Meet The Founders

The ASAP Pathway program was created by Dr. Stacy Ochoa, Dr. Michelle Weddle, and Dr. Tracey Nguyen. They developed an entire system for managing the pediatric airway and sleep pathway, which they use in their own practices.

This unique on-demand program offers all of the Mentoring, Help, Forms, and Feedback necessary for you to FINALLY make pediatric airway and sleep an enjoyable and profitable part of your practice.

Dr. Stacy Ochoa

Stacy started her journey in Dental Sleep Medicine 16 years ago when her Dad was found to be CPAP intolerant. She took on this journey as a fight to literally save her Dad’s life. She took all the courses she could as well as obtained Diplomate status with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM). Stacy was one of the first Diplomates in the St. Louis area and has gained the respect of her local Sleep Physicians and ENTs by working collaboratively and communicating well with her medical colleagues in a much-needed interdisciplinary approach.

Unfortunately, in 2017, Valentine’s night, her Dad lost his life in his sleep. His oral appliance was found sitting on the bathroom sink. This further ignited a passion in her to find a way to help others… to offset the health burdens that OSA has on both adults, their children… and now HER children. During this time she also realized that all 5 children in her own home had a form of Sleep Disordered Breathing, Apnea, or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome.

No one was coming to her aide to HELP HER OWN CHILDREN. Beyond tonsilloadenoidectomy and CPAP there seemed to be no options. She knew there HAD to be something else!!! She wanted answers! She was a mother on a mission, and nothing was going to stop her!

She couldn’t ignore sleep and breathing problems in her own children, so how could she continue to ignore them in her patients?

As such, her DSM practice transitioned from treatment of adults to include children as well.

Stacy then took the following courses on her journey looking for answers for her own children and the parents who would put their trust in her helping their children.

  • Biobloc Coursework
  • TAD Expansion Coursework
    Phase 1 Expansion Coursework (Gerber Interceptive Pediatric Orthodontics)
  • ALF Coursework (Under Dr. Darick Norstrom, Inventor of the ALF therapy)
  • Buteyko Breathing
  • Myobrace/Healthy Start/Myomunchee and other functional appliance Coursework
  • Training with Dr. Stasha Gominak (Harvard-trained Neurologist) on the role of Vitamin D and Sleep.
  • Studying the Endocannabinoid System (the role of EBs and Phyto EBs on sleep health)

And… she is Not done…because she knows there is more.

Today, she is one of the key pediatric airway speakers at the annual North American Dental Sleep Medicine Symposium. She continues to lecture across the country at local clubs and organizations raising awareness of this treatable and preventable epidemic. She also mentors others on this journey and helps guide dentists on their paths to bring this much-needed intervention into their dental practices. She juggles the roles of Mom, Dentist, Business Owner, and Pediatric Airway Warrior, sometimes dropping a ball as we all do, but picking it right back up and juggling away… because it’s important.

Knowing that she could only help so many dentists by herself, and with her limited time and energy, she teamed up with Michelle and Tracey.

Dr. Michelle Weddle

Looking back on it, Michelle now realizes that her journey in airway actually started during her childhood. She was constantly sick with sore throats and ear infections. Her mother, also a dentist, tells her stories about how difficult it was for her to go to sleep and stay asleep. During her teenage years, she struggled with daily headaches and issues sleeping.

When she had children of her own she experienced what her mother must have gone through. Michelle’s son would also wake up numerous times in the middle of the night. By this time, she had taken several adult dental sleep medicine courses and had identified that her parents, including mom the dentist, had sleep apnea. She had seen firsthand the genetic tendency of airway issues, recognized the manifestation in her family, and started seeing the same things in her patients.

She also knew first-hand how much health and quality of life can be improved when these issues are addressed.

She has always been fascinated by the interconnections between medicine and dentistry and has spent her entire career seeking knowledge in these areas. Driven by the need to find answers for her own parents, children, and herself she spent the last 13 years studying dental sleep medicine, orthodontics, TMJ disorders, craniofacial pain, and other airway-related topics, applying what she has learned not only to help her family but also her patients.

Michelle is a passionate teacher, honoring her many mentors by sharing knowledge just as they have shared with her. She has presented to study clubs, associations, dentists, physicians, auxiliaries, and the general public. She is a believer in collaborative care and is a member of the GOTHAM Collaborative (Growth Airway TMJ Health and Airway Management), which brings together dentists, physicians, therapists, and other auxiliaries in order to help people. In addition to clinical training, Michelle is a big believer in business systems and business coaching. As such, she tries to study best practices in order to focus and constantly improve her own practice’s business approach.

Her airway journey has included:

  • Earning board certification (Diplomate) in dental sleep medicine from the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
  • Straightwire, clear aligner, functional and interceptive orthodontics, Growth appliance, and Controlled Arch
  • Trained in myofunctional therapy and various appliance systems that aid in myofunctional therapy
    Courses at Dawson, Pankey, Kois, and Spear. Airway Prosthodontics mentor at Spear.
  • Member of AADSM, AACP, IAO
  • Founding member of Spencer Study Club, Member of Spencer Study Club Business Elite
  • Sleep hygiene, mindfulness, and other practices that could improve sleep quality and enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
  • The effect of lifestyle changes including nutrition, diet, and exercise in order to improve airway function.

Dr. Tracey Nguyen

Dr. Tracey Nguyen maintains a private practice 30 minutes outside of Washington, DC in Northern Virginia. In 2015, she was accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.  In 2016, she was honored with Top 25 Women in Dentistry by Dental Products Magazine.  Also in 2016, she finished her graduate training at the prestigious Kois Center in Seattle, Washington.

She is one of the key opinion leaders in the Wellness Dentistry Network.  This organization was founded by Dr. Doug Thompson. The focus of this organization is to merge the gaps between medicine and dentistry and understand the oral systemic connection.

After attending one of Dr. Jeff Rouse courses, she became increasingly interested in dentistry’s role in managing patients with dental malocclusions that are comorbid with airway and sleep issues.  As a visiting faculty mentor at Spear Education, she frequently mentors the Airway Workshop by Dr. Jeff Rouse. 

In 2016, she developed the Sleep and Airway Group, a local interdisciplinary group of doctors of various specialities. Her passion to create an awareness of the dental intervention strategies available to her peers and to her community.  

In 2020, she co-founded ASAP, Airway, Sleep and Pediatric Pathway.  ASAP is an online mini-residency for pediatric dental sleep medicine.

It is no secret that she has an exceptional breadth of knowledge of Pediatric Airway Management. In 2021, she was honored as the Scientific Advisor for the prestigious advanced dental education center, the Kois Center. 

Her social media platform brings clinicians all over the world together for a common cause.  Her mission is to develop a better understanding for the complexities of the disease and bring like minded professions together to co-diagnose and treat.