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2024 IDHA Executive Council

President:  Lori McNamara, BSDH, RDH, PHDH

Lori has been a Registered Dental Hygienist for over 35 years, graduating from Loyola University of Chicago. Throughout her career, she has worked in clinical settings including private practice, pediatric, public health, and dental hygiene education.  

She became more involved in IDHA after finding her “tribe” of dental hygiene friends.  Lori's passion for oral health was renewed by attending annual conferences and component meetings. Most recently she was the chairperson of ILHy-PAC, the political action committee of IDHA. Her professional participation extended into the Access to Care Committee as well as the Legislative Committee.  

Lori believes that to advance our profession we need to start with EDUCATING our patients and the public about dental health, highlighting our extensive education

President-Elect: Tomika Johnson-Flowers

Tomika J. Flowers is a registered dental hygienist practicing in a public health clinic on the South side of Chicago. She has been practicing for more than 20 years with most of that time spent in private practice. She has a master's degree in public health with a dental emphasis and a bachelor’s in dental hygiene. She enjoys spending time with her family, advancing her career, and volunteering. A former trustee for the Chicago South Suburban component of the Illinois Dental Hygiene Association and now president elect, Tomika's passion for oral health knows no barriers that can not be removed. She also serves as an ambassador for Colgate’s Oral Health Advisory program which empowers her to connect with oral health professionals nationally.

Immediate Past President: Kym Dallstream

Kym Dallstream is currently serving as Immediate Past President of the IDHA. In 2001, she graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a Baccalaureate degree in Dental Hygiene. Over the years, she has served the IDHA on many levels with the most recent being IDHA President. She hopes to spark interest within the dental hygiene community to support their professional organization and mentor those considering leadership roles within the IDHA.   

Kym practiced clinical dental hygiene for 20+ years in Lake County, IL. She now enjoys a career in dental sales where she is able to blend her dental knowledge and problem- solving skills to take on new challenges.

Kym lives in Gurnee with her husband, Andy of 20 years and their two children. She also has a beautiful St. Bernard, Millie and a cat named Hailey that makes frequent appearances during online meetings. Kym loves to travel (especially to Disney) and try new things. It is not uncommon for her to be planning her next trip to see the mouse or giving advice to others planning their own vacations.

Secretary: Rahim Bharwani

Meet Rahim Bharwani, a dedicated dental professional based in Glendale Heights, Illinois. Rahim embarked on his career after graduating from the College of DuPage's Dental Hygiene Program in 2016. He honed his skills as a dental hygienist in Colorado from 2016 to 2020, while pursuing a Bachelor's degree from CU Boulder.

In 2023, Rahim returned to his alma mater, the College of DuPage, as an adjunct dental hygiene instructor. Not content to stop there, he is set to embark on a new academic journey, starting a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration in January 2024. Rahim's passion for education extends further, as he plans to apply to dental school in the spring of 2024.

With a dynamic blend of clinical experience, academic pursuits, and a commitment to teaching, Rahim Bharwani exemplifies a multifaceted professional dedicated to the field of dental hygiene and higher education.

General Assembly Chair: Martha Ramirez, RDH, BD, PHDH

Martha Ramirez, RDH, BS, PHDH, is a dedicated oral health advocate with a remarkable 24-year journey elevating smiles. From public and private dentistry to academia, product consulting, and management, Martha's diverse roles reflect her passion for transforming oral health care.

Armed with an associate degree in dental hygiene and a bachelor's from National Lewis University, Martha's commitment extends beyond professional achievements. Throughout her career, she's been a tireless advocate for patient care, providing crucial oral-systemic education and leveraging her compassionate heart and bilingual skills to connect with underserved populations.

Along the way, Martha has earned the trust and respect of doctors and dental hygiene clinicians through her unwavering dedication to the profession. Her impactful contributions include service as an assembly chair and extend to other volunteer support projects and roles within the Illinois Dental Hygienists' Association and other organizations.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Martha is supported by her loving husband of 28 years and two talented sons who are her biggest inspiration.

Treasurer: Tasia Walker, RDH

Tasia Walker brings over 8.5 years of dedicated service to the field of dental hygiene, currently serving as Treasurer for the Illinois Dental Hygiene Association. A proud graduate of Florida A&M University with a major in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Tasia returned to her hometown of Chicago to pursue her passion for dental hygiene at Kennedy-King College.

As a dental hygiene professional, Tasia has not only excelled in private practice and Dental Service Organizations (DSO) but has also demonstrated outstanding leadership. Her commitment to excellence was evident during her tenure as the President of her dental hygiene class, and she was duly recognized with induction into the academic honors society, Phi Theta Kappa.

Tasia's diverse professional background includes a notable role as the Lead Hygienist in a DSO-affiliated office. Her expertise spans both public health and private practice, showcasing a well-rounded understanding of the dental hygiene landscape. Holding a Public Health Dental Hygiene Certificate, Tasia is deeply passionate about educating the public on the vital role dental hygienists play in society.

Known for her enthusiasm and commitment to promoting oral health awareness, Tasia Walker continues to be a driving force in the Illinois Dental Hygiene Association, contributing her wealth of knowledge and experience to advance the mission of the organization.

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