhoff, RDH, BSDH, MSDH
Immediate Past President

Lisa has been drawn to healthcare since she was young. Her mother is a RDH in southern Colorado and a high school internship with her mother’s dental office was the starting point for her education and career in oral health. Lisa gradated from Colorado Northwestern Community College in 2007 with her AS in Dental Hygiene and quickly found her footing in private practice on the western slope. While working in private practice, she also began working with a public health organization in Garfield County that focuses on oral health in school settings. In 2016 Lisa gradated with her BS in Dental hygiene from Eastern Washington University and in 2019 she finished her MS in Dental Hygiene from the same University.  She currently practices clinical dental hygiene full-time and teaches at EWU part-time. Lisa has served on numerous positions for CODHA through her local western slope component and also as the Secretary of the House of Delegates for CODHA.
 

Courtney Justice
President-Elect

Courtney started her dental career as a dental assistant in 2011 and returned to dental hygiene school after she realized her love for dentistry was here to stay. In addition to receiving her Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene from Argosy University-Twin Cities in 2016, she is currently finishing her Bachelor’s of Dental Hygiene at Minnesota State University Mankato, and plans to start graduate school in Fall 2022 to earn a Masters of Public Health. Courtney has dedicated her career to serving uninsured and underinsured populations, and currently works in a school-based health center. She has held the position of Secretary of the Board of Trustees and is the current Secretary of the House of Delegates and Nominations Committee Chair. In addition to being an ADHA and CODHA member, she holds a professional membership with the National Network for Oral Health Access, and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Courtney lives in Commerce City with her husband, Joel, who works in renewable energy, and their three fur children: Potter, Weasley, and Lupin.
 

Jessica Jensen, RDH, BSDH
Vice President

Jessica Jensen graduated with an AAS in Dental Hygiene from Colorado Northwestern Community College in 2015. She served as a Student Liaison to the House of Delegates in 2014. After graduation she practiced in two private practices growing and implementing a pediatric program. In 2016, she moved to Denver Colorado to work on a grant with Denver Health, Cavity Free at Three, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, integrating oral health services in a medical setting. In 2018 she graduated from the Community College of Denver with a Bachelor of Science of Dental Hygiene. Currently, continues to practice at Denver Health while expanding the MDI models to additional clinics.

Nicole Lehar, RDH BSDH
Secretary

I have been an active dental hygienist for thirteen years. I have experience in public health, private practice and education. I have moved around the US and Canada, but we are now ready to settle down and call Grand Junction, Colorado home. I am a wife, a mother of two sweet and handsome little men, and a fur mommy to a beautiful chocolate lab. I am a goal oriented individual who strives for collaboration, building interpersonal relationships, prides myself on working at a high stand of care, inspiring those around me and a firm believer in self improved through continuing education.

Sarah Summers, RDH
Treasurer

Sarah Summers was born and raised in Houston, Texas and takes pride in living BIG! When Sarah was in high school she moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming with her family and says Wyoming allowed her to become her true self. She attended the University of Wyoming and aspired to become an Orthodontist, a childhood passion since the age of 9. After graduating with a degree in Zoology/Physiology and applying to many dental schools numerous times with no such luck, Sarah realized that a career in dental hygiene was a great alternative! In 2009, after completing her Associates in Dental Hygiene from Colorado Northwestern Community College Sarah moved to Grand Junction and worked in private practice for 7 years. “The best thing about working in private practice are the relationships made with patients.” The desire to help others has always been the driving force for Sarah and her dental career. The fire was lit with her first dental mission trip to Guatemala where she found herself seeing 120 patients a day. “People came from miles away and would stand in line all day just to have a tooth pulled.” On her second mission trip to the tiny island of Mayrau, only accessible by boat, Sarah spent 4 days tending to the dental hygiene needs of the island people. She was the island favorite and the people begged to have their teeth cleaned! The rawness of the mission trips and the fire to help people in desperate need of dental hygiene care gave Sarah the ability to feel comfortable in any dental setting. Back in the United States Sarah’s grandmother “Mimi” was faced with long-term, slow progressing dementia. Sarah realized that her grandmother was not able to brush her teeth and she was bed-bound. Her grandmother’s special need for a bedside dental hygienist was all of the motivation Sarah needed to establish Front Door Dental, Western Colorado’s first mobile dental hygiene service! Front Door Dental was created to help those not easily mobile get access to the preventative dental care they deserve! “Having your teeth cleaned is a necessity and a luxury, nothing feels better than clean teeth!” Sarah is on a mission to provide dental hygiene services to ALL persons with a “special need” so that they too can live a comfortable life, free of dental disease.

Tammy Fulton RDH BS
Colorado Springs Component Trustee

Tammy knew that she was missing something after earning her BS in Graphic Design from the Florida State University in 1995. She wanted to make a difference, decided to go back to school and graduated with an Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene in 2017 from Pueblo Community College in Pueblo, CO. It was at PCC where she was introduced to CODHA and subsequently became a Colorado Springs Delegate. Tammy works in private practice, is a mother to 2 young men, 2 fur babies, and has been married for 24 years.

Jennifer Hosburgh RDH
Boulder Component Trustee

Bio coming soon.

Tabitha Converse, RDH, BSDH
Metro Denver Component Trustee

I graduated in 1998 from Sheridan College with an Associate’s degree, completed Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming in 1998. I was an active and involved member of ADHA/WDHA early in my career, then took a break while working and raising my boys. I’m looking forward to getting involved again!

 

Joy Driscoll RDH BS
Northern Colorado Component Trustee

I have been in and out of Clinical care for 30 yrs, Immunology/OncologyPharmaceutical Sales for 20 yrs.

 

Robyn Maestas RDH BAS
Southern Colorado Component Trustee

Graduate from PCC. Has worked on SMILEs and COMDI grant projects. Part-time faculty at PCC and currently practicing in private practice. Worked in SBHC and with aging communities to expand oral health equity throughout Pueblo county.

Alyson Johnson RDH
Western Slope Component Trustee

 
I live in Rifle and have worked in private practice my whole career. I also do a sealant program in our schools over here. I am married and have a 14 year old son. I decided to get involved with the association about 3 years ago. I wanted to meet more fellow colleagues and do some networking. I would like to take on different positions to increase my involvement in the association.

Jennifer Hosburgh RDH
Council on Membership Service

Bio coming soon.

Dani Ford RDH
Council on Education Services, Chair

Bio coming soon.

Terra Anderson RDH BAS
Council on Regulation and Practice, Chair

Terra Anderson graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Community College of Denver in 2021 and has been practicing dental hygiene since 2013. She recently transitioned into public health and now serves as the Regional Oral Health Specialist for five counties in Southwest Colorado. Terra has been active in the ADHA since she was a student when she was chosen to serve as the student delegate for district 9 and attended the ADHA annual conference. Terra is passionate about infection control and loves to advocate for her profession.

Howard Notgarnie, RDH, EdD
Speaker of the House of Delegates

Howard earned his bachelor degree in chemistry at Florida Atlantic University, 1987; associate in dental hygiene at Palm Beach State College, 1992; and doctorate in education at University of Phoenix, 2011. He has published more than 20 articles. He has been practicing clinically in Colorado since 2001 and has served state dental hygiene associations for more than 10 years.

Danielle Suzuki RDH
Student Liaison

Born and raised in Colorado, Danielle has held a passion for healthcare from a young age.  In her teens she volunteered at Avista Hospital to socialize and have meals with patients. From that point she knew healthcare is where her passions were.  Danielle went on to become a dental assistant and worked for the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine while finishing her prerequisites to get into hygiene school.  Danielle graduated from Concorde Career College in 2020, with an Associate’s of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene.  While in hygiene school she was her class president for the Student Chapter of the American Dental Hygiene Association, as President Danielle was invited to attend a leadership conference with ADHA and CODHA.  This opportunity led to a passion for advocating for her profession.  During hygiene school, she worked at a private dental office as a hygiene assistant and was excited to be offered a full-time position as a hygienist when she finished school.  While practicing clinical hygiene full-time Danielle is pursuing her master’s degree in Dental Hygiene Education at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter while exploring all of the great activities Colorado has to offer.

Alyssa Aberle RDH BSDH MBA
Executive Administrator

Alyssa Aberle is a 2009 graduate of the University of Colorado’s dental hygiene program. Alyssa  has spent her dental hygiene career working with several local nonprofit organizations including Kids In Need of Dentistry, Salud Family Health Centers, Colorado Orthodontic Foundation, and STRIDE Community Health Center (formerly MCPN). Through her work within these organizations, she had the desire to gain knowledge on business operations and management to complement her clinical background. In 2013, Alyssa graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder.

While completing her Masters degree, Alyssa remained active in the Colorado Dental Hygienists’ Association. Alyssa served on the CODHA Board of Trustees as Vice President, President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President. During her year as Past President, she was hired by the CODHA as Executive Administrator. She has been able to play a role in various aspects of our professional association and has a passion for advocacy and advancing the profession of dental hygiene.

To nominate yourself, or someone else, for a CODHA position, visit www.practicefuel.rocks/codha/nominations.