Park was born and raised in the Canadian Prairies and spent close to four years travelling to Nunavut, providing dental services, three weeks on and three weeks off.
"It was an eye-opening, culturally enlightening experience. I saw many barriers to accessing dental care," she says. "One local health centre is run by local nurses and outside medical teams, including myself, are flown in."
Park was considered an honoured guest and was even invited to watch the traditional narwhal hunt. She's been to Haiti (post-earthquake) twice and Nicaragua three times to perform dental outreach.
"I've worked in makeshift hospitals, performing emergency extractions, treating decayed teeth and handing out toothbrushes," Park says. "I'm passionate about making a difference."
Working with children has always been one of her trademark skills.
"I'm from a large extended family and I've always enjoyed helping children," she says. "I'll do anything – sing and dance – to engage with children so they can get their treatment done."
Park started in her new position on June 3 and she says she's up for the new challenges the work presents.
"I have a great team," she says. "All the attending staff, auxiliary staff and trainees are amazing."
She and her team will mainly treat patients with a medical or behavioral co-morbidity, along with very young children with extensive decay. The team is also committed to managing dental emergencies. Park has studied access to dental care problems and hopes to implement some of what she has learned to expand access and lift barriers. She's also in close communication with resource management and will be looking for ways to maximize clinic and operating room efficiency.
Park has a doctor of dental medicine degree and bachelor of arts and science in cognitive psychology degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She has completed a pediatric general practice residency in Halifax. Her specialty training in pediatric dentistry and master's in craniofacial science was at the University of British Columbia. Park has been a private practice pediatric dentist, a staff dentist at BC Children's Hospital and clinical professor at the University of British Columbia for several years.
Park is a Pediatric Dentistry fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada and a member of the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, British Columbia Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the British Columbia Dental Association.