Supported By

Dr Shekha Bhuva BDS (Lond) MFDS RCS (Eng)

Shekha was born and raised in London, UK. She qualified as a dentist from Guy’s, King’s & St Thomas’ Dental School in 2005. At present, she divides her time between working in general dental practice and studying for a Masters program (MClinDent) in Periodontology and Implantology at Guys Dental Hospital, London. Shekha has enjoyed gaining a broad base of dental experience including a year of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery training at the Royal Surrey, Guildford and training in Restorative Dentistry at Birmingham Dental Hospital. Shekha is also a Member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and is a tutor on postgraduate revision courses.

In her spare time Shekha enjoys an active outdoor lifestyle. Her recent trips include trekking the Inca Trail in Peru 2007 and the UK 3 Peaks Challenge 2008. She has also taken part in cycling challenges including London to Paris 2005 and a 400km Sardinia tour in 2008.

Shekha is passionate about promoting oral health and has spent time providing dental care to children in Vietnam. She is excited to have the opportunity to work with the rest of the SmileHigh team in Samagon, Nepal on the upcoming mission.


Dr Julian Haszard BDS (Otago), DCD (Melb), MRACDS (Orth), MOrth RCS Ed
Team Leader

Julian is a specialist orthodontist currently working in the United Kingdom. Julian co-founded SmileHigh with Mingma in 2003 after working for four weeks as a volunteer dentist in the Khumbu Valley of the Everest region. Julian climbed Mt Everest in 2004 and used his climb to raise the initial funds that were needed for SmileHigh. In 2006 Julian returned to Nepal and spent three weeks with Mingma providing dental services to the Children at Khumjung, and Thame schools. In 2008 Julian returned to Nepal and led a 15 person (9 dentist team) to the Khumbu valley providing services primarily to children at Khumjung School. While not in Nepal Julian works to provide the vital support that SmileHigh needs to funds it operations in Nepal. Julian has used presentations of his climb of Everest and Cho Oyo combined with footage and information about SmileHigh as a method to gather funding and support for SmileHigh. Julian has made presentations in Germany, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Julian has a very basic and largely pragmatic philosophy to his work with SmileHigh and the reason why he devotes so much of his time to helping people in Nepal: “When I see solution to a problem I find it difficult to accept that it should remain as a problem. Despite the challenges involved in doing this type of work I can not see a valid reason why I should not try my best to help people who need help. I sincerely believe that the biggest danger facing humanity right now is that of wasted human potential as I am certain that the solutions that are needed do exist.”


Dr Keith Alan Johnson DDS (UCLA) BSc (Chem)

Keith is a director of three group practices in Southern California. The practices include all specialities and have six general practioners. About sixty percent of Keith’s time is spent doing clinical work and the remainder involves management and mentoring other dentists.

Keith’s doctorate degree was granted from UCLA in 1989. Keith also attended an oral surgery internship at Martin Luther King county hospital.

Keith has been teaching Periodontolgy and Anatomy to nursing students and dental hygiene students for a number of years.

Keith’s dental mission experience has primarly been in Cambodia. For the last twelve years Keith has served as the dental director for Bay side missions and Health Teams International. This involves one month of clinical work in remote villages of Cambodia each year. The focus is infection and pain control, so primarily extractions, but also extensive parasite control. Keith has also done some minor missions in Mexico and Sumatra.

Keith is very much looking forward to this opportunity to work with SmileHigh and the UNWFP in Nepal to expand his experience on this international team.


Dr Antonia Moa BDS (Otago), FRACDS

Antonia graduated from the University of Otago, New Zealand in 1999 with BDS. Her initial work experience was at the Auckland Regional Hospital as an Oral Surgery Intern and later as the Pediatric Dental Registrar.

Continuing her education, she has recently gained a fellowship to the Royal Australian College of Dental Surgeons in General Dentistry. Her special interests include Oral Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry and Preventative Dentistry.

Antonia is also an executive member of the Cambodian Tooth Angel Project (CTAP), a New Zealand based Christian Charity which aims to provide dentistry to the poor and vulnerable in Cambodia. Antonia volunteers regularly around prisons around Phnom Penh and has been on a number of dental missions to Prisons in the more rural provincial areas in Cambodia.

Antonia volunteered in Nepal with SmileHigh in 2008 where she was a highly valued team member providing dental services at the Khumjung School in the Khumbu valley of the Everest region.


Mike Scott (Expedition journalist and photographer)

Mike Scott is an award winning photographer and journalist from New Zealand. He has produced documentary work in challenging environments including Antarctica, (squatter neighbourhoods of) Mexico City, (cockfighting rings of) Cuba and (remote islands of) Vanuatu. Presently, Mike is the web producer for the Taranaki Daily News, a paper in the stable of Australasian media company Fairfax. During the past 13 years Mike accumulated extensive climbing experience mainly in New Zealand but also Scotland and Canada. Mike has also undergone some training in dental sterilisation techniques under Dr Chris Taylor in New Plymouth in order to assist the dental team in Samagon.

Mike has also collaborated with Julian (with the kind assistance of Dr George Mason and the NZ Alpine Club) delivering a presentation of work in Antarctica in order to raise funds for SmileHigh. SmileHigh are very lucky to have Mike on this mission to report on the work in Nepal.


Dr. Mingma Nuru Sherpa DDTH (Canada) BDS (Fiji)

Dr Mingma Nuru Sherpa was born in Khumjung a remote village in the Solu-Khumbu area in Nepal situated near Mount Everest. Mingma attended Khumjung High School which was the first school built by Sir Edmund Hillary. Mingma graduated with distinction in 1990 and was subsequently awarded a scholarship from the Everest Marathon Foundation UK to study at the National School of Dental Therapists in Saskatchewan, Canada which Mingma considers a life changing experience.

Following completion of his Diploma in Dental Therapy studies in Canada, Mingma returned to the Everest region in 1993 and worked at the Namche Dental clinic for 5 years as a dental therapist.

Mingma was very fortunate to receive a further scholarship from the Everest Marathon UK in 2000 which enabled him to study for a further 3 years at the University of South Pacific (Fiji) to obtain a Bachelor of Dental Surgery and complete his training as a dentist. During his studies in 2002, Mingma undertook 5 weeks of undergraduate training in oral surgery at the University of Otago in New Zealand which was sponsored by Sir Edmund Hillary, a close friend of Mingma and his family.

Mingma, is the director of operations for SmileHigh in Nepal. He is responsible for all aspects of SmileHigh in Nepal, including planning and undertaking all field work. Mingma is also involved in the support and promotion of SmileHigh by speaking and presenting to potential supporters in Nepal and has a significant role in coordinating plans for people visiting Nepal to volunteer with SmileHigh.


Ms Pasang Futi Sherpa

Pasang is from the Khumbu valley and is the first fully trained dental therapist/hygienist trained by SmileHigh under scholarship. Pasang is registered with the Nepal Professional Health Council. Pasang completed her training in June 2008. She now works 6 months of the year for SmileHigh, making trips to SmileHigh’s project areas to deliver basic dental treatment and dental education. For the remaining 6 months of the year she works at Dr Mingma Sherpa’s Kathmandu clinic- Brilliant Smile.


Ms Sareena Shrestha

Sareena is from the Dolakha region in Nepal and is currently halfway through a two-year training program at the Kantipur Dental School in Kathmandu to become a dental hygienist/therapist. Sareena is studying under a full scholarship from SmileHigh and on completion of her training will be engaged on a five year contract with SmileHigh and will be paid for 6 months of field work per year. The remaining time will be spent working as a hygienist/therapist in Kathmandu. The scholarship was made possible by a very kind donation from Andrew Binns Orthodontics. We are very grateful to Andrew Binns for his highly valued contribution.


Adam Barnes BCA (Wellington)

Adam is originally from Wanganui New Zealand. While Adam studied to become a software developer at Victoria University of Wellington he underwent officer training on the Pilot intake of the Malone Scheme at the NZ Army Officer Training School. Adam did some basic mountaineering with Julian in New Zealand while working for Wellington IT companies Advantage Group and then Provoke Solutions. Adam moved to London in 2004 where he lives with his wife Angeline and two daughters. Adam is currently working as a senior developer for Marshall Wace Asset Management.

Adam built the website for Julian’s Everest expedition in 2004 and has recently rebuilt the site for the combined Samagon/Manaslu mission. Adam’s skills, expertise, hard work and friendship are greatly appreciated.

Summit Videos and Articles. Check out Taranaki Daily News to read about the mission. You can also see some photos and videos.
2 September 2009 Samagon - Dispatch three and some more photos are available.
31 August 2009 Samagon - Dispatch two is now available.
24 August 2009 Samagon - The fist dispatch and some photos are available.
18 August 2009 News from the roof of the world - Mike Scott prepares to leave for Nepal.
15 August 2009 The team leaves for Nepal next week please click here to read more about the team.
Copyright © 2009 Julian Haszard.