MDHA News “Bites”

In October MDHA held their annual event in honor of Dental Hygiene Month. A visit to The Museum of Russian Icons, a non-profit museum located in Clinton. We were able to view the collection of over 700 Icons and related artifacts, a private collection. All attendees were greeted by our Event Coordinator Mary Kellerman. The day started with a guided tour, and of course ended with a fabulous lunch!

In November Mount Wachusett Community College hosted a Student Research Event. Students shared their research results on current trends in dentistry and oral health. The students did an excellent job, and it was a nice evening, I would encourage everyone to attend this event in the future.

The holidays came and went more quickly than ever and then there was YANKEE! . Many of us attended Yankee, starting with the Awards Ceremony on Wednesday Evening. Awards were presented to Jacklyn Ventura for “2017 Dental Hygienist of The Year” and E Jane Crocker for “2017 Auxiliary Volunteer.” Congratulations to them both, job well done.

On Friday evening we honored President Paula Morrison at the Presidents Reception with some excellent food and time to visit with our colleagues. Ann-Marie DePalma was the recipient of the Esther Wilkins Distinguished Alumni Award from Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene at MCPHS – Congratulations to Ann-Marie.

A shout out to Mount Wachusett Community College for hosting the MDHA Student Meeting. President Paula Morrison presented three (3) Students with MDHA Academic Scholarship. Congratulations to Amanda Baganha, Bristol Community College; Kaitlyn Machado, Bristol Community College; and Trisha Chenevert from Springfield Technical Community College – best wishes as you continue on with your studies. Special guest speaker at the Student Meeting was ADHA CEO Ann Batrell, thank you Ann for sharing your success with our students, what an inspiration.

Saturday at our annual MDHA Luncheon, Amy Booth CDA, RDH, MEd presented “Living with Diabetes.” Thank you Amy for an excellent overview.

Thank you to everyone who helped at the MDHA Hygienist’s Lounge we couldn’t do it without you.

As the days continue to get longer and the weather gets warmer, we hope to see you all at Lobby Day on February 28 – this is a time for your voice to be heard at the State House. CHECK OUT PHOTOS FROM ALL EVENTS IN THE MDHA PHOTO GALLERY

“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that MDHA announces that Dr. Esther Wilkins passed away on the evening of December 12, only 3 days after her 100th birthday.  The ADHA will be passing on more information as it becomes available. Please join us in sending thoughts and prayers to Dr. Wilkins family”

Happy 100th Birthday Dr. Esther Wilkins!

MDHA President Paula Morrison and Immediate Past President E Jane Crocker had the pleasure of presenting a small token of appreciation to Dr. Wilkins at the Annual Esther Wilkins Symposium – MCPHS University.
Happy 100TH Birthday Dr. Wilkins, thank you for all that you have done for the profession of Dental Hygiene!
CELEBRATE!

MDHA’s News “Bites”

It is hard to believe The Conference 2016 “Embracing the Challenge” has passed, Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are quickly moving towards 2017. This years Conference offered Continuing Educations opportunities, Exhibitors, and time to mingle with friends and colleagues. Many thanks to our Conference Chair Sandra Nicholas, Business Manager Ruthann Zamarro and their Committee, our Sponsors, Exhibitors, Speakers, Volunteers and all who attended for making the 2016 conference a SUCCESS! No one could say it as well as Kathleen Harmon (above) from West Barnstable when she asked: “Why would anyone want to go to Yankee when you can attend the MDHA Conference?”
We once again held a great basket raffle, and collected gently used handbags for Dress For Success, Boston – for every bag donated, you received a chance to win a new bag. We collected 80 gently used handbags and the winner of the new bag was Colleen McKeon. Thanks everyone for donating to this wonderful organization, and once again thank you to Mary Kellerman for delivering the handbags.
On Saturday evening we honored our President Paula Morrison at the Presidents Reception. Thank you Sarah Crow for presenting a special gift to Paula! The event included a very successful auction conducted by our Vice President Kate Soal aka Auctioneer Extraordinaire for an autographed copy of the 12th Edition of Dr. Esther Wilkins “Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienists.” Thank you to Elizabeth Edwards, Publisher’s Representative from Wolters Kluwer for the very generous donation, and to Patricia Cohen for getting this great book autographed.
Awards were presented to: The Constituent Hygienists of the Year – E. Jane Crocker RDH. E. Jane Crocker earned her Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene in 2006 from Quinsigamond Community College, where she also earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. As a student and professional she has been actively involved in ADHA at a component, state and national level, serving in many capacities. She currently is the Immediate Past President of MDHA, and current Chair for the Worcester Component. Jane is passionate for her profession and not only wants to teach her patients about optimal oral health, but is eager to discuss the advancement of this great profession. She works in both private practice and public health. Jane is an advocate for Community Water Fluoridation and is an elected official on the Templeton Board of Health, serving her second 3 year term, as well as an elected Committee Member of BOHMAC. Throughout her tenure she has served with enthusiasm, and feels fortunate to be in such a wonderful profession where the rewards are great. Jane enjoys spending time with her family and most especially with her husband Tom!
The Worcester Component Hygienists of the Year – Carolyn Wehler, RDH, MPH Carolyn Wehler started her dental hygiene career after graduating from the University of Vermont in 1988 with an Associate of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene. She worked in private practice in the state of Vermont and later returned to the University to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development/Family Studies. While there, she was awarded membership in the Mortar Board National Honor Society. Having begun her ADHA service as a member of the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Carolyn continued to be an active member of the Vermont Dental Hygienists’ Association, serving as its Treasurer for 4 years and then Vice President, President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President. She was instrumental in Vermont’s passage of legislation allowing dental hygienists to administer local anesthesia in 1993, making Vermont the first state east of the Mississippi River to do so. Soon after moving to Massachusetts in late 1995, she became Editor of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association newsletter. She has attended ADHA Annual Session as a Delegate or Alternate Delegate on eight separate occasions for both Vermont and Massachusetts. She has served as the liaison to several committees for MDHA, chaired and served on Councils for MDHA, and served on Councils for ADHA, including chairing the Council on Regulation and Practice from 2005-2006. She has served as a Delegate to the MDHA House of Delegates for both the Middlesex and Worcester Components. Carolyn has worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, MA since 1996 as well as the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, where she was later appointed to the faculty. She completed her Master’s Degree in Public Health at Boston University in 2001 and continues to work on research projects conducted at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Her research work for these two institutions has been diverse, including studies on the use of fluoride in adults, oral health-related quality of life and the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes. Other non-research projects have included developing individualized risk assessments for oral disease and a standardized training protocol for oral health screeners in the Special Olympics Special Smiles program. She has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as presented research findings at national and international conferences. In 2006 she was awarded the Constituent Outstanding Dental Hygienist of the Year Award from MDHA. Her passion for political action was ignited in 2005 when MDHA began to pursue the Public Health Dental Hygienist designation in the Massachusetts legislature. Working with Katherine Pelullo, Lynn Bethel and the governmental affairs consultants at Charles Group Consulting, including Charles Glick and Erin McAleer, Carolyn spent many hours writing documentation, attending meetings with legislators, and brainstorming political strategy. The passage of that legislation and its subsequent success in increasing access to dental care in Massachusetts has further fueled her interest in dental hygiene legislation. She has remained an active Council member ever since and thoroughly enjoys advancing the profession of dental hygiene through legislative and regulatory means. Carolyn wishes to thank her family – Adam, Alanna, Zachary, and Thea – for their love and support throughout her career. They have never hesitated to pick up the slack at home while she pursued professional interests. This journey wouldn’t have been the same without them.
Congratulations to the Students who were recognized for their dedication to their Schools Student Chapter of MDHA – we hope that you continue to stay involved with MDHA after your graduation and convert your membership to professional. MCPHS University, Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene – Cheryl Wholley, Charles O’Donnell. Quinsigamond Community College – Catalina Fajardo, Jessica Soto. Cape Cod Community College – Erin Gillis, William Mulligan. Mount Wachusett Community College – Leah Trudeau, Christina Knox. Mount Ida College – Elise Feldman, Michaela Chenevert.
Special recognition was given to Mary Kellerman as she celebrates 50 years in this wonderful profession of Dental Hygiene. Mary is the epitome of what we should all strive for. Thank you Mary.
The evening ended with the group singing Happy Birthday to Dr. Esther Wilkins – she was unable to attend but this greeting will be sent to her on her 100th birthday on December 9. We were very sorry that Dr. Wilkins couldn’t attend this celebration nonetheless we all enjoyed her beautiful cake!!!
The weekend ended with our Annual House of Delegates Meeting and Elections for Delegate and Alternate Delegates to ADHA Annual Session. Congratulations to all! See more pictures in our MDHA Photo Gallery

MDHA’s News “Bites”

Each year 2 student scholarships are awarded to ADHA Annual Session. The recipients for the 2016 award were Sara Jones (front right) from Mt. Ida College and Vanessa Powers (top left) from Cape Cod Community College. It was a pleasure to have them attend and would like to share their stories…

Sara Jones (front right)

Seeing myself on the latest cover of Access magazine (along with about 100 others)! is a nice reminder of the time I spent at the Annual Session with fellow District #1 students and now colleagues.  Attending the ADHA conference in Pittsburgh was an awesome personal and professional experience.  I had so much fun getting to know others and learning how bi-laws and decisions are made.  The introduction to new products designed to benefit both our ergonomic health and patient oral health was fun!  I was also able to participate in the first annual 5K road race – my time wasn’t that great but it was for a great cause!

Thanks again MDHA for the opportunity to attend the conference with you.  It was truly the icing on the cake following graduation.  I’m so happy to have met so many great people and look forward to continuing to work with you to promote the values of and benefits of MDHA membership.

Vanessa Powers (top left)

It was truly an honor to attend the 93rd ADHA Annual Session with MDHA. The city of Pittsburgh and all of its bridges was the perfect backdrop for starting the transition from student to professional member. The week was filled with equal amounts of teambuilding, networking, and fun.

Crest and Oral-B hosted an excellent session for Emerging Professionals. We heard from a panel of Dental Professionals from all walks of life and were able to ask questions about their experiences. For the second year in a row the District 1 Students took home 1st place in “Are You Smarter than Esther Wilkins?” trivia hosted by Hu-Friedy.  What started as a few strangers sitting around a table, ended up as a victorious group of future hygienists excited to accomplish a goal together.  The fun extended into the night as we danced the night away and mingled with fellow District 1 attendees at the President’s Reception.

From start to finish one thing was clear, there is so much love and dedication to the profession of Dental Hygiene across the country. Being able to attend an Annual Session is a perfect opportunity to experience it all first hand.

 

Save The Date: Lobby Day 2017

Massachusetts Presents Dental Hygiene Day at the State House Please join us and have your voice heard in support of dental hygiene
Tuesday February 28, 2017 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
To register E-mail your name and home address so that we can properly identify
your state senator and state representative to: E. Jane Crocker at ejcrocker17@gmail.com by February 20, 2017
PLEASE MARK SUBJECT AS LOBBY DAY

A Message From Your President

Reflecting on this past year serving as your President and what we’ve been able to accomplish together, but also where we are going and what we plan to accomplish in this next year. It has been a busy year and it did go by rather quickly. I have learned a lot and am looking forward to our continued growth and change.

Last year I spoke about change, challenge and commitment. This year, I remain committed to that same theme and challenge – as I believe this is necessary to keep our association growing and to further our mission so that we can continue to be current, relevant and progressive.

I am happy with the direction in which we are moving and coming together with the changes in our component restructuring. This change is one example of us moving forward in a new positive direction as we align with the ADHA. We will continue this movement under the advisement of the ADHA and look forward to additional change as we wait to learn about the future of our new governance design.

Another change I am very proud of is the new State Liaison group which is off to a great start, and I look forward to an increase in membership through this new group.

I have selected a combination of students who have either graduated within the past couple of years or who have just graduated this past year. All of these recent graduates have formed a team to represent each Dental Hygiene School in Massachusetts. Every school will be represented by either 1, 2, 3, or even as many as 4 liaisons. We have a total of 21 members of this liaison group including myself!

The idea is to tie back recent graduates to the school that they graduated from and to build relationships with the student advisors at the schools and directly with the students. They will focus on developing relationships with the student leaders of each class so that the students will have a name or a contact to the MDHA and a familiar face they will know upon graduation, this relationship will help open the lines of communication and give students the opportunity to know what their next step is in getting involved and belonging to their professional association.

This leadership team will visit each school 3 times a year with a specific focus on each visit. Having these mentor visits 3 times will surely create a familiarity and give the students an opportunity to know what’s next after graduation.

Each visit will include a brief power point presentation with topics such as, how we work together for our chosen profession, what award opportunities are available, reminders about Lobby Day and how to transition a student membership to an RDH member. They will also speak about relationship building, networking and having their voice heard. A key piece to the liaison program is for the team to instill the value of membership to the students. Students will know and understand what their association does for them and what they can do for the association.

Last year I spoke about having an idea to develop a program to assist those who want to do more or get involved but may not know how to do that, I feel that the state liaison group will not only help the students become involved but though the liaisons involvement, they are actively involving themselves.

I look forward to measureable growth as a result of this program, my goal is to build a program which will create a snowball effect by getting others involved.

Our membership continues to be our greatest challenge but I am confident that our new State Liaison program will help build and increase not only member numbers but also, member involvement.

Again this year, we will move forward with our legislative initiatives and work diligently to see the Dental Hygiene Practitioner become a reality. We are grateful to have such a dedicated and committed legislative team, this team along with all of you can help create more opportunity and growth for our profession. Commitment to these initiatives is evident by the support and passion that we all display for our profession.

I look forward to working with all of you and serving again as your President and look forward to another great year!

As always, I challenge you to continue to ask and invite other dental hygienist to come to a meeting or to get involved, together we are stronger and together we are better.

Thank you again for this opportunity.

Paula Morrison

Grant from UMass Medical School helped establish the effort

Worcester, Mass. — Carol Gilmore had been a dental hygienist for about 10 years when the Halifax resident heard about a new program designed to allow experienced dental hygienists to practice independently in the community.

After changes in Massachusetts law in 2009 and the adoption of new rules in 2010, the Public Health Dental  Hygienists Program began operating in 2011 as a demonstration project through a grant from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).

The purpose of the program is to allow hygienists who meet certain standards to operate independently, in public health settings outside of dental offices. The goal is to increase access to basic dental care in the Commonwealth, particularly among residents at highest risk for dental diseases, such as low-income children, seniors and the developmentally disabled.

“I became a dental hygienist because I wanted a career where I could make a difference,” said Ms. Gilmore.  “This new program allowed me to make a bigger difference in my community, and it helped me take my career to a whole new level.”

Increasing access to dental care

According to a 2010 report, The Health of Massachusetts, dental decay is the most common chronic disease among children, occurring at five times the rate of asthma. Another statewide survey reported that 59 percent of seniors living in long-term care facilities have untreated tooth decay.

While dental disease can be a problem for anyone, it disproportionately affects people of color and low-income groups. To address these findings and other dental disparities, public health dental hygienists perform their work in communities where access to care may be limited, either because of a lack of services or because of other barriers, such as low rates of dental insurance.

In settings such as schools, nursing homes, Head Start programs, and residences of the homebound, public health dental hygienists provide preventive dental care to both children and adults.  And their efforts are making an impact. During its first full year, the program served approximately 2,700 Massachusetts residents. In 2012, the number of people who received care topped 6,900 — an increase of 155 percent.

Many of the patients served by public health dental hygienists have had limited access to dental care.  Some older patients had never visited a dentist.  When the program began in 2011, there were about 12 participating hygienists. Now, there are approximately 24 hygienists serving in every region of the state.

Ms. Gilmore and her practice partner, Liz Chouinard, were among the first group of dental hygienists in the state to be certified for the program. Together, they provide basic examinations, cleanings and other preventive services for patients at community locations throughout the Brockton area. For their pediatric patients, the hygienists also provide important education for both children and their parents, and they often help parents find a dental home for their children with a dentist in the area.

“These dental hygienists perform such an important health service,” said Dr. Brent Martin, of UMMS, and dental director for MassHealth, the Medicaid agency for Massachusetts. “They have proven that this program can assist patients, young and old, in getting the dental health care that they need, which is so important for good health. In addition, they also act as important bridges for continuing care and often refer patients to dentists in the area for ongoing services.”

For more information on the Public Health Dental Hygienist Program and how hygienists can participate, visit tinyurl.com/PHDental

About the University of Massachusetts Medical School

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest-growing academic health sciences centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $255 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The mission of the Medical School is to advance the health and well-being of the people of Massachusetts and the world, through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery. Commonwealth Medicine, the Medical School’s health care consulting and operations division, provides a wide range of care management and consulting services to government agencies and health care organizations. For more information, visit commend.umassmed.edu

Contact: Tom Lyons
508.856.2115

This bill increases the number of dental Hygienists on the Board of Registration in Dentistry(BORID) from 1 to 2, more adequately representing the current number of practicing dental hygienists in Massachusetts.  This is an historic moment- It is the first time a dental hygienist has been added to the Board since 1977, when the first hygienist was included as a Board member.  As you know, we have been advocating for the passage of this bill throughout the session and are thrilled that we were able to see it passed before the end of the legislative session in December.

Many members of MDHA wrote letters and made calls urging for this bill’s passage and we are very thankful to you for your time and efforts.  This type of grassroots advocacy does so much to advance the dental profession and is listened to closely by out legislators.  Thank you!

At this time, we want to make sure that we thank those policy makers who were influential in getting us to this point.  Please find below the contact information for Governor Patrick’s office, as well as the offices of Rep. Smitty Pignatelli and Sen. Harriette Chandler, who were both instrumental in shepherding this bill through the legislature.  Please take a moment to contact these offices and thank them for all of their hard work and their continued support of MDHA and the dental hygiene profession.

The Honorable Deval Patrick
Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor, Room 280
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617.725.4005
Email: Constituent.services@state.ma.us

Representative Smitty Pignatelli
State House, Room 448
Boston, MA 02133
617-722-2582
Smitty.Pignatelli@mahouse.gov

Senator Harriette Chandler
State House, Room 312D
Boston, MA 02133