Non-Insured Health Benefits Oral Health Advisory Committee

Established in 2016, the Non-Insured Health Benefit (NIHB) Oral Health Advisory Committee (NOHAC) supports Health Canada's NIHB Program by providing impartial expert advice on oral health matters as they pertain to Canada's First Nations and Inuit population. Through NOHAC, the NIHB Program is able to access external professional expertise to inform and improve the criteria, guidelines and policies under which the Program covers dental services provided to eligible First Nations and Inuit clients.

NOHAC adheres to the Health Canada Policy on External Advisory Bodies and to the Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences. Health Canada provided orientation to NOHAC members regarding the applicable processes and their roles and responsibilities as committee members.


NOHAC consists of 8 to 10 core members who, with the exception of the health economist, are oral health professionals licensed and registered in their respective disciplines and in good standing with the regulatory body of the province/territory in which they practice.

Dr. Peter Cooney, Chair

Dr. Peter Cooney is a Public Health Dentist with a dental degree from the National University of Ireland. Following his graduation from dental school, Dr. Cooney spent a number of years in private practice in England and Canada.  In 1997, he became the National Dental Officer of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada and from 1999 to 2004; he was the Director General of the Non-Insured Health Benefits Directorate and Chief Dental Officer of Canada.

Dr. Cooney completed his Specialty, Masters and Fellowship in Community Dentistry. He is a Past President of the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry and a former Chief Examiner for the specialty of Dental Public Health with the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and former Chair of the Executive of the International Chief Dental Officers Public Health Section of the FDI World Dental Federation.

Dr. Carlos Quiñonez, Vice Chair

Dr. Carlos Quiñonez is a dentist and dental public health specialist. He is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto and, since 2009, has been Program Director of its Specialty Training Program in Dental Public Health. He has extensive experience delivering dental care to socially and economically marginalized groups and, from 1998 to 2003, was a clinician in First Nations and Inuit communities across Nunavut and Manitoba. He is the Past-President of the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry, regularly consults with professional groups and governments regarding public dental care policy, and has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature on equity and technical issues in oral health care.

Dr Édouard Cree

A Mohawk from Kanehsatake, Dr Édouard Cree obtained a doctorate in Dental medicine at Université de Montréal. He specialized in Oral & Maxillo Facial Surgery at New York University and Queens General Hospital, N.Y.,and in Intensive Care & Anesthesiology, in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr Cree became a permanent member, and chief for nearly 10 years, of the Department of Stomatology of Hôpital Notre-Dame in Montreal (CHUM), practicing and teaching Maxillo Facial Surgery and Pathology for over 45 years, while also running his private clinic. Dr Cree has published numerous articles and has trained with world renowned professors.  He is a member in good standing of the Ordre des Dentistes du Québec, and of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. In 1999, Dr Cree was honoured with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

Dr. Hubert Gaucher

Dr. Hubert Gaucher is a certified Prosthodontist (University of Michigan) in private practice in Québec City and former dental educator/Associate Dean at Laval University.

Dr. Gaucher is Founder and President of the Canadian Dental Research Institute (CDRI), a not for profit corporation and an accredited Public research centre since 1992. Dr. Gaucher is Past President of the Association of Prosthodontists of Canada (APC) and the Canadian Academy of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics (CARDP) of which he is now Honorary Member, and holds Fellowships from the Academy of Dentistry International and the American College of Dentists. He was the founding Editor–in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics for six years. He has published widely and his extensive educational collaborations have led him to lecture on Prosthodontics at the national and international levels.

Dr. Stacey Shiwak

Dr. Stacey Shiwak is a dentist, with a dental degree from Dalhousie University. She currently has a private practice in Happy Valley-Goose Bay (Labrador) and provides dental services to isolated Inuit communities. Her main goal is to increase access to dental care in Labrador, which remains underserviced.  Prior to becoming a dentist, Dr. Shiwak was a dental therapist (graduating from the National School of Dental Therapy in 1998) and as a dental hygienist (graduating from Dalhousie in 2004). In the last 20 years she has worked in a variety of populations across Canada including several First Nations and Inuit communities.

Dr. Warren Loeppky

Dr. Warren Loeppky's training includes a DMD (with Distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan, followed by a residency in Pediatric Dentistry and a Master of Science in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Toronto.

He joined the Division of Pediatric Surgery at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in 2005 and is Past-President of the Alberta Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Immediate Past-President of The Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He is an examiner in pediatric dentistry for The Royal College of Dentists of Canada and has also served on numerous Alberta Health Services - Calgary Zone and national committees, including the Surgical Executive Committee and Operating Room Committee at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Dr. Loeppky is also the founder of the Calgary Pediatric Dentistry Journal Club and remains active in research, including several publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Ms. Dawn Sauvé

Dawn Sauvé is a dental hygientist currently managing the dental program at the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) in Ontario.  She started at NWHU as a clinical dental hygienist in 1988. At this point she discovered a passion for dental public health. Over the years she has continued in this field and obtained various positions with NWHU.

The Northwestern Health Unit serves the Kenora and Rainy River Districts with 13 offices, with a total population of approximately 80,721 many of whom are First Nations people. 

As Program Manager, Ms. Sauvé provides leadership and direction to dental staff and the dental program, and manages service delivery to a number of First Nations communites in the north.

Dr. Sacha Singh

Dr. Sacha Singh is a licensed periodontist currently engaged in providing i.v. sedation to patients in private-practice settings in Ottawa, Canada. In 2012 Dr. Singh worked with Health Canada to review the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) preventive and periodontal policy. Dr. Singh holds a DDS, an MSc and a Diploma in Periodontics from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry. He is a past member of the Canadian Academy of Periodontics, the American Academy of Periodontics, and the Ontario Society of Periodontists and is a current member of the Ontario Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association.

Dr. Stephen Birch

Dr. Stephen Birch is a professor of health economics at McMaster University.  Previously he worked in the UK and has held honorary appointments at dental schools in Toronto and Sweden and the School of Public Health at Cape Town (South Africa). He has a D.Phil. in economics from York University (UK), a M.Sc. in fiscal studies from Bath University (UK) and a B.A. in economics from Sheffield University. He was appointed to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences expert panel on improving access to oral health care for vulnerable people living in Canada. He has over 230 published research papers with particular interests in health service and health workforce planning, access to care in underserved populations and needs-based allocation of resources and provider remuneration. Part of this work has focused on oral health and the provision of dental care with particular interest in First Nations populations. He served as Senior Editor for Social Science and Medicine for 15 years and continues to serve on the editorial advisory board.

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