Introduction Blog – Hello!

Hi everyone! We recently had our website revamped and with that upgrade we decided to try this whole blog thing out. And what better way to start off our first post than with the introduction of our dental hygiene team.

In the summer of last year, we started the hiring process for two new hygienists. These hygienists will lead the Special Day Foundation dental program at the UF Health Hialeah Dental Center in Hialeah and the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center in Naples. Kicking off these programs was a big task and we are thankful for the support of the University of Florida in the hiring and training processes. One perk with starting these programs from scratch was the amazing program we already have going at the UF Dental Center in Seminole. This program has been run by Whitney Haley for the last 8 years. She has been a wealth of knowledge for both locations, assisted with the startups, and continues to provide direction as the programs grow.

Martha Bedoya, CRDH

We would first like to introduce Martha! She is the dental hygienist for the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center in Naples.

Martha was born in Colombia and grew up in Cali, one of the biggest cities in her country, which is well known for Salsa music. She graduated as a dentist in 2001 and moved to Australia in 2006 where she lived for 10 years. She also became a dentist in Australia and worked there until 2016. At this time, she and her husband decided to move to the U.S. to be closer to her stepdaughter and to their families. She currently lives in Naples – Fl, where she enjoys the beautiful sunsets and dining with her family and friends in front of the sea. Since Martha became a Dental Hygienist, she has been promoting a healthy lifestyle and loves educating her patients to improve their oral and overall health.

Welcome to the team Martha! We are excited to have you part of the SDF family.

Marielys Acosta-Quintero, RDH

Next, we would like to introduce Marielys! She is the dental hygienist for the UF Health Hialeah Dental Center in Hialeah.

Marielys was born in Cuba and was raised in Miami, Florida. She has a son and a daughter and is married to her husband, whom she met in the dental field. She enjoys practicing yoga, nature, traveling and getting to experience different cultures and foods. She started working in the dental field right after she graduated from high school and that is when she discovered her passion for dentistry. She became a dental assistant and continued to school to become a dental hygienist. She loves working with patients and has found helping patients with special needs especially rewarding.

Welcome to the crew Marielys! We are excited to have you part of the SDF family as well.

Whitney Haley, RDH, BASDH

Finally, we would like to introduce Whitney. She has been working as the Special Day dental hygienist at the UF Dental Clinic in Seminole since 2014. This introduction is probably long overdue.

Whitney is a true Floridian, she grew up in a beachy city along the west coast of Florida. She became a dental hygienist in 2011 where she worked in private practice before finding the unique job she has now with UF/SDF. Whitney not only loves being a Gator but she loves working with the special needs community. Being part of such an extraordinary program as the Special Day Foundation allows her to creatively and freely meet the needs of this incredible population all while meeting amazing people in the process, who also have hearts to help and to make a difference. In her spare time, you can find her working out at her favorite CrossFit gym, traveling, praising Jesus on Sunday mornings and/or just spending quality time with her husband and family.

Thank you, Whitney, for continuing to provide quality care and administration to the SDF programs!

Well, there you have it guys! Our first blog post. We hope you enjoyed reading about our dental team as they truly provide genuine care to all the participants of the Special Day Foundation. Stay tuned for our next post where we can tell you a little about Captain Mark and our fishing program!

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