Dr. Sharlee Burch is an educator and public health professional with more than 23 years of experience in the field. She is a subject matter expert in clinical leadership, health services and management, health policy and advocacy, health communications and literacy, and higher education curriculum and instruction. Dr. Burch is a Registered Dental Hygienist and actively maintains her license to practice in Kentucky.
Dr. Burch has practiced in the disciplines of public health, research, administration, communication, and advocacy through a variety of diverse roles during her career and has extensive involvement in developing, implementing, and evaluating public health programs. Her higher education teaching experience has been deep including undergraduates in biomedical sciences, dental hygiene, health sciences, health administration and clinical leadership; graduates in public health, nutrition, and pediatric dentistry; and doctoral programs in dentistry, education, medicine, educational leadership, nursing, sociology, and public health.
Most recently Dr. Burch has served as Coordinator of the Kentucky Oral Health Innovation Initiative. Dr. Burch has also developed revised statutes, advocated for, and passed legislation in Kentucky, leading major changes to the dental practice act, increasing access to care and expanding the scope of practice for dental hygienists.
Dr. Burch was also part of the team of health professionals advocating for the local smoke-free coalition within the city of Lexington. The Lexington-Fayette County Smoke Free Ordinance survived a preemptive move in the Kentucky legislature and a trip to the Kentucky Supreme Court. It eventually led the way for Louisville and 20 other municipalities to enact protections against secondhand smoke. A third of Kentucky’s population now lives under the smoke-free umbrella due to the smoke-free coalition efforts.
Dr. Burch is a national leader in the profession of dental hygiene, and currently serves as the 2020-2021 President-Elect of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. The work with ADHA provides her with a unique opportunity to participate in oral and public health leadership across the country. Dr. Burch was a previous recipient of the Kentucky Dental Hygienist of the Year by the Kentucky Dental Hygienists’ Association and is a lifetime member of the Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society.