Karen Ritchie is a full-time instructor for the dental assisting program. She’s been a practising dental assistant for 25 years, with 22 years working in public health dentistry at the S.M.I.L.E. Plus Dental Program in Manitoba. With great fulfillment, she’s been able to work with an underserviced population in the poorest postal code in Canada and to educate and provide treatment to countless children. The S.M.I.L.E. Plus program partnership with the University of Manitoba allowed her to support fourth-year dental students and pediatric residents during their community outreach rotations.
She currently serves as a Saskatchewan Dental Assistants Association (SDAA) council member. She was a director on the Canadian Dental Assistants Association (CDAA) board from 2004 to 2007. Karen served as Manitoba Dental Assistants Association (MDAA) president in 2006-07 and took part in finalizing the MDAA's registration process. Her hope through educating is to support students in becoming a highly proficient members of the dental team and socially conscious professionals.