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Meet the Staff

Dental Support Center Staff

Elaine Sanchez RDH, MA

Director, Dental Support Center

Elaine comes to NAPPR with a dental background of approximately 20 years.  She has earned both  Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in dental hygiene as well as a Master’s degree in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technologies.  This formal education prepared her to embark on a career of teaching, research, and administration within dental hygiene programs in Albuquerque.  After approximately 12 years at a University, she was recruited to a dental hygiene program which was being developed.  


Elaine is a seasoned speaker presenting at over 30 professional events including 2 at the National level.  In addition, she has published multiple manuscripts in peer reviewed journals as well as written 3 textbook chapters in Dental and Dental Hygiene texts still currently in use.  Her passion is serving as an administrator in Public Health settings.  She is outgoing and eager to continue her professional growth with NAPPR. 

Elaine loves to travel and is married with 4 sons.

Elaine balloon


Contact Elaine at or 505-345-6289

Kirsta Bezenek
Oral Health Outreach Coordinator

Kirsta is a graduate from New Mexico State University with a degree in Community Health Education. A former resident of Ketchikan, Alaska, Kirsta was recruited to NMSU on a swimming scholarship and was eager to return to New Mexico. Daughter of a Registered Dental Hygienist, Kirsta has a passion for oral health and considered going to dental school before she was bitten by the community health education bug.

Kirsta is described as: outgoing, friendly, good listener, positive, smiley, and hardworking. About Kirsta, her former swimming coach said, “I saw her at her best. I saw her at her absolute worst. I had to give her hard criticism from time to time and she always picked it up and ran with it. She won’t let you down!"

Kirsta has a love for outdoor activities, running, reading, spending time with family and friends. She joined the Dental Support Center after spending the summer as a deck hand on her father’s commercial fishing vessel.

Kirsta can be reached at or 505.382.1666



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