About Us

About Smile Oregon: Smile Oregon was founded in 2008 by Bob Blank and Dr. Judah Garfinkle, who brought together a diverse group of local professionals committed to improving care for Oregon children affected by cleft and craniofacial conditions. Members of our board represent the fields of finance, law, design, education, medicine, and dentistry, and include parents and family members of children born with clefts. We maintain a working board and operate multiple committees. If you are interested in volunteering with Smile Oregon in any capacity, please contact us. We are a grass roots organization made up of concerned citizens just like you.

The Issue: Children with cleft and craniofacial deformities require a coordinated series of treatment steps to restore their face, mouth and speech to normal. While it is possible to substantially correct a cleft if the proper treatment sequence is carried out, children and families often do not have access and/or the means to arrange for the coordinated treatment they need and deserve to achieve an optimal outcome. In addition, patients and families affected by cleft and craniofacial conditions face the challenge of obtaining reliable information about these conditions, gaining access to local treatment networks, and learning where to turn for needed support.

Our Mission: To ensure that every family affected by a cleft or craniofacial condition living in Oregon has access to the coordinated care they deserve by providing support, awareness, and education

Values:

– No one turned away. Provide support to each family regardless of their ability to pay.

– Personalized service. In order to effectively meet our mission, we recognize that each family has unique needs and circumstances.

– Quality in everything we do. Each family deserves to be treated with a standard of care in coordinated fashion.

Why Smile Oregon: Smile Oregon focuses on the needs of our own neighborhoods and communities by providing assistance and support for rehabilitation of children born with cleft and craniofacial conditions. Smile Oregon is committed to comprehensive care encompassing various medical, dental, and speech services. Other organizations focused on cleft care use domestic funds overseas to provide services usually limited to the primary surgical correction. Further, little or no follow up care and/or community support is provided. Again, Smile Oregon will focus on complete treatment of the individual, from infancy to adulthood, to ensure they have the tools to become an active, productive member of society.

Board of Directors:

Dr. Judah Garfinkle – President: Judah earned his D.M.D. from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, his M.S. and Orthodontic Certificate from the University of Kentucky, and completed a Fellowship in Craniofacial Orthodontics at NYU Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Dr. Garfinkle is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and a reviewer for numerous scientific journals. Dr. Garfinkle is currently the Director of Craniofacial Orthodontics and Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Orthodontics at Oregon Health and Science University. He maintains an orthodontic private practice in the Hillsdale neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Garfinkle became involved with Smile Oregon at it’s inception. As a member of the Board, he continues to provide medical input and direction for Smile Oregon. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 children. 

Haleah Blank – Vice President: Haleah is a photographer specializing in fine art portraiture and design in Portland, Oregon. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Oregon, and her Master’s from Brook’s Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. Haleah joined the board after her father, Bob Blank who was inspired to create Smile Oregon with a vision of helping local families affected by cleft and craniofacial conditions. She is living her dream of capturing the wonder of life in portraits, but most enjoys the daily adventure as a mother.

Nathan Rudolph – Secretary: Nathan is an attorney with Smith, McDonald & Vaught, LLP in Portland, Oregon.  His areas of practice include estate planning, probate, trust administration, guardianships and conservatorships, real estate transactions, and general civil litigation.  He received his B.A. from Chapman University and his J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Nathan was inspired to join the Board of Directors in order to help carry on Smile Oregon’s legacy of providing assistance to children and families across the state.

Peter Klof – Treasurer: Peter works in the Internal Audit department Portland General Electric focusing on Sarbanes Oxley compliance. Prior to working at PGE, Peter worked for six years Delap, a local accounting firm, providing auditing and consulting services to public and privately held clients. Peter is a native Oregonian, growing up in Salem, Oregon. He holds a degree in Accountantcy from Oregon State University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Oregon. Peter has always had interest to give back to his community and joining Smile Oregon has fulfilled the opportunity while utilizing his financial expertise. During his free time, Peter enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball, and reading. 

Board Members:

Kari Aakre  Kari is the director of Technology Communications in the Global Technology Group at Intel. She has more than 15 years of technology and product PR experience. Kari earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in business administration from University of Oregon. She previously served on the board of the Portland Symphonic Girlchoir, a performance-based choral music program for young girls. A long-time Oregon resident who loves spending time with her family and sneaking a good long run with a friend when she can, Kari and her husband have two young children – a son and a daughter. Their daughter was born with a cleft lip and alveolar ridge and as a result, they deeply understand many of the challenges of the condition and the amazing miracles of medical and surgical treatment. Kari wishes to help others – children and their families – impacted by cleft and other craniofacial conditions through her involvement with Smile Oregon.

Dr. Ashley Blanchfield  Ashley is a dentist specializing in Pediatric Dentistry at OHSU. A transplant from the East Coast, she graduated from Georgetown University and attended dental school at the University of Maryland. Ashley completed a two-year residency program in general dentistry in Juneau, Alaska before moving to Portland to pursue pediatrics. Ashley is passionate about treating patients with cleft lip and palate and craniofacial anomalies and enjoys serving on the Smile Oregon board to increase access to care for her patients and their families. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys hiking, skiing, and sampling new Portland fare!

Meghan Curtis  Meghan has a background in Advertising and Marketing from San Jose State and recently took the opportunity to stay home and raise her two wonderful children. Her 3 year old son was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. Since his diagnosis in 2013, Meghan has been involved in the cleft community in a number of ways, including running a small t-shirt business to raise cleft awareness and give back to the community. It’s Meghan’s true passion for helping others that led her to join the board of Smile Oregon where she hopes to help other families on their cleft journeys.

Michelle Litchman  Michelle graduated from the University of Oregon in 2012 with a degree in advertising. She currently employed at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute as an administrative coordinator in the grants and contracts department. She is very humbled to work for an organization with such a powerful mission. Michelle has not been affected by cleft directly, but growing up with a brother with a severe disability inspired her to work for and with institutions and organizations whose main objective is to help people. She is very excited for the opportunity to be a part of Smile Oregon.

Dr. Kerry Mandulak  Kerry is a speech-language pathologist and assistant professor at Pacific University in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University, her master’s degree from the University of Iowa. Clinically, she has served as a member of two cleft palate/craniofacial teams, including the team at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CA) from 1998-2001, and most recently at Duke Medical Center from 2001-2009. She received her doctorate in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009.  At Pacific, she teaches a dedicated course in cleft and craniofacial at the graduate level. She is active in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the American Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Association (ACPA). Dr. Mandulak has devoted her career to working with children and families affected by cleft in any capacity, and is honored to make involvement with Smile Oregon part of it.

Jack Myers  Jack is currently a sales executive with Covenant Technology Solutions in Gladstone, Oregon. He has been in the technology industry for over 10 years. His background includes executive level sales and marketing for enterprise applications, web, ecommerce, cloud solutions & managed IT services. He received a B.A. in Communications from Portland State University with a focus area in speech and hearing science and is a native Oregonian. Dr. Garfinkle was his inspiration to join Smile Oregon. He grew up in a family where in-home childcare was a way of life and helping children was a part of every day. He identified with the deep level of compassion for helping families and children with cleft and craniofacial conditions. Jack enjoys spending time with his family in the great Oregon outdoors camping, rafting and playing sports.

Adam Nemer  Adam is an executive leader at Kaiser Permanente NW in Health Plan Operations.  With a BA from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from the University of Washington, he’s had various leadership roles at Kaiser Permanente in Finance, Hospital Operations, Labor relations and Information Technology. A native Oregonian, devoted father and husband, Adam’s interest in Smile Oregon stems from his passion to improve the lives of children and families in our community.

Dr. David Raphael David is a pediatric dentist with a practice at Portland Children’s Dentistry in NW Portland. He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and attended college at Tufts University in Boston where he earned his undergraduate degree in Biopsychology and Master’s degree in Child Development. After graduating, he taught high school math and coached lacrosse in Boston and then San Diego. Dr. David earned his dental degree from the University of Maryland and then completed his pediatric dentistry residency at OHSU where he trained to work with children who have unique dental and medical needs. With his background in working with children with a variety of needs, it was a natural transition to board member of Smile Oregon. When he isn’t working Dr. David enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 kids, and getting outside to spend time in the ocean fishing, surfing, and scuba diving.

Larry Steagall  Larry is currently a financial advisor with Hall, Pratt and Associates, Ameriprise Financial with offices in Lake Oswego and downtown Portland in the Pearl District. Prior to joining Ameriprise Financial, he spent 23 years in the United Stated Navy where he retired as a Chief Petty Officer. Larry holds a Master’s Degree in Human Services, with a concentration in Financial Planning from Kansas State University. Larry and his wife Kelly have 4 adopted children from China, one of which was born with a cleft lip and palate.  Having a son with a cleft lip/palate, Larry was inspired to join Smile Oregon to ensure that the needs of all cleft children were met and that they receive the best care possible. In his spare time he volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and oversees an adoption and foster care ministry at his church.

Dr. Ed Stoner  Ed is the owner of The 5-29 Group Sports Consulting, and former Athletic Director of the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, OR. The MAC is one of the largest private, non-profit athletic clubs in North America with 21,000 members and a club house of over 600,000 square feet. Ed has also served in various capacities within college athletics, teaching, public relations and arena management across the United States. He holds a BS in Management from Georgia Tech, a Master of Sports Administration from Ohio University and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware.  He enjoys spending time with his wife, Elyse, and their two sons, Mitchell and Drew. Ed joined the Smile Oregon Board to help support others who are or have been impacted by clefts and craniofacial conditions.

Dr. Leo Urbinelli  Leo is an Assistant Professor in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Oregon Health & Science University. He specializes in craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery and helps lead the cleft and craniofacial team at Doernbecher Children’s hospital as the Assoc. Medical Director. He received his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY and completed his plastic surgery residency at NYU Medical Center in NY, NY. He then completed a fellowship in craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Urbinelli’s clinical practice focuses on cleft lip and palate surgery, craniosynostosis, and pediatric congenital and traumatic deformities. His expertise also extends to adult craniofacial trauma, microsurgery, orthognathic and cosmetic surgery. His research interests include: improving patient/family outcomes in the cleft and craniofacial population, pediatric microsurgical reconstruction, distraction of the craniofacial skeleton, expanding the applications for orthognathic surgery and facial reanimation. He is also passionate about student and resident education and is excited to encourage the next generation of medical graduates in their pursuits of a surgical career. A former collegiate wrestler and an avid hiker, runner, and bicyclist, Dr. Urbinelli and his wife, Lindsay Urbinelli, M.D., love taking advantage of the many outdoor opportunities throughout the area.