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