Executive Team + Message from the President

Message from the President

Dear Alumni,

Navi Bharj headshotMy name is Dr. Navi Bharj and I am a proud dental alumnus from the University of Alberta (DDS Class of 2019). Originally from Winnipeg, MB, I moved out west to attend the U of A and I enjoyed Alberta so much I stuck around! I have previously been practicing general dentistry full time in Fort McMurray, AB and travel bi-weekly to Fort Chipewyan, AB to provide dental care for the First Nation community and residents of Northern Alberta. More recently, I have moved back to Edmonton and am currently working as an associate.

During my dental school studies, I understood we could make a lasting impact on our community beyond our mirrors and explorers. In September 2016, alongside my classmate Dr. Bryan Lim, we founded the OHTH Alberta Chapter to help bridge the gap between future dental professionals (DH and DDS students) and those with developmental, congenital, and physical disabilities. This Chapter has since grown to new heights with more recent student involvement from both dentistry and dental hygiene. Additionally, alongside my classmate Dr. Dharminder Panesar, we co-chaired the 4th and 5th Annual DSA Health and Wellness Retreat. This retreat focused on collaborative learning and maintaining physical, emotional, and mental wellness for DDS and DH students. More recently, I created and hosted the preliminary episodes of the CDA Podcast: "The Grind." This was made in conjunction with the Canadian Dental Association to develop and produce a series of podcasts that focuses on the stories, lives, and issues dentistry students face across Canada.

Firstly, I would like to thank the past president of the Dental Alumni Association (DAA), Dr. Mintoo Basahti, for his commitment and leadership of this association for the past several years. I first met Dr. Basahti when we started the OHTH Alberta Chapter and he has been both a supporter of student-led initiatives and mentor. His roles with the DAA and ADA+C over the last number of years show a great commitment in uniting dentists across Alberta and making this profession better for current and recent graduates starting their careers.

As the current president of the DAA, I want to grow on my past commitments to the dental community and maintain the strong leadership and camaraderie Dr. Basahti has led the association with in the past. Looking into the future, the following is the DAA common agenda for collective impact:

  1. Maintaining a Healthy and Collaborative Relationship with the University of Alberta
  2. Celebrating achievements in our Alumni Dental Community
  3. Establishing a networking platform for past graduates, students, and new alumni to diversify our representation

Our alumni board of volunteers are a group of like-minded dentists and community members at the University of Alberta who desire nothing more than to see the growth and celebration of our profession. We will strive to follow these goals to fulfill our commitment to our fellow alumnus. Most recently, we have been in communication with the Alberta Dental Foundation (ADF) to establish a partnership between the DAA and ADF to better improve access to care for all Albertans.

The future of dentistry has changed considerably since the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet, the purpose and focus of the DAA remains the same. The DAA is working diligently to expand our presence as oral health advocates in Alberta and maintaining an active voice for dentists who earned their designations from the University of Alberta. We look forward in the future to announce new initiatives from the DAA in collaboration with the School of Dentistry to spearhead the outlined goals.

If you are interested in being involved with the Dental Alumni Association or interested in being a mentor in our Alumni/DDS Mentorship program starting later in the year, please contact Elise Hetu for more details.

Thank you!

Dr. Navi Bharj

DAA Executive Team

Our alumni board of volunteers are a group of like-minded dentists and community members at the University of Alberta who desire nothing more than to see the growth and celebration of our profession. We will strive to follow our goals to fulfill our commitment to our fellow alumni.

President: Dr. Navi Bharj
Vice-President: Dr. Hafiz Damani
Secretary: Dr. Dharminder Panesar


  • Dr. Glen Zenith
  • Dr. Hans Herchen
  • Dr. Jack Scott
  • Dr. Jhoyli Labrador-Stacey
  • Dr. Brian Wong
  • Dr. Vivian Mak

Faculty Representative(s):

  • Dr. Paul Major

Student Representative(s):

  • John Michaiel (senior)
  • Kareem Hassan (junior)