Dr. Saskia Estupiñán-Day is a public health dentist with worldwide experience including all of the countries of the Americas as well as many countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. She has provided leadership in scientific and academic communities and is a leading worldwide authority in the development of oral health strategies, implementation of national programs, international technical cooperation, and management of research programs. She has conceived and implemented major innovations in public health dentistry research and programs including fluoridation, atraumatic restorative treatment, and the application of cost-effectiveness analysis and policy support to national programs.
A salient characteristic of her combined approach to research, management and cost-effectiveness, as an emphasis on evidence-based research and programming. Over decades of involvement with the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), she led the development of highly strategic program innovations developed under Dr. Estupiñán-Day’s leadership at PAHO, major outcome improvements that resulted in: significant caries reduction in almost every country of the Americas; improved cost-effectiveness; expanded coverage; capacity development; transfer of technology; and improved sustainability. During a post hoc evaluation of her landmark public health dentistry work in salt fluoridation, her program was credited with having prevented as many as 300 million caries and saving families the associated costs. The program continues to produce multiples of the stream of benefits (and earned her the moniker among her colleagues as the “Johnny Appleseed of salt fluoridation”).
During her career Dr. Estupiñán-Day has advised over 50 ministries of health as well as international agencies, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, foundations, research entities and private sector partners. She has authored and co-authored nearly 50 publications; served as Associate Editor of professional journals; and participated in or led major scientific and technical sessions in most regions of the world. She is a committed educator, having served as visiting professor and adjunct professor in major universities (Temple University, NYU College of Dentistry, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Medical School and others) and has served as a preceptor and mentor to over 40 students.
On the personal side, Dr. Estupiñán-Day is a sports enthusiast. Her primary sports interest is in track in field, as she became a national champion in her native Ecuador at the age of 15, as an avid runner, and eventually returning to her love of hurdling as a member of the USA Track and Field Team, Masters, winning the USA national gold medals in 80 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles and competing the World Masters Athletic Championship in Italy. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, FL.