Vermont Dental Conference Speaker Biographies

Mary Govoni, CDA, RDH, MBA
Mary Govoni is an internationally recognized speaker, author and consultant on clinical efficiency, ergonomics, OSHA & HIPAA compliance, and team communication.

Mary is a past president and life member of the American Dental Assistants Association, a member of the American Dental Hygienists Association, a member of the Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention, the Academy of Dental Management Consultants and the Speaking and Consulting Network and the National Speakers Association.

Ann Eshenaur Spolarich, RDH, PhD, FSCDH
Ann Eshenaur Spolarich in an internationally recognized author and speaker on pharmacology and the care of medically complex patients. She has presented over 950 lectures and has over 125 professional publications. She is Professor, Course Director of Clinical Medicine and Pharmacology, and Director of Research at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, where she also teaches part-time in the
Special Care Clinic. Ann also serves as Associate Director of the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice. Ann practices part-time, specializing in geriatrics.

​Tieraona Low Dog, MD

Tieraona (tier-oh-nay) Low Dog, MD is a physician, author and educator. She practiced herbal medicine, midwifery, massage therapy, and martial arts before earning her medical degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
Dr. Low Dog is one of the foremost experts in the United States on the safe and appropriate use of the botanical remedies and dietary supplements. She has overseen the evaluation panel for supplement/botanical safety at the United States Pharmacopeia, including joint reviews with the Department of Defense, for the past twenty years. Dr. Low Dog has published 54 research articles in medical/science journals and written 24 chapters for medical textbooks.
Tieraona brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience to all that she does, but it is her rare ability to take complex scientific and medical information and make it highly accessible to the everyday person. She has been invited to speak at more than 600 conferences, with her message of healthy nutrition, sensible dietary supplement use, integrative medicine, compassion care, and deep ecology. She has authored five books, including four with National Geographic; Fortify Your Life, Healthy at Home, Life is Your Best Medicine, and Guide to Medicinal Herbs.

Michael Melkers, DDS, MAGD, FCOI 

Dr. Melkers is a 1994 graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry & currently serves as Visiting Faculty at Riga Stradins University & The Pankey Institute. He is also an Ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry.
In the past, he has been Director of Occlusion & Aesthetic Dentistry at the Pacific Northwest AEGD Residency Program and Visiting Faculty at The Spear Institute. He just finished his tenure as Editor for American Equilibration Society and received the 2018 AES President's Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Melkers is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry & maintains a private clinical practice.


John G. Thomas, PhD., Professor Emeritus

John G. Thomas, PhD, Professor Emeritus, is recognized as an “International Educator and Global Microbiologist” his lectures spanning 33 countries while a clinical microbiologist in pathology, dentistry and medicine for 54 years. He was Director of Microbiology, Virology and Immunology at West Virginia University School of Medicine as Professor, and Clinical Professor in WVU School of Dentistry, receiving the highest teaching award by West Virginia University.   He created The Center for Biofilm Research, funding Translational Research, emphasizing biofilms and medical devices and the connection between oral diseases, VAP and wound infections (“Intellectual Design”) with the recent integration of micro 3D bio Printing using bio-plastics and unique Prebiotics/Probiotics (Synbiotics) for intervention, paralleling dental implants.
Dr. Thomas is a native Vermonter, A Norwich University graduate and with his wife of 48 years, A UVM graduate.