Keynote Speaker – Friday Breakfast
We welcome Richard M. Church, Pharm. D. as our Keynote Speaker on Friday morning…
Dr. Church was appointed Director of the Office of Public Health Support for the Indian Health Service (IHS) in 2004. He is a native of Michigan and an enrolled member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of Michigan, College of Pharmacy, and he completed his residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Dr. Church‘s career accomplishments include developing mission-oriented clinical service and practice roles for pharmacists. He played an active part in advancing progressive pharmacy practice positions that grew out of the IHS and were incorporated into the pharmacy profession at large. Building upon his clinical service foundation, he devoted another career segment to building an information technology infrastructure that positioned the IHS to take advantage of future technology innovations to support public health programs. In his present senior management roles, he provides national leadership in several critical public health support areas, including medical epidemiology; program statistics; planning, evaluation, and research; and health professions support.
Dr. Church has been recognized for service as the recipient of a number of awards and honors. These include the Surgeon General‘s Medallion and the Distinguished Service Medal, as well as many other PHS and professional awards.
Keynote Speaker – Saturday Lunch
Jessica Rickert, DDS was inducted into the Michigan Women‘s Hall of Fame for her work relating to American Indian health issues. A member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, she was a direct descendant of the Indian chief Wahbememe (Whitepigeon) for whom a village in Michigan is named. Dr. Rickert made history of her own when she became the first female American Indian dentist in the country upon graduating from the University of Michigan – School of Dentistry in 1975. While working in private practice in southeast Michigan, she developed a prevention program and added orthodontics to the dental clinic at Detroit‘s Children‘s Aid Society. As a board member of the Michigan Urban Indian Health Council, Dr. Rickert also established an intertribal dental clinic in Detroit. She assisted two state tribes—the Grand Traverse Band of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians and the Saginaw Chippewa Indians — with such services as dental screenings, preliminary planning for dental clinics, and educational presentations. In 2001, she began a dental advice column syndicated by American Indian newspapers across the nation and distributed in health clinics. That effort earned her the American Dental Association Access Award. She also authored a book entitled ―Exploring Careers in Dentistry.‖
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