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DPOH Faculty & Staff

Amy Martin, DrPH, MSPH

Associate Professor and Director for the DPOH at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina. She is a Senior Investigator and Adjunct Associate Professor at the SC Rural Health Research Center in the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina.  Dr. Martin’s health policy research foci are safety net populations, access to care, and oral health with an emphasis on rural healthcare and public health systems. Dr. Martin holds Doctor and Masters of Science in Public Health degrees.  She is active in national health policy through various rural-serving organizations.  She serves on the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Health Policy Council and the White House Rural Council’s Public-Private Partnership for Health Equity Coordinating Committee. She teaches health policy courses as well as dental public health. 

Renata Leite, DDS, MS

Christine N. Veschusio, DrPH

Joni D. Nelson, Ph.D., MS ( 843-792-9574

Dr. Joni Dunmyer Nelson, native of Ravenel, South Carolina, is an Assistant Professor and Deputy Director in the Division of Population Oral Health at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine and also serves in a dual appointment role in the Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Medicine.  As a Health Promotion, Education and Behavioral specialist her research foci are qualitative research evaluation, social determinants of health equity, quality improvement science and collaborative care workforce models to reduce rural oral health inequities, in support of an interprofessional approach to improve population health outcomes.  She is the program director for the Dental Safety Net Certificate Program and teaches a public health research methods course. She was appointed as a 2017 National Rural Health Association Fellow and serves as the National State Representative of South Carolina for DentaQuest Foundation’s Oral Health 2020 Network, an initiative to improve oral health for all. Dr. Nelson is a graduate of the Arnold School of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior from the University of South Carolina and received a Masters in Biomedical Sciences from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Lisa Summerlin ( 843-792-9474

A member of the DPOH clinical team, Ms. Summerlin is a registered dental hygienist in active practice for 36 years.  She has served in private practice and academia as adjunct faculty for Trident Technical College and MUSC's College of Health Professions. Ms. Summerlin was a founding member and dental director of the East Cooper Community Outreach Dental Clinic and most recently served as a research clinician in the JBE Center for Oral Health Research. She participates in patient care in the school-based initiatives and assists in coordinating outreach and educational activities in promotion of improved oral health throughout our state.  Additionally, Ms. Summerlin is the program coordinator for the Special Adult Network of Dentists Project (SANDs).  She assists in the project in its goals to improve access to quality, evidenced-based oral health care for special health care needs populations and to help transition these patients from emergency treatment into routine care within their own community.

CeCe Heyward ( 843-792-7981

The Community Oral Health Outreach Coordinator for the DPOH.  She has worked on a number of research projects and primarily focuses on community outreach and engagement.  CeCe has a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia Southern University and currently enrolled in the Master of Public Health program at Medical University of South Carolina.

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