Bev Woods

Bev Woods

President / Treasurer


I have been a Registered Dental Hygienist for over 34 years, and the CDHO authorizes me to self-initiate.

Over the years, I have served my profession as President and Director of the Ontario Dental Hygienists Association (ODHA) and Executive Council Member for the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario (CDHO).

I was instrumental in the planning and implementation of the Dental Hygiene Program for Maxwell College, Belleville, Ontario and went on to hold the position of Dental Hygiene Director.

I provided much needed dental hygiene care to our Military community at my dental hygiene office in Trenton, Ontario. It was then that I took on the challenge of giving back with an event to help provide access to preventative oral health care to those in my community who could not afford essential dental hygiene services, and the Gift from the Heart Charity was born.

My husband’s Military career took us outside Canada for a few years, where I volunteered my time with “Friends of the Fallen.” I escorted family members out to the flight line to welcome home their fallen loved one as part of the “dignified transfer” USA military service.

When I returned home to Brighton, Ontario, I worked as a dental hygienist at the Port Hope Northumberland Community Health Centre. I went on to hold the Dental Program Manager position. I welcome the opportunity to build this program to help provide much needed oral health care to those who were struggling financially.
Today, I work at Whole Health, in Brighton Ontario, providing preventative oral health care alongside owner, Jenn Arbuckle and a fantastic group of health care professionals. We treat the whole body, not just the oral cavity.

My greatest passion is the Gift from the Heart Charity. Access to preventative oral health care is a considerable hurdle in Canada. However, it is a barrier I know we can break down.

There are over 29,000 dental hygienists in Canada. Together We Can Make a Difference.

Laura Iorio

Laura Iorio

Vice President


Laura Iorio is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s School of Dental Hygiene.

She is an educator, infection prevention solution strategist and practice advisor with over 37 years of experience as a clinical dental hygienist in Periodontics.

Laura has been an instructor in both Periodontal dentistry and dental hygiene programs teaching clinical and didactic courses for over 27 years.

As a dental hygiene team trainer, Laura Iorio has advanced periodontal instrumentation skills including extensive training in ultrasonics, desensitizing and pain management.

An Academic consultant and sales ”blitzer” for Colgate Palmolive, Laura educated faculty, dental hygiene students and her dental colleagues effective desensitization solutions in order for them to provide quality patient care.

Laura has also worked in the dental/medical and animal industries providing safer solutions for infection prevention for workers, the animals and the environment.

She has worked with key opinion leaders educating the public on how to change the disinfection industry to reduce disease transmission while providing environmentally friendly solutions for its workers and animals.
Laura volunteers much of her time as the Vice President for “Gift From the Heart” – an organization that creates a one day event every year whereby RDHs provide no cost dental hygiene care and brings public awareness to the large number of Canadians unable to afford basic preventive oral health care.

She has been involved with GFTH for over 3 years as a volunteer care provider initially, advancing into the role as Vice President over a year ago.

As VP, Laura oversees the logistics of the event and utilizes her connections with her dental industry colleagues to provide donations to help offset the costs to the participating clinics.

Sarah Robertson - Smith

Sarah Robertson - Smith

Director of Social Media


As a Registered Dental Hygienist since 2003, Sarah strives to enhance oral health and optional quality of life for individuals in her community.

Sarah is a dedicated advocate for people with unique needs and promotes inclusion. Her ultimate goal is to shape future oral health standards in long term facilities in Ontario.

Her passion and enthusiasm to help others and improve access to care led Sarah to open her mobile dental hygiene business in the spring of 2008.

For the past eleven years, Sarah has been active in providing geriatric oral health education to caregivers.

Muskoka Gentle Dental provides community oral health education for older adults on a regular basis. Sarah enjoys her role as a Board Director in a nursing home, volunteering and spending time with the residents.

Dental care should NOT be viewed as a luxury, it is a necessity for total wellness!

As an executive for Gift from the Heart, Sarah brings forth her compassion, experience and drive to lift the barriers for people seeking basic dental care.

Natalie Muccioli Emery

Natalie Muccioli Emery



Ensuring access to dental hygiene services for vulnerable populations is a professional and personal priority for me.

In 2017, after 12 years I made the difficult, but necessary decision to leave private dental practice and pursue a career in dental hygiene education where I knew my knowledge and expertise would have the most significant impact on the future of dental hygiene and Canada’s vulnerable populations.

For the past eight years, I have pursued a degree in Health Services Management at Ryerson University, in June 2018, I graduated with Distinction. My experience at Ryerson provided me with foundational knowledge in research and understanding the structure of Canada’s health care policies.

I enhanced my learning by selecting professionally related courses in gerontology and disability studies so I would have an opportunity to learn more about these demographics who encounter barriers accessing dental hygiene services.

I was able to view vulnerable demographics through the lens of an oral health care provider and at the culmination of my studies my capstone project researched the knowledge of independent dental hygienists providing care to vulnerable populations through the Gift from the Heart Charity.


Cindy MacKinnon

Cindy MacKinnon



Cindy is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s School of Dental Hygiene. Her professional career spans over 35 years and three provincial licences. She considers herself truly fortunate to have been able to practice on both coasts, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Victoria, British Columbia.  Most of her professional career was in the nation’s capital of Ottawa, Ontario.

Cindy has been involved in volunteering thorough her career and has served on the ODHA and BCDHA Board of Directors. She was also on the International Symposium on Dental Hygiene – Planning Committee in Ottawa 1989.  With an interest in the progression of dental hygiene and it as a profession, led Cindy to become an elected member of the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario.

Being involved in regulation, policy and procedures and numerous Committees seemed to be where Cindy hit her stride. She was elected to Vice-President and completed her term as CDHO President.

Cindy has practiced in a vast array of practice settings, from pediatric dentistry, hospital dentistry in oncology and Craniofacial/Cleft Lip departments at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), orthodontics, and long-term care locations.

Cindy practiced with a specialty certificate in Ontario and utilized her restorative specialty through most of her career. She was an Educator at Algonquin College in the Restorative Dental Hygiene, Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and Continuing Education programs. One of Cindy’s most remarkable highlight was in opening a clinic for the homeless in British Columbia. 

 Working with the most vulnerable and seeing the barriers that people face in accessing dental and basic care, align with the “Gift from the Heart”, and Cindy has been participating for the last couple of years. Cindy is humbled to now take an Executive position with such a remarkable Charity, to help and propel GFTH.