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]

MDHA’s News “Bites” President Soal visits MWCC

Recently President Kate Soal visited the Dental Hygiene Students at Mount Wachusett Community College.

STUDENTS ARE OUR FUTURE and President Soal encouraged them to be involved with their professional association during school and after graduation.

As a professional member, you have access to:

  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Online Career Center & Employment Resources
  • Discounts on Professional and Personal services nationwide
  • CE Programming
  • Research grants, fellowships, community service grants and educational scholarships

MDHA’s “News Bites” Meet your 2018 – 2019 Officers

Congratulations to the newly installed  2018 – 2019 Officers of MDHA

from left to right:  Amanda Berthiaume (Alternate Delegate), Catalina Fajardo (Alternate Delegate), E Jane Crocker (Assistant Treasurer),  Lisa LaSpina (Immediate Past President), Katherine Pelullo (Speaker of the House),  Pamela LaCerte (President Elect),  Sarah Crow (Delegate), Katherine Soal (President),  Vanessa Powers (Delegate), Robin Murch (Alternate Delegate), Jennifer Singel (Secretary), Ashley LaVallee (Assistant Secretary), Virginia Heroux (Vice President), Gita Jozsef (Treasurer)

Legislative Update

Friends and colleagues:

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

LEGISLATIVE PROCESS BACKGROUND

The Massachusetts legislature conducts its business on a two-year cycle.  Bills for the current session, which concludes on January 2nd, 2019, were filed in January 2017.  Each bill is assigned a number and subsequently referred to a committee.  Most healthcare bills are referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health.  The individual committees hold public hearings for interested parties to submit both oral and written testimony; thereafter, the committee meets in executive session and votes whether to report the bills out favorably.  Bills reported out favorably are referred to a second committee and continue along the legislative process.  Bills not reported out favorably by the assigned date are sent to study, which means they will not be considered for the remainder of that legislative session.  Most bills are assigned to/voted upon by three committees prior to being brought to the floor for a vote by the entire legislative branch.  Bills approved by one legislative branch are then sent to the other branch for a vote.  Following passage by both branches, bills are sent to the governor for his signature.  July 31st of the second year concludes the formal legislative session; thereafter, the legislature meets in informal session until the legislative session concludes.  Formal votes do not occur during informal sessions so that a bill brought to the floor for consideration will immediately fail if one legislator states that he/she is opposed to the bill.  Therefore, bills deemed controversial are generally given top priority to maximize their opportunity of passage during the formal 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.  Currently, there is interest among the Dental Therapy stand alone bill’s sponsors to move the bill forward during the informal session that concludes on January 2nd, 2019.  Please feel free to contact Katherine Pelullo, CRP Chair, for clarification/questions/comments.  Her email address is [email protected]

All the best,

Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association

Council on Regulations & Practice

Katherine Pelullo RDH MEd Chair

Carolyn Wehler RDH MPH

E Jane Crocker RDH

Holly Arcadipane RDH BSDH, MS

The Perspective of Two New Graduates Attending ADHA Annual Session

Each year MDHA gives the opportunity to two new graduates to attend ADHA Annual Session – please meet Julia Lavigne (right) and Julie Cady (left).

Julie Lavigne: “I was so happy when I was chosen to attend the annual session. Being a recent graduate I was so excited to meet my new colleagues from around the country and learn more about what I can do to be an active member of the ADHA community. It was amazing to see how excited others were to still be practicing in the field after 20-30 years. Hearing everyone’s success story and what dental hygiene has meant and done for them was one of my favorite parts.  I then had the opportunity to sit in on the district meetings and see my colleagues speak up for things they believe in. Everyone’s voice was heard and I loved being a part of it. I can’t wait to attend next years annual session with my colleagues and to continue to be an active member of the ADHA. Thank you MDHA for this opportunity!”

Julie Cady: “I had the absolute best pleasure to attend the Annual Session this year as a student delegate. I was one of the two students that were chosen to attend as a recent graduate. What I expected to gain from attending ADHA’s 95th Annual Session was to be able to participate and experience what the ADHA was working for. I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. I wanted to experience firsthand without the words and visions of others.

And all I can say is “WOW”!! This experience exceeded my expectations! I am truly grateful for the opportunity. I now understand why all members absolutely LOVE attending the Annual Session.

My first day there I attended the 5k walk/run. It was a great event to kick-off for all the fun activities for the rest of the week. Not to mention, it was my first 5k race and I had the honor of walking it with my very own professor who I admire and adore so much! After the race, I attended the After-Glow party. I networked with fellow colleagues and gained knowledge from other individuals who are practicing in the dental hygiene line of work. Any person I spoke with was very welcoming, inviting and excited to see a student delegate. I attended workshops and classes where I earned CEU credits. I attended the exhibition floor where I spoke to representatives of each company about their products. Even though I was a student delegate, they treated me with respect and took the time to explain what each product was all about. (I needed a second suitcase to fit all the products I received from the venues.) I attended the President’s Dinner which was a lovely event with our President of the ADHA. I never thought I would be dancing right next to the President of the association. I attended the House of Delegate meetings. I observed how each topic was discussed and how laws and/or issues are passed or rejected. I found these meetings very impactful. If you are truly passionate about certain topics, this is where your voice is heard. It is not every day I am able to get an opportunity like this. I felt this experience was very inspiring. I see the value in my membership and what the association is doing to keep our profession growing. I plan to stay present and continue to support in any way that I can. In fact, I made a pact with a fellow classmate that we must attend the annual session every year. I am honored and extremely grateful for the opportunity. I cannot thank MDHA enough for what they did for me.”