The World Health Dental Organization is a nonprofit organization based in the United States working to bring high-quality, compassionate, free dental care and education to rural communities around the world. We are committed to making dental care and education accessible to underserved communities around the world.
There are 44 million people in Kenya and fewer than 1,000 dentists. The Maasai people of south Kenya live in a particularly underserved area. That’s why the World Health Dental Organization founded our flagship location, the Maasai Dental Clinic, on the Maasai Mara in 2009.
We build connections and bring smiles to thousands of people every year in our state-of-the-art facility by providing compassionate and free dental care to those in need. Driven by a passion to do good and give back, licensed dentists and hygienists from all over the world serve as volunteers.
Each year, nearly 4,000 Maasai men, women, and children receive free dental treatment at the Maasai Dental Clinic. We’re also investing in future generations of healthy teeth and gums by collaborating with local educators to develop and implement culture- and age-appropriate dental care curricula.
For more than 30 years, we’ve made it our mission to bring high-quality dental care and education to the communities that need it most. Founded by Dr. Ray and Gail Damazo, WHDO transforms community members’ dental health and lives.
We build connections and bring smiles to thousands of people every year in our state-of-the-art facility by providing compassionate and free dental care to those in need.
World Health Dental Organization benefits from the dedication and generosity of a growing network of dental professionals. Our board members go above and beyond to share their time and expertise with the WHDO community.
John accepted the role of President in September 2019. He has been associated with WHDO since 2007 when plans for the clinic were being developed. He helped fund the effort by acquiring a Rotary global grant for purchase of dental equipment and cabinetry for Maasai Dental Clinic. He continues to be very proud of staff, patients and volunteers for the fact that equipment and the entire facility is not only still functional but is in excellent shape with minimal repairs over the years.
John is a graduate of Tulane University. After a stint in the US Navy as a pilot during the Viet Nam War, he attended Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. Graduating in 1977, he took a one-year GP residency in Portland, Oregon at the Veterans Hospital and then created Dentistry Northwest in the rural town of Port Hadlock, Washington, restoring a Victorian home to be his office. He has cared for and continues to care for countless numbers of patients embracing high tech tools, procedures and concepts.
John helped start a Rotary club in 1982 in his town and has been a member ever since. He has enjoyed sponsoring and conducting numerous humanitarian projects over the years in places such as SE Asia, South America, Honduras and, of course, Africa.
In addition to the chairing the board of WHDO he is president of the board of the local teen center and is board vice president of the Northwest School of Wooden Boat building – an accredited vocational school of higher learning.
John enjoys spending time with his five children, mountain bike riding, downhill skiing, flying his airplanes and working on various projects in his workshop.
Dr. Pat Benca became involved with the World Health Dental Organization as a result of a long family friendship with the original founders, Dr. Ray and Gail Damazo. She has been volunteering at the Maasai Dental Clinic in Kenya since 2013, bringing with her both her longtime hygienist, Nancy, and her daughter, Dr. Laura Benca.
Not only does her family feel a deep connection to the work they have been doing in Kenya at the clinic, but the patients at Benca Dentistry are involved as well. They constantly ask for updates on the clinic and when we last visited.
Pat is originally from central Illinois and is a graduate of University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University Dental School. She completed her General Practice Residency, Oral Pathology Fellowship and Pathology MS at University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. Once her training was complete, she and her family moved to Seattle in 1987 where she worked at Harborview Medical Center for three years before ultimately establishing her own dental practice in the South Center area of Seattle. She has been there for over 25 years and is now happily in partnership with her daughter.
Pat and her husband Paul, now deceased, raised their 3 children in Seattle. Now that the children are grown, she enjoys traveling with friends and family, gardening, cooking and working at WHDO's Maasai Dental clinic!
Dr. David Rempel was born and raised in Canada. He moved to Loma Linda, California in 1990 to put his wife through the Loma Linda Foreign Graduate program at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. They raised two children and his wife established her dental practice. He returned to school and graduated from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in 2004.
He expects to retire from practicing dentistry for financial remuneration within the next two years. His retirement plan is to spend six months a year doing missionary and humanitarian dentistry.
He worked at the Maasai Dental Clinic for the month of February, 2013, and is scheduled to return there to work the month of June, 2015. He has two grown children, and enjoys fishing and cycling.
Pam Libby loves service adventure! The opportunity to serve on the WHDO board is just what she was looking for. She’s had many years of donating her time and skills both internationally and nationally.
Worthington, Ohio is where Pam grew up. Her parents taught her to be a contribution in her world. After teaching English as a second language in Jakarta, Indonesia for one year, she graduated from Loma Linda University in 1976 as a communications major.
Marrying Jim Libby in 1978, they soon made Anchorage, AK their hometown. It was a great place to raise their two sons, Landon and Justin.
Pam thrives on variety. She’s a licensed family therapist, yoga instructor, commercial fisher, dental administrator, athlete and philanthropist. Alaska and Baja serve as big landscapes for her outdoor physical activities. Running, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing fit into her lifestyle just right!
Associate Professor and Director of the Office of International Dental Affairs, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry graduate from LLUSD in '78, Prosthodontics Certificate LLUSD '95, MS in Health Professions Education in '10 WHDO / LLLUSD liaison
Doyle is enthusiastic about intercultural interactions, the natural world, and the educational process, especially the learning, growth, and rewards of education in the context of service to others.
Having grown up traveling and living in Europe and the United States as an Air Force dependent, Rebecca was hardwired to wander. A childhood dream of traveling to Africa and a friendship with her dentist, John Barrett, brought Rebecca to the Maasai Dental Clinic in 2018. She came with two large suitcases of donated art supplies and visited nearby schools with MDC’s oral health educator. In addition to distributing the supplies, she obtained children’s artwork of the local wildlife. This art was enlarged and painted in the Learning Center at MDC. More murals using the children’s art are planned for the future. From this experience, a passion and commitment to WHDO was ignited.
Undergraduate degrees in secondary education, language arts, communication and journalism from Oregon College of Education led to a teaching fellowship at the University of Oregon, and subsequently a Master’s in Rhetoric and Communication. A broad range of professional experience includes radio news broadcasting, writing for an advertising agency, serving as the educational outreach coordinator for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in small towns and Native villages in southeast Alaska, and teaching communication courses at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. For the last twenty years since moving to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, she’s been a working artist focusing on original silver jewelry from precious metal clay, as well as bronze sculpture, mixed media, painting and t-shirt design.
Now that her three children are grown and she’s semi-retired, Rebecca is pursuing her dream of writing a novel. She also volunteers at Discovery Bay Wildbird Rescue and serves on the board for WHDO, as well as a nonprofit teen center in Chimacum, Washington. She’s still hardwired to wander.
Loise Alix is a French Kenyan born in the foot of Nyeri, Kenya.
Louise has a wealth of experience working with development and humanitarian programs and is currently a Program Coordinator working with United Nations. In her role, she has worked with refugees and host communities in Kakuma Refugee camps, Kalobeyei integrated settlement in the Northern part of Kenya, Turkana county as well as in Juba, South Sudan.
She is passionate about issues of gender and women empowerment having worked on issues of gender-based violence in emergencies, female genital mutilation, and sexual reproductive health.
She mentors adolescent and young people and committed to working with communities in promoting interventions that advocate for positive social behavior change.
She is pleased to be part of the WHDO community and committed to advancing quality and accessible dental care to marginalized communities in the spirit of “leaving no one behind”.
Louise holds a Master’s Degree in International Conflict Management from the University of Nairobi and is married with two children.
Born in eastern Montana, Wendi Kannenberg has lived many years throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. She currently calls Spangle, Washington home.
Wendi holds dual undergraduate degrees in English and nursing. She earned a Masters in Global Public Health degree in 2005 from Loma Linda University with an emphasis in research and evaluation, program development, and health education. She currently serves as a health, education, and evaluation consultant with McKinley Research Group, an Alaska-based firm providing research and consulting services to hundreds of public and private sector clients across Alaska, plus several from national and international arenas.
Wendi is married to Donivan Andregg and they have two daughters, Jessica and Karlin. In her book, combining service and travel is just the best!
Mandy McGill is a visionary public health leader who utilizes collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches to drive population oral health improvement . She empowers organizations, communities, and healthcare providers to implement impactful oral health programs and initiatives, driving transformative change.
Mandy designs evidence-based programs and interventions tailored to the unique needs of the community. She establishes accountability and sustainability systems, trains local oral health promoters, and provides essential resources and educational tools to enhance oral health skills and knowledge. Her leadership inspires the team, volunteers, and community members to actively contribute to the success of oral health projects. With passion and expertise, she is shaping a meaningful oral health footprint worldwide, prioritizing and celebrating oral health for all.
World Health Dental Organization is committed to making sure your donations create a future of compassionate and free dental care to those in need.