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Class of 1994



Dr. Patrick Rooney, Blaine, Wash.: Accompanied the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort last fall and winter during a four-month humanitarian mission to Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Honduras. About 200 military doctors, nurses, and technicians went on the mission, along with about 60 medical and dental professionals from NGO aid groups. The mission’s goal was to help neighboring nations deal with the flood of Venezuelan refugees who had fled their country’s economic and political turmoil. I also departed this August for an additional 3½-month continuation of last year’s mission to serve with our Navy in a most distressed and needy region of our hemisphere. It is my third mission with our Navy aboard USNS Comfort, including to the Philippines aboard sister ship USNS Mercy in 2016. It’s a dental career fulfillment to bring my skill set to a most desperate, needy, but most grateful population of our partner nations in the depth of their desperation across the region! (Fall 2019)

Dr. Rooney, assistant and patient

Dr. Rooney receives congratulations

USS Comfort Navy ship


Dr. Patrick Rooney
Patrick Rooney

Dr. Patrick Rooney, : I’m very honored and excited to have been selected as a civilian volunteer with the U.S. Navy for this year’s deployment to Southeast Asia aboard the USNS Mercy hospital ship. The mission, which ran from mid-June to mid-July, was part of a multi-nation venture that included personnel from Australia, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan and New Zealand. You can read more about it at The Northern Light. (Fall 2016)


Dr. Timothy Hess, Seattle: Appointed the Director of the Tucker Institute for the Academy of R.V. Tucker Study Clubs. The Tucker Institute was held June 4-8 this year at the UW. In 2013, it will meet June 17-21 at the UW. (Fall 2012)


Dr. Teresa Castner, Tanzania, Africa: Retired from private practice of almost 10 years in Edmonds three years ago and have since been working independently on a dental project in Tanzania. I have been setting up a mobile dental clinic for the orphans at the Rift Valley Children’s Village (, where I have been providing dental care for more than 65 children and staff. Over the last two years, I have recruited Drs. Linda Johnson (’92), Greg Guyman (’76, MS ’78), Whitney Frank (’08) and her husband, Conrad Frank, to travel to the Village and provide care to this unique organization. This year, the Franks and I were also able to provide oral health education to nearly 600 children at the Geytighi primary school located next door to the orphanage. For many, this was the first time that they had ever seen a toothbrush, as twigs are used as toothbrushes in most of rural Tanzania.

As a result of a shared love for Tanzania, my husband, Bill Pope, and I have gathered with our longtime friend, Allan Mbaga of African Outdoor Expeditions ( in the development of a small, eco-friendly lodge in Karatu. The lodge, called the Oldeani Safari Lodge, has views of Oldeani Mountain and overlooks the rim of the Ngorogoro crater, home of the highest density of animals in Africa. They are planning to grow coffee, corn, bananas, avocados, beans and other vegetables, and the lodge will be mostly solar-powered. The lodge will be used to house medical and dental volunteers along with safari clients.

I recently partnered with International Smile Power and joined their board of directors. Smile Power is currently undergoing positive changes and will be blossoming into an even stronger and viable nonprofit that will continue the dream and philosophies of its original founders, Dr. Sherwin Shinn and Jerri Shinn, RN. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering while vacationing and earning CE credits, please contact If you are unable to volunteer on a project because of work and family obligations, but still wish to contribute in some way, whether it is to volunteer locally, donate funds, or share your thoughts on how you believe Smile Power can make a difference both locally and internationally, please contact them at the Web site above. Namaste. (Fall 2009)


The Class of 1994 held its 20th reunion on Sept. 12, 2014. We met at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in downtown Seattle on Friday evening and then enjoyed a brunch and went to the Husky football game on Saturday.

The Class of 1994



Dr. Gifford Dr. Matthew Wilford Gifford of Anacortes, Wash., died on Aug. 13, 2022 while summiting Mount Pugh in his beloved North Cascades. He was 56.

He was born on Oct. 1, 1965 in Page, Ariz., to Warner and Adrienne Gifford. He graduated from the School of Dentistry following a two-year mission for the LDS Church in South Africa. He had six children with his former spouse, Terry, whom he married in 1988.

Dr. Gifford practiced dentistry in Sedro-Woolley, Wash., before relocating to Anacortes, Wash., in 2017. He spent countless hours serving in his local church and volunteering dental services to those in need, locally and abroad. He was dedicated to his vocation and taught his children the principle of hard work.

He worked hard and played harder. His favorite times were spent hiking with his family and friends or enjoying a good barbecue and playing matrix Frisbee with his children. He was a passionate and skilled woodworker and homebuilder and was always working on something. He had a lifelong love of learning and was always ready to talk about the latest history or science book he was reading.

Dr. Gifford is survived by his children, Derrill (Caitlin), Addy (Kyle Nydegger), Vaughn, Kjaisa (partner Brandon Dreese) Aliece, and Jens; granddaughter Evangeline Gifford; and siblings Gregory, Patrice (Gregory Young), Jeffery (Alice), Julie (Brad Dunn), Jennifer (Steve Dame), and Kristen (Chris Powel). He was preceded in death by his parents. (Skagit Valley Herald)