MDHA’s News “Bites”

Congratulations to Gail Weisberg and Project Stretch! In August of this year Project Stretch opened a dental clinic in Honduras, and Gail was there for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Heartfelt thanks to Project Stretch and Gail for their commitment and dedication to the people of Honduras and their oral health.

MDHA’s News “Bites”

October was Dental Hygiene Month – Hu-Friedy celebrated the fifth anniversary of “SHOW US YOUR PURPLE” encouraging hygienists to post pictures of themselves dressed in purple on their website. “… the official color of dental hygiene is purple – a color said to represent compassion, purpose, and inspiration. Historically, purple has always been associated with pride and positions of power – making it an ideal color for the hygienist, who is at once empowered by their education and passion to improve the lives of patients while also proud of their career. The purple scrubs, surgical glasses, and headbands that are so popular with hygienists are not simply fun; their color represents the pride of a dedicated, connected group of allied health professionals.” (Hu-Friedy Blog)

MDHA celebrated Dental Hygiene month with a visit to The Cape Ann Museum, many thanks to Mary Kellerman and Janet Lamkin for arranging a fun filled day at the Museum and lunch at Passports in Gloucester. It was a beautiful fall day and a wonderful time to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. As the year continues please keep the words from Hu-Friedy close and continually be empowered by your education and passion to improve the lives of your patients – stay connected.

MDHA’s News “Bites”

Roads traveled with MDHA President Lisa LaSpina……

On Sunday, October 15th , the Southeastern Component had their yearly component event featuring various speakers. The enclosed picture shows Robin Chippa receiving an award for her dedication of thirty years as treasurer from the Southeastern Component’s officers.  Thank you for your service Robin!


MDHA makes channel 5 EyeOpener–Check out the video here!

The MDHA Council  Chair of Public Relations and the MDHA officers are pleased to announce that Channel Five (ABC) has released this video (see link below) in honor of the month of October being National Dental Hygiene Month.
At the MDHA  House of Delegates in September, the officers and members composed this video in honor of all hygienists in the Commonwealth. It was televised today, October 9th at 5:15 AM& 6:15 AM  during the EyeOpener show.
The direct link: 

Thank you Channel 5 for helping us to remind everyone to schedule an appointment with a Dental Hygienists!


Massachusetts Presents Dental Hygiene Day at the State House
Please join us and have your voice heard in support of dental hygiene

Tuesday February 27, 2018
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

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.

This event has been a great success in years past – don’t miss out on making this year’s event an even greater success! The day includes an exciting panel of speakers, and opportunities to speak with your individual legislators.

Light Breakfast and Registration – Grand Staircase
Welcoming Remarks
Keynote Speaker
Meetings with State Legislators/Oral Health Screenings

• One (1) Free Continuing Education Credit for attendance at presentations and participation.
• Complimentary Breakfast is provided
• Registration is free, register via e-mail to ensure your participation
• Be sure to contact your state senator and state representative and invite them to the Grand Staircase on February 27

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 [email protected] by February 20, 2018

A Message From Your President

It is a great honor to be incoming president of a thriving, professional association such as the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association. For 73 years, MDHA has been making an impact on the profession of dental hygiene for all hygienists practicing in the Commonwealth. Since 1944 when MDHA began with eleven hygienists, membership and partnerships have grown.

All changes and accomplishments have been driven by this mission statement created:  “to improve the public’s total health, and to advance the art and science of dental hygiene by ensuring access to quality oral health care, increasing awareness of the cost-effective benefits of prevention, promoting the highest standards of dental hygiene education, licensure, practice and research, and representing and promoting the interests of dental hygienists.”

Dental hygienists have brought MDHA ‘s mission statement to the forefront through legislation that includes the passage of the local anesthesia in 2005, the Omnibus Oral Health Act-Chapter 530 of the General Session Laws Public Health Dental Hygienist in 2008, increasing the number of registered dental hygienist on BORID from one to two in 2013. Dental hygienists in Massachusetts are proud to provide all residents quality oral health care as clinicians in private practice or in the field providing educational workshops in elementary and high schools, nursing homes, senior centers, & health fairs. Dental hygienists serve as educators and researchers paving the standards of quality for the future of dental hygiene. Dental hygienists in the corporate world continue to provide valuable insight with products. The common goal all dental hygienists’ role share is reflected in the mission statement. We continue to see these efforts today as MDHA continues to forge the profession forward by the current legislation for dental therapists, enabling hygienists to administer nitrous oxide and enabling hygienists to bill third party payors.

Throughout my thirty two years of practicing dental hygiene as a clinician and educator, I have seen so many accomplishments for the profession first hand through the dedication and passion of so many, especially by the hygienists present in this room. The quote by Sir Isaac Newton, “If I have seen a little further, it is standing on the shoulders of giants” reflects how MDHA has been formed and continues to thrive by hygienists mentoring others to move the profession forward. Through our professional association each and every dental hygienist in this room have devoted their time and provided input with one drive in mind – to improve and maintain the profession of dental hygiene. We all are united with this goal, which is driven by our passion/love for the dental hygiene profession.

I have been fortunate to have had enriching professional experiences such as attending unleashing your potential to build leadership skills, attending ADHA Annual Sessions and MDHA Board of Trustees meetings. Attendance at all these events has made me a stronger individual who is now able to lead our association with a true understanding of the importance of belonging to one’s professional association in an effort to lead the profession forward.

I have realized throughout all these years that an important element of a professional association is the CONNECTIONS that one makes. Connections can be a group of people, who together, establish and strive to achieve the same goals. As president I plan to work with all board members, committee members, dental hygienists, and stakeholders to continue to make improvements while developing strong working relationships. Every professional is enriched by sharing information with others. I encourage all hygienists to make connections to share information and expand their learning in their professional lives.

As president I will continue to bring forward our mission statement by working together to accomplish the goals of providing quality oral health care to the residents of Massachusetts while strengthen and enriching ones’ professional career.

So many exciting changes are occurring in our professional association. With the new MDHA governance evolving, I encourage hygienists to seek opportunities with a MDHA committee of interest or their components. Each MDHA committee will be involved in activities and value your suggestions. Components have restructured and would appreciate new ideas.

This is a time to make connections to form a strong link with all dental hygienists with a goal to build ones’ profession.

“Better Together”!

With grace and gratitude, I am excited to accept this position to be able to work with each and every hygienist in the Commonwealth to bring forth the goals to strengthen ones’ professional career and the dental hygiene profession.

Lisa LaSpina, RDH, MS

The Conference 2017– Better Together!

On behalf of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’
Association; WELCOME! We are delighted to invite you
to attend The Conference 2017, “BETTER TOGETHER”
the premiere MA dental hygiene event, being held
September 15th – September 17th at the Crowne Plaza
Hotel (“the Verve”) in Natick, MA. We have invited
Exhibitors on both Friday and Saturday to showcase
their services and products, allowing for 2 CEU’s for
Conference attendance. The following pages will
provide complete details on the meeting, along with
the many benefits you will receive. From enhancing
your professional skills, networking with colleagues and
relaxing with friends to viewing and sampling the latest
products from a multitude of exhibitors, this meeting is
a must attend event! Make sure to visit our sponsors to
discover the latest products and have them stamp your
Sponsor Card. Turn in your fully stamped card for several
chances to win great prizes being drawn throughout the
day both Friday and Saturday.
MDHA is still partnering with Dress for Success to collect
gently used handbags. With each gently used handbag
you bring, you will be given a ticket for a chance to win
a new designer handbag. Don’t forget to purchase your
tickets for our annual basket raffle. Handbag and raffle
winners will be announced at the President’s Reception
and Awards ceremony on Saturday evening.
JOIN US FRIDAY all day as first we delve into Name It,
Claim It, Treat It: Making the Shift presented by Patti
DiGangi RDH, BS. After lunch you have your choice
of afternoon courses, either: Fast and Furious Pharm
Review with Kate Soal RDH, MSDH or Dental Hygiene
and the Patient Record: The fundamentals and
importance of proper chart documentation with Erin
Kierce RDH, MPH. BONUS: Attend our Sponsor Product
Presentation during lunch to receive an additional 1 Free
SATURDAY MORNING begins with complimentary
coffee and 1 Free CEU at the MDHA update. There will
be a review of delegable duties – “Are you sure you know
what you can and can’t do?” and a report on how your
association has been working for you!
ALSO ON SATURDAY: 1 in 5 persons – approximately 43.8
million – in the US will suffer from some form of mental
health challenge in their lifetime; 1 in 25 – 9.8 million –
will suffer a severe mental illness. MDHA is proud to
collaborate with the National Alliance on Mental Illness
– Massachusetts, In Our Own Voice program director
Eliza Williamson, MEd, MA and Ellen Patterson MD, MA,

Director of Interprofessional Education at TUSDM and
William Jackson PsyD, assistant professor at TUSDM to
present the Mental Health and Oral Health Symposium.

Additional Saturday morning classes include:
Generational Differences Related to the RDH –Trisha A.
Cloutier RDH, MA; Back vs. Front, Clinical vs Business,
Let’s Get Along to Improve Patient Care! Ann-Marie
DePalma RDH, MEd and Ergonomic Essentials for a
Healthy Dental Hygiene Practice – Frances Kistner PT,
Afternoon highlights include: Ready to Make a Change?
Increasing Chairside Efficiency and Patient Home
Care Compliance – Amber Auger RDH, MPH and Pre-
Diabetes: Could it Be You? – Scherrie Keating RN, CDE.
held Saturday afternoon and will welcome Dr. Herbert
Saturday STUDENT EVENT: Take a break from studying
and join the fun and laughter. After the student business
meeting, compete for lots of prizes with the dental
hygiene Bingo game. Learn some new relaxation and
yoga techniques to get you through the tough days and
so much more.
Please join us Saturday evening at 5:00 pm for drinks and
hors d’oeuvres at the President’s Reception and Awards
Ceremony. Enjoy relaxing with friends and colleagues
while we recognize the hard work and achievements
of outstanding dental hygienists and students. All are
SUNDAY MORNING and the classes continue! Barbara
Sheerin RDH, MEd presents: Massachusetts Public
Health Dental Hygiene Practice Continuing Education.
Luann Ellsessar RDH, BS will be offering American Heart
Association BLS CPR with special consideration in the
dental setting. *Please note this popular class is limited
to 20 persons*
MDHA has gone green and will be e-mailing course
materials directly to registrants in advance, so please
provide an e-mail address. We also will no longer mail a
printed course catalog but you may either register online
or print and mail or fax the following registration sheet.
Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the knowledge,
network, comradery and fun as we celebrate you while
acknowledging that we are “BETTER TOGETHER!


View Conference Brochure Here

Register Online Here

MDHA News “Bites” – Happy Spring!


Only in New England will it snow in April! HAPPY SPRING everyone!

MDHA has been busy – we had another successful Lobby Day in February with over 180 in attendance! Many thanks to all of the hygienists’ and students who attended it truly was an exciting day on Beacon Hill, our voices were heard.  Thank you also to our Council on Regulation and Practice, PEW Charitable Trust and our Lobbyist Charles Glick and Associates for making this day possible. Council Chair Katherine Pelullo greeted the crowd introducing President Paula Morrison, Jeremy Crandall of PEW, Kate Saville from Charles Glick and Associates and our Legislative Champions Senator Harriette Chandler and Representative William “Smitti” Pignatelli, who all spoke about our current legislative initiatives. Visits to our legislators and oral health screenings followed. Check out our Photo Gallery for pictures, there were some great photo opportunities!

We have also been busy planning our 2017 Conference “Better Together” -at the Crowne Plaza, Natick – September 15 – 17, PLEASE SAVE THE DATE. This must attend event is filled with great CE classes and opportunities for dental hygienists to enhance their professional skills, learn about new products and mingle with friends and colleagues. Watch for more information to come!

Congratulations go out to students Catalina Fajardo and Felicia Barry, they are the recipients of this years MDHA annual award that sends two students to ADHA Annual Session.  See you in sunny Jacksonville, Florida!

If you have a special someone in your live, who may be expecting a visit from the Easter Bunny, our Historian Mary Kellerman RDH asks that you make sure Easter Baskets include toothbrushes- Picture is from her winter home, baskets were made for the Food Pantry in Venice Florida!

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