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caff advisory board

The Children's Airway First Foundation has established a world-class level advisory board with members from the medical profession, researchers, and non-profit executive leadership. The expertise of the board demonstrates CAFF's determination and commitment to eradicating treatable childhood airway diseases globally.

Candy Sparks, CAFF

Candy Sparks


Candy Sparks is an executive with decades of experience in both non-profit and for-profit organizations.  She served as Executive Director for the non-profit A Smoke-Free Generation, which substantialy reduced the start-up of smoking in children nine to fourteen. The program was endorsed by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D. and funded by the Mayo Clinic, 3M, Med Centers Health Plan… with celebrity role models including the late musician, Prince, Malcolm Jamal Warner, and Lisa Bonet from the Cosby Show.  


As Director of Project Development for Tor Dahl and Associates, Candy was the project leader for Ontario Hydro, DynCorp International at Fort Irwin and Fort Rucker, AT&T GM&E- USA and Asia, AT&T 800 Service, ICI Films, SAS Airlines, Regence Blue Shield, Seattle School District, EDS, and the Marshfield Clinic. Under her guidance, her projects achieved dramatic improvements in quality, processes and systems, financial performance, and customer, stakeholder, and employee satisfaction. 


She also served as the Executive Director of the non-profit World Confederation of Productivity Science (WCPS) from 1988 to 1993 creating World Congress and World Forum events in Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, and Sweden.  


Now, inspired by her daughter’s long battle with a compromised airway and its devastating systemic effects on her health, Candy is using her broad experience to help end this silent epidemic of 400-million children worldwide who suffer from compromised airways. 


As President and Co-Founder of the Children’s Airway First Foundation, Candy is fostering the development of new and breakthrough diagnostic techniques, greater innovative interdisciplinary clinician/stakeholder training and collaboration, and a massive celebrity public health education campaign. All will be focused on early childhood intervention (before the age of six) in order to prevent hypoxic brain injuries and long-term systemic damage to the body and mind. 


Mrs. Sparks is a graduate of the University of Minnesota in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism, and a former guest lecturer from 1986 to 2000 at the U of MN graduate program in the School of Public Health. She and her husband, Bradley E. Sparks, live in Austin, Texas. They have five children and nine grandchildren. 

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Bradley Sparks, CAFF


co-founder, chairman, treasurer & secretary

Bradley E. Sparks has over 30-years of senior executive experience in publicly-held, multi-billion dollar, mid-cap, and development stage companies. As the VP-Treasurer and VP-Controller at a Fortune 500 Company, he led two successful IPOs.

A Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Sparks formerly served as the Chairman of the NASDAQ Insurers Affairs Committee and served on the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Review Panel for 10-years. He has been a Board Member for software and oil companies as well. Additionally, he served three years on the Financial Reporting Executive Committee ("FineREC") for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ("AICPA") and served as chairman of two AICPA national conferences for CFOs.


Mr. Sparks graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1969 and is a former Army Captain in the Signal Corps. He received a Master of Science in Management degree from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975.

As the father of Savvy Sparks, Mr. Sparks is personally committed to the mission of CAFF. His goal is to help drive success through CAFF educational programs and informational campaigns, ensuring every child has access to screening, evaluation, and treatment of all children's airway disorders prior to six years of age.  

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Cam Strong, CAFF



Cam Strong is an experienced Healthcare executive and consultant with an expansive background in both the private and public sectors. Mr. Strong served as the Vice President of Member Services for Regence Blue Shield and served as the Principle Contracting Officer and Chief of Procurement at OCHAMPUS (now known as TRICARE).


Mr. Strong has served on numerous “for-profit” and “not-for-profit” boards including corporations developing and providing EDI, PPO, and HMO services, information technology staffing, maritime education services, and the Children’s Trust Foundation.


Mr. Strong’s educational credentials include a Bachelor of Business Administration from Minot State University, a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Colorado, and the ISP Graduate Program for Health Care Administration at the University of Minnesota.

Becky Andrews, CAFF



Dr. Becky Andrews is a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist, herbalist, and bodyworker.  She is also certified in Permaculture Design. As a naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, and student of permaculture, she focuses on a “whole systems” approach to health challenges of the individual and the human condition as a whole. 


Her practice specializes in complex, chronic, and "difficult" cases. She combines naturopathic, traditional western, and eastern paradigms with conventional medical approaches. 


Dr. Andrews received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine and Masters of Acupuncture at Bastyr University in 2003.  She is a graduate of the Boulder College of Massage therapy (1995) and also holds a BA in psychology from the University of Kentucky (1992).  She did her permaculture certification at CommonWheal in 2012. 


She has served on faculty at both Bastyr and AOMA School for Integrative Medicine and on the board of directors for both the Washington and Texas Associations of Naturopathic Doctors.

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Kevin Boyd, CAFF



Kevin Boyd, a practicing Pediatric Dentist teaching in the Pediatric Dentistry residency at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital, also serves as a dental consultant to Lurie’s Sleep Medicine service and Lutheran General Hospital. Dr. Boyd also holds an advanced degree (M.Sc.) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Michigan State University where he participated in research projects related to unhealthy eating and how it contributes to tooth decay, obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes. His strong academic background in nutritional biochemistry has been instrumental in motivating the importance he places on nutrition as being a key component of each child's dental health plan.


He is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Anthropology conducting research in anthropology and orthodontics.

He is recognized as a leading clinician in the Chicago area for diagnosing and treating interferences to normal growth of the teeth, jaws and face.

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Cris Duval, CAFF



Cris Duval is a health and wellness expert who has an extraordinary ability to establish long-term relationships with her dental patients as a vital partner in their quest for achieving vastly improved overall health.  She is constantly learning and studying the latest critical information.  And, there is no one better at delivering exceptional, collaborative service. 


After many years as a luminary among dental hygienists, she has retired and established her own successful consulting business, The LifeGuard Approach

As the former Northwest Regional Coordinator for the Oral Cancer Foundation, and a founding board member of the International Association of Ozone in Healthcare and Dentistry, Cris stands out with the best. Her dedication and desire to be of service to humanity are unparalleled. 

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John Finnegan, CAFF



John R Finnegan Jr., Ph.D. is Professor and Dean of the School of Public Health on the Twin Cities Campus of the University of Minnesota. He joined the school in 1980, eventually directing a professional health communication staff for the Minnesota Heart Health Program, one of the USA’s major community-level initiatives in heart health promotion funded by the National Institutes of Health.


In 1986, he joined the school faculty with a focus on community health and the roles and outcomes of interventions through communication strategies and campaigns. He was named Dean in 2005, following a national search.


He has also served as Chair of the Board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the US-based network of accredited schools and programs. 

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Lauren Gueits, BS, RDH



Lauren Gueits, BS, RDH, is a distinguished dental professional with over 30 years of experience in clinical and corporate dentistry. She is a leading advocate for dental professionals in healthcare, focusing on disease prevention and airway health. Recognized as a top 1% hygienist in North America, she received the prestigious Sunstar/RDH Award for her outstanding commitment to making a difference.

Graduating from the State University of New York at Farmingdale in 1991, Lauren furthered her education with post-graduate training in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy in 2013.

As a published author and National Speaker for renowned dental companies like Colgate, Sunstar, Align Technology, and Zila, Lauren's extensive knowledge and passion for oral health have led her to deliver impactful presentations and raise awareness about crucial oral and overall health topics.

Transitioning to the corporate sector, Lauren joined Align Technology in 2013 and exceeded expectations, receiving the peer-voted Leadership Award in her second year. She created the position of Align Hygiene Education Manager, leading an international team of hygienists, and was later promoted to Senior Education Manager of Professional Relations, managing the General Dentist Channel.

In 2018, Lauren founded Airway Health Solutions (AHS), becoming a leader in the field and training over 400 dental practitioners to improve breathing, sleep, and overall well-being in thousands of children, spearheading the #airwayhealthmovement.

An Adjunct Guest Faculty at New York University and a member of the Colgate Dental Hygiene Advisory Board, Lauren Gueits is dedicated to advancing dental education and patient care.

Her passionate advocacy for children's airway health stands as one of her most significant achievements, making a substantial impact on their long-term health outcomes, ensuring a healthier adulthood.

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Steve M Hall MD, CAFF

steven m. hall - md


Steven M. Hall, MD is an integrative physician, teacher, speaker, and author of The Seven Tools of Healing: Unlock Your Inner Wisdom and Live the Life Your Soul Desires. His message is about finding and changing the patterns that are creating your painful feelings, harmful behaviors, dysfunctional relationships, and physical diseases. And how to make those changes last. 

He began his medical career in 1985 as a residency trained and board-certified Family Practitioner. His practice has been shaped by his journey to answer two questions: “What is ‘healing’?” and “How can I best help you with yours?”

Dr. Hall practices Integral Medicine methodologies, derived from an integral worldview of medicine and healing, which look at all aspects of a patient's life from how they eat and sleep to their beliefs, in order to better diagnose and treat underlying causes of illness and establish preventative, long-lasting solutions. 

He is passionate about sharing what he has learned with the world and in helping to foster a more encompassing approach to medical education and patient health management.


He is in private practice in Issaquah, Washington.

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William Hang, CAFF



Dr. Bill Hang is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Dentistry and the University of Minnesota Orthodontic program where he briefly taught orthodontics. He then established a very traditional orthodontic practice in rural Vermont. After about seven years he became dissatisfied with the faces the traditional orthodontic approach produced and embarked on a continuing education journey that is ongoing.

In the process he moved to Southern California and developed a truly unique orthodontic practice with strong emphasis on facial esthetics achieved with innovative early treatment and adult treatment, but also became aware of the significant positive affect some of his treatments were having on the airway. This opened up a whole new aspect of orthodontics - maximizing the airway for ALL orthodontic patients and specifically treating patients with sleep disordered breathing or obstructive sleep apnea.

Dr. Hang has been a pioneer working in the airway/sleep arena for over 25 years. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry for his work on optimizing airways in all patients. Patients travel from at least 28 states and a number of foreign countries seeking reversal of their previous orthodontics, elimination of their TMJ/pain, and relief from OSA/sleep/breathing symptoms. Dr. Hang, a local, national, and international speaker, is an innovative, forward thinking visionary who has dedicated his career to improving how dentistry and orthodontics are practiced around the world.

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Dayna Johnson, CAFF



Dr. Dayna Johnson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Johnson’s research has uncovered much about the social contributors to racial and gender disparities in sleep by assessing the effects of social, household-level and neighborhood-level factors in correlation with insufficient sleep.

Dr. Johnson began her education with a drive to understand why certain groups of people were more likely to have certain conditions than other groups and how it may relate to their neighborhoods and environments. After hearing a talk by Gary Gibbons, M.D., where he mentioned sleep as a risk factor for stroke, Dr. Johnson saw the potential link between neighborhood conditions and cardiovascular disease via sleep. Dr. Johnson had found her niche within sleep health disparities. 

From there, Dr. Johnson went on to earn her Ph.D. in Epidemiologic Science from the University of Michigan where she studied psychosocial stressors and neighborhood characteristics in relation to different sleep outcomes among Hispanic and Black populations. She then completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School where she cites having learned how to measure sleep and analyze sleep variables from different objective sleep studies.

Dr. Johnson has an extensive list of publications and received both NIH grant funding and the NIH Loan Repayment Health Disparities Award in 2018, and the Chair’s Research Award from the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School in 2017.

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Suresh Katagal, CAFF

SURESH Kotagal, MD


Dr. Suresh Kotagal is a consultant in the Departments of Neurology, Pediatrics, and the Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. He is a Professor in the Department of Neurology at the same institution.


He received his M.B.; B.S. degrees from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, India in 1972. This was followed by an internship at Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi, residency training in Pediatrics at Wayne State University in Detroit, a Child Neurology residency at St. Louis University, and a Sleep Medicine fellowship at Stanford University. In 1982, he was one of the first pediatric neurology-sleep specialists in the United States.


Dr. Kotagal served as chair of the Division of Child Neurology at Mayo Clinic. In 2000, he started the pediatric component of its sleep medicine practice. His clinical interests have been in the areas of sleep in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, narcolepsy, parasomnias, and restless legs syndrome. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and an elected member of the American Neurological Association. He was awarded the Distinguished Educator award by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Lifetime Achievement award by the Child Neurology Society.  Dr. Kotagal has served on the editorial boards of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Medicine Reviews, and as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Child Neurology.   Peer-reviewed journal publications and book chapters number around 130, with an additional four, authored / co-authored textbooks. He chaired the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the pediatric sodium oxybate clinical trial for narcolepsy and presently heads the DSMB on another narcolepsy clinical trial. He has served as a consultant for the Food and Drug Administration. 


Dr. Kotagal has made substantial contributions in the area of pediatric sleep disorders.  His work has advanced the understanding of childhood-onset daytime sleepiness, obstructive sleep apnea, parasomnias, and restless legs syndrome. His studies on childhood narcolepsy have characterized the clinical features, the relationship to obesity, long-term comorbidities, and its treatment with sodium oxybate. He currently serves on a task force of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine pertaining to the treatment of hypersomnia disorders.

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Susan Maples, CAFF



Dr. Susan Maples leads a successful, insurance-independent Total Health Dental practice in Holt, Michigan.


She brings preventive and restorative dental expertise, a passion for mouth-body total health, a master’s degree in business/marketing, and 30+ years of experience in private practice.


In 2012 Susan was named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry and one of the Top 8 Innovators (otherwise known as “disruptors”) in Dentistry.


Susan is the immediate past President of the American Academy for Oral & Systemic Health.


She is the author of BlabberMouth! 77 Secrets Only Your Mouth Can Tell You To Live a Healthier, Happier, Sexier Life.  And recently finished a new book titled, Brave Parent! Raising Healthy, Happy Kids (against all odds) in Today’s World.


She is the developer of the Hands-On Learning Lab™ kit, an interactional science-based learning program for dental patients, and, an educational screening tool for patients and clinicians to uncover signs of illness such as Pre-Diabetes/Diabetes, Obstructive Sleep Airway Disorders, Acid Reflux, and Chronic Systemic Inflammation.


Susan was a co-investigator in an award-winning diabetes research study entitled Diabetes Detection in the Dental Office.


She is also the creator of Total Health Academy, a robust online learning curriculum for dental teams to develop a complete oral systemic dental practice.

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Francine Misch-Dietsh, CAFF

Francine Misch-Dietsh DDS, MS, FICD,DABOI


Dr. Francine Misch-Dietsh earned her first dental degree in Nice, France, and then obtained certificates in Prosthodontics, Oral Implantology, and a Master’s in Dental Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh in 1990. She was the co-director of the Misch Implant Institute from 1993 till 2008 and an Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics, Oral Implantology, the University of Pittsburgh until 2005.


From 2005 to the present, she serves as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology at the Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry in Philadelphia where she teaches Oral Implantology to the periodontology residents.


She served editorial positions at the International Journal of Oral Implantologists from the early 1990s  and is a past Associate Editor of Implant Dentistry; the official publication of the International College of Oral Implantologists.


She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Oral Implantology, Diplomate of the International College of Oral Implantologists, a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, and an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.  


She has been in private practice restricted to Implant Dentistry for the last 30 years, and presently maintains a practice in Miami, Florida while still maintaining a practice in Rome Italy where she lived for several years. She has lectured nationally and internationally and co-authored several scientific articles and chapters in the field of Oral Implantology.

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Sharon Moore, CAFF



Sharon Moore is a speech pathologist and myofunctional practitioner with four decades of clinical experience across a range of communication and swallowing disorders. She has worked in diverse clinical settings in Australia and London.


Currently, Sharon runs a private practice in Canberra for patients of all ages and is part of the transdisciplinary team for the Canberra Sleep Clinic. The integration of orofacial myofunctional principles into traditional speech pathology work allows a unique approach to managing disorders of the upper airway, including breathing, swallowing, chewing, phonation, resonance, speech, and sleep issues related to upper airway obstruction.


Sharon has a special interest in the early identification of craniofacial growth anomalies in syndromic and non-syndromic children, concomitant orofacial dysfunctions, and airway obstruction in sleep disorders. Sharon believes that there has never been a more important time for medical, dental, and allied health colleagues to work as a team, with the significant consequences of sleep disorders in all ages now widely known.


Growing global medical acknowledgment of the role of myofunctional therapy in the management of sleep disorders has hailed a new era of relevance for work in the upper airway, affirming Sharon's chosen clinical direction. She believes we have a window of opportunity to help parents get it right before kids start school.

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James Nestor, CAFF



James Nestor is the author of the bestseller Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. He has written for Scientific American, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The San Francisco Journal, the BBS, and more.​

Throughout his career, he has spoken at Stanford Medical School, Harvard Medical School, Yale School of Medicine, the United Nations, and more than 60 television and radio shows. Mr. Nestor worked on the Project CETI (Cetacean Translation Initiative) that was accepted as a TED Audacious Project in June 2020.

He currently resides in San Francisco, California.

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Kimberly Santiago, CAFF



Dr. Kimberly Santiago was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She spent a year skiing the slopes of Colorado and then moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Dr. Santiago was the top-ranked female dental student, graduated third in her class, was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental honors society and received just about every possible award University of Washington School of Dentistry gives out annually. Her free time is spent as Supermom to Simona, Alessandro, and Eliana. Dr. Santiago enjoys family time, lazy weekends, culinary arts, traveling, the Seahawks, skiing, and binge-watching awesome shows.

Dr. Santiago is earnestly committed to helping enrich and improve the lives of her patients. She firmly believes in healing the patient by treating the root cause of disease/health problems, rather than treating symptoms.  This integrative wellness model is a departure from conventional medicine and dentistry; it looks for and treats the smoke before the fire. Every individual deserves to have the option to heal themself. Dr. Kimberly has developed one of the first all-encompassing airway-centric dental practices in which a patient receives a global diagnosis and comprehensive treatment options to help restore them to health, functionally and structurally, and for the long-term.  She believes every individual deserves to make the choice to be the best version of themself.

Not only does Dr. Kimberly Santiago take 200-300 hours of continuing education each year, but she also is passionate about educating the community at large about the ubiquitous nature of dysfunctional breathing, dysfunctional sleep, tongue-tie, and underdeveloped jaws. She spends many hours monthly instructing speech language therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, lactation consultants, pediatricians, sleep physicians (and more) on how to identify children and adults who are showing the smoke signals for impaired breathing and sleep.  She believes that we can make an impact on humanity and significantly reduce the rates of chronic disease. 

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Jerald Simmons, CAFF



He is Triple Board-Certified in Neurology, Epilepsy and Sleep Medicine. A graduate of Ohio State University, he trained in Neurology at Washington University, Sleep Medicine at Stanford University and Epilepsy at University of California.

He began his professional career as Assistant Professor of Neurology at UCLA while co-directing the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center and directing the Clinical Neuro-physiology lab at Olive View UCLA.

In 1999 he moved to Houston establishing his sleep disorders practices. He continues to conduct research studies relating to sleep disorders and developing methods to enhance the assessment and treatment of patients with sleep disturbances.

His most recent research involves the relationship between Clenching / Sleep Bruxism / TMJ Disorder with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, as well as the relationship between ADHD and disturbances of sleep.

Education is an important aspect of his career, having trained medical students, residents and fellows in sleep medicine and then establishing the SEC as an outreach to educate the healthcare community.

He has been instrumental in providing guidance to the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners that led to the new rules requiring dentists to obtain some degree of education in sleep medicine in order to provide appliance therapy to patients with OSA.

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Larry Wolford, CAFF



Dr. Larry M. Wolford is a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics at Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, and in full-time private practice at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX.


He has been involved in resident training and education for 48 years. He sponsored and directed a Fellowship program for TMJ and Orthognathic surgery for 28 years. He has co-authored two textbooks, co-edited 2 other textbooks, written over 50 book chapters for other books, has over 225 other publications, and over 150 published scientific abstracts.


He has received the William J. Gies Award and the W. Harry Archer Award (two of the highest awards in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) for major contributions to the specialty. He is internationally known for his expertise in orthognathic surgery, TMJ surgery, and sleep apnea surgery. He has developed many of the surgical techniques, philosophies, and evidence-based treatment protocols that are used in these surgical areas.

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