What is Smile Oregon?

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 a coordinated fashion.

Why Smile Oregon: Smile Oregon focuses on the needs of our own neighborhoods and communities by providing assistance and support for the 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 the complete treatment of the individual, from infancy to adulthood, to ensure they have the tools to become an active, productive member of society.

Executive Director:

Erica Soto, CFRE  Erica is passionate about helping cause-related organizations maximize their positive impact in our world. With over 15 years of experience in nonprofit management, she’s had the honor of working beside some amazing people, programs, and businesses throughout her career. This work has fueled her passion to ensure that every child has the tools and resources they need to reach their fullest potential. Smile Oregon does this every day and Erica is proud to be part of the impact.  She resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their one and only daughter, Lisette. They are water enthusiasts and you can catch them swimming, surfing and paddling around the beautiful waters of the Pacific Northwest as often as possible!

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 its 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 joined the board in 2014 after being inspired by her father, Bob Blank, Smile Oregon co-founder, whose goal was simple: to help kids. He believed in the power of a smile and wished for every child to be confident in their ability to speak and to love their smile. Haleah shares his passion and appreciates the opportunity to contribute, connect, and create with families. Her background in art and education led to a career in marketing and as a business owner specializing in communication with fine art and design. She received a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Oregon and an M.S. from Brook’s Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. Haleah is a marketing professional for Colas Construction, a commercial construction firm based in Portland, Oregon. She enjoys spending time with her family, advocating for equity and inclusion, and learning something new each day.

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.

Shaun Donaghue – Treasurer Shaun is a manager and consultant with Fluence, PC an accounting firm that specializes in working with dentists. He grew up in Tualatin and attended college at Oregon State University where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration as well as a B.S. in  Accounting. In his spare time, he enjoys working on cars, building things and spending time with his wife, Kim, and son, Jack. Shaun was inspired by friends and co-workers to find a way to give back to his community and Smile Oregon was a perfect fit.

Vincent Laski – Treasurer Vincent grew up in the Portland area and graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Accounting. He is a manager and consultant at Fluence PC in Portland, and specializes in working with dentists. His areas of practice include internal controls, taxes, and practice management. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, being outdoors, and working on projects around the house that range from room remodels to building small furniture. Just a couple days before the opportunity to work with Smile Oregon presented itself; he and his wife watched a program on cleft and craniofacial conditions and were driven to help. The invite came at the perfect time. In this role he could use his current areas of practice to provide assistance and support to the families and individuals who are being impacted by cleft and craniofacial conditions.

Board Members:

Christy Jackson  Christy was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. In her free time, you can find her camping, hiking and taking long walks. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and is a mom to three! Her youngest daughter, June, was born with a unilateral cleft lip. Her cleft lip was due to a genetic mutation resulting in a neurological condition called polymicrogyria. Due to the challenges Christy and her family have overcome, she brings a wealth of knowledge and family support surrounding rare diseases and oral and maxillofacial conditions. Christy has worked in the dental industry her entire career. She currently is the Manager of Operations for Astra Practice Partners, serving her clients with dental practice management software and IT/hardware services.

Kelli Laufer  Kelli comes to us with a wealth of knowledge as someone who has walked through the cleft lip and palate journey herself. Her passion and desire is to encourage kids and help them grow in their confidence. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, camping, wine tasting, watching baseball, and spending time with her husband, son and their energetic golden retriever.

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 Convergence Networks 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, e-commerce, 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.

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.

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.

Ryan Willis  Ryan is an Employee Benefits Consultant at USI Insurance Services where he advises business leaders on insurance purchasing. He holds a Master’s Degree in Health Plan Design and is passionate about educating people on the oftentimes complicated healthcare journey. He lives in Forest Grove, Oregon with his family. Ryan is especially committed to this industry after his son, Stephen, was born with cleft lip and palate. He was forced to navigate this road alone and often had to find extra work to ensure his son had all the treatments he needed. Now that his son is a teenager, Ryan is spending some of his extra time serving on the Smile Oregon board to help other families navigate a smoother cleft journey. He’s always happy to help parents understand their insurance, so feel free to reach out!