LIFE SAVING HELP NEEDED

One of our own is in need of a kidney transplant. Gail Weisberg has contributed and volunteered for countless dental projects throughout her varied career. In 2014 she was awarded the Sunstar Distinguished Hygiene Award. She joined 106 nationally recognized winners, as well as being the Esther Wilkins Alumni Award recipient in 2013. These awards brought attention to her full time dental clinic in Honduras, dentures for veterans, and work with the elderly. She always thinks of others first, but now needs our help.

To lessen dialysis time and a better long term survival rate, she is searching for a live kidney donor. She is on the transplant list, but it would be a wait of 2-4 years and 80,000 people are waiting.

The first step is easy. Go on the website www.MGHLivingDonors.org to fill out a health questionnaire. Gail needs 20 people to fill out this survey. It is confidential and the Mass General donor team will pick the best 2 for Gail’s match. It takes 20 minutes and put Gail Weisberg as the recipient with 2-10-54 as a birth date. Potential donors ages 20-75 are welcome. 

Gail has met other hygienists and dentists that have been living donors to strangers. She is very encouraged by their sacrifice and acts of kindness.

Help Gail keep going forward with all her caring work and her giving back to those in need. Are you willing to be the ANGEL she needs?

If you would like to reach out to Gail, email her at [email protected], or call 401 368-2428. She is doing well and would love to hear from you!

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for Gail as well. If you aren’t able to give a kidney you might want to show your support and show Gail you care.

MDHA’s “News Bites” MDHA President Pamela LaCerte visits Southeastern Component

President Pamela LaCerte and Dr. Grayzell

President LaCerte visited Southeastern Component for their 10th Annual Fall Meeting at McGovern’s On The Water in Fall River.

Speakers included Dr. David Cabeceira’s “Ortho and Direct Patient Aligners,” Tara L. Menard, RDH “What’s Next After Hygiene,” Dr. April LaVoie “Vaping: Defogging The Myths,” and Dr. Eva Grayzell “Beating the Odds: A Story NOT SILENCED by Stage IV Oral Cancer”.

Dr. Grayzell inspired the attendees with her personal story about her Stage IV Oral cancer.

Pictured left to right: President LaCerte, Dr. Grayzell

MDHA’s “News Bites” Meet your 2019 – 2020 Officers

MDHA Officers 2019-2020

Congratulations to the newly installed  2019 – 2020 Officers of MDHA

Front Row from left to right: Jennifer Singel (Secretary), Pamela LaCerte (President), Virginia Heroux (President Elect), Julie Cady (Treasurer), Sarah Crow (Vice President).

Back Row from left to right: Katherine Soal (Immediate Past President), Amanda Berthiaume (Delegate), Paula Morrison (Assistant Secretary), Katherine Pelullo (Speaker of the House), Ashley LaVallee (Assistant Treasurer).

MDHA LOBBY DAY 2020

Massachusetts Presents Dental Hygiene Day at the State House

Please join us and have your voice heard in support of dental hygiene

Tuesday February 25, 2020

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

This year’s event will be held in the Great Hall behind the grand staircase

Please join us for another exciting day on Beacon Hill to promote the profession of dental hygiene and advance MDHA’s legislative agenda at the State House.  Our day on Beacon Hill is an opportunity for our lawmakers to hear from you, their constituents, about how our profession can help to improve access to oral health care for all residents of our state.  

To register E-mail your name and home address

so that we can properly identify your state senator and state representative to: [email protected] by February 18, 2020

PLEASE MARK SUBJECT AS LOBBY DAY

MDHA’s “News Bites” Hope and Comfort

Thank you to all who helped Hygienists For Humanity make a generous donation of over 200 oral hygiene products and other necessities that were sorted and packed @hopeandcomfort. All 200 kits were be distributed to the greater Boston area low-income youth and young adults. They also had a chance to get crafty, as the kits are distributed, a ‘well-wish card’ was also given to the recipient- this gave us all the warm and fuzzy’s. The best part was President of Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association (MDHA) Kate Soal, Mentor Liaison Kate Machado, Northshore Chair MaryEllen Widberg, Research & Education Chair Amanda Berthiaume and her daughter for all being present helping to forge a lasting relationship between MDHA and Hope And Comfort. We couldn’t be more proud, as we are a catalyst for oral health professionals to have an outlet to give back. Special thank you to our #Angel @kaitlyn_hope2 for all her effort in executing this mission 💕#WeFlyHigherTogether#DoingAngelsWork

MDHA Legislative Update

Regulation and Practice Chair Katherine Pelullo (front and center) has been very busy providing testimony on behalf of MDHA before The Joint Committee on Public Health on Beacon Hill. Katherine has provided testimony for three of our legislative initiatives:

A Hearing for “An Act To Improve Oral Health For All Massachusetts Residents” (Dental Therapy) was held on May 7.

While hearings for “An Act Relative to Dental Hygienists” (Nitrous Oxide); and

“An Act Relative to the Sustainability of Public Health Dental Hygienists Through Adequate Reimbursements” (Third Party Insurance) were held on May 28.

Thank you Katherine for your time spent on these very important bills. Please feel free to contact Katherine Pelullo, RDH, MEd, CRP Chair, for clarification/questions/comments.  Her email address is [email protected]

MDHA’s “News Bites” Hope and Comfort

Hope and Comfort’s vision is that one day everyone living in the US will have access to essential hygiene products to feel clean, confident, and healthy.

Hope and Comfort realizes that many people do not have the needed daily personal care items or have to share products among families.  They create personal hygiene kits for individuals (elementary school to college aged) to help fight against hygiene insecurity in the Greater Boston area (and growing).

Hope and Comfort recently set a date for an event in July at Hope & Comfort’s warehouse where we will be sorting and packing up the collected/donated supplies into these kits. They are in need of personal care products (possibly full sized, not travel size) such as shampoo, deodorant, soaps, etc) and or oral hygiene supplies (like toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, mouthwashes, etc).

Hope and Comfort reports that the most needed products are sulfate free shampoo, unisex deodorant, and full sized toothpastes. 

Hope and Comfort is partnering with Hygienists For Humanity #DoingAngelsWorkBoston and THEY NEED YOUR HELP! 

Event details:

#DoingAngelsWorkBoston

SAT. July 27, 2019

TIME: TBD 

Hope & Comfort Warehouse 

659 highland Ave 

Needham ma, 02494 FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER CLICK HERE

A Dedicated Member of ADHA

It is with great sorrow that The Worcester Component shares the loss of our colleague and friend Denise Pappas. Denise was proud to be a Dental Hygienist and a Dedicated Member of ADHA and the Worcester Component. Her friendly face will be missed by all who knew her. Thank you Denise for all you did for our profession Read more

Lobby Day 2019

The Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association had a very successful Lobby Day held on Tuesday, February 26 at The State House in Boston.

There were 246 people registered, including representation from all eight Dental Hygiene Schools in the Commonwealth. There was an exciting panel of speakers and of course opportunities to speak with state senators and state representatives leaving them with information about our Legislative Priorities. Our voices were definitely heard!

Four bills were filed on behalf of MDHA.  They are as follows: 

“An Act To Improve Oral Health For All Massachusetts Residents” (Dental Therapy);

“An Act Relative to Dental Hygienists” (Nitrous Oxide);

“An Act Relative to the Collaborative Agreement of a Public Health Dental Hygienist” (Dental Malpractice Insurance Prohibition); and

“An Act Relative to the Sustainability of Public Health Dental Hygienists Through Adequate Reimbursements” (Third Party Insurance)

Please feel free to contact Katherine Pelullo, RDH, MEd, CRP Chair, for clarification/questions/comments.  Her email address is [email protected]

Featured Picture Bristol Community College Students & Faculty with MDHA President Kate Soal

MDHA LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP 2017-2018

The Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association undertook a robust legislative agenda during the 2017-2018 legislative session that concluded on January 1st, 2019.

Five bills were filed on behalf of MDHA.  They were as follows: 

“An Act Authorizing Dental Therapists to Expand Access to Oral Health” (Dental Therapy);

“An Act Relative to Dental Hygienists” (Nitrous Oxide);

“An Act Relative to the Collaborative Agreement of a Public Health Dental Hygienist” (Dental Malpractice Insurance Prohibition);

“An Act Relative to the Sustainability of Public Health Dental Hygienists Through Adequate Reimbursements” (Third Party Insurance); and

“An Act Relative to Oral Health Access for MassHealth Patients” (MassHealth Mandate).

All bills were assigned to specific committees based on their content area.  MDHA provided oral and written testimony in support of their legislative initiatives during the respective committee hearings.  MDHA was successful in having most of its bills reported favorably from their initial committee assignments which allowed them to continue along the legislative process.  Unfortunately, all MDHA bills were sent to study or died in committee prior to the end of the formal legislative session on July 31st, 2018.  The exception was the Dental Therapy bill which remained under consideration through the informal session.  No further action was taken on the Dental Therapy bill during the informal session; therefore, the Dental Therapy bill died in the Ways and Means Committee when the legislative session officially concluded on January 1st, 2019.

The new legislative session commenced on January 2nd, 2019.  All new bills must be filed/refiled by January 18th, 2019.  MDHA intends to refile all bills from the previous legislative session except “An Act Relative to Oral Health Access for MassHealth Patients” (MassHealth Mandate).

Below is the chronology relative to the Dental Therapy bill from the 2017-2018 legislative session.   

DENTAL THERAPY UPDATE

H2474/S1169 “An Act Authorizing Dental Therapists to Expand Access to Oral Health” was introduced for the 2017-2018 legislative session by Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler and Representatives Smitty Pignatelli and Kate Hogan.  The profession’s name was changed from Dental Hygiene Practitioner to Dental Therapist to be consistent with the CODA Accreditation Standards for this new profession.  The bill was referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health and heard at the Committee’s public hearing on September 12th, 2017.  MDHA provided oral and written testimony in support of the bill at the hearing.  H2474 was reported out favorably from the Joint Committee on Public Health on April 24th, 2018 and referred to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing following private negotiations with the Massachusetts Dental Society from which MDHA was excluded participation.  At that point the bill was renumbered and retitled to H4454 “An Act to improve oral health for all Massachusetts residents”.  It was reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing on June 1st, 2018 and referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.  Separately, language creating Dental Therapy in Massachusetts had also been included in the Senate Comprehensive Cost Containment and Reform bill.  In the final weeks of the legislative session, the House leadership decided to include language creating Dental Therapy in the Comprehensive Health Care Reform legislation that was being debated in the Joint Conference Committee.  The formal session concluded on July 31st without the conference committee reaching agreement on the Comprehensive Health Care Reform legislation.  While the bill sponsors expressed interest in passing the bill during the informal session, the Dental Therapy bill died in the Ways and Means Committee when the 2017-2018 legislative session officially concluded on January 1st, 2019. 

Please feel free to contact Katherine Pelullo, RDH, MEd, CRP Chair, for clarification/questions/comments.  Her email address is [email protected]