Think Beyond the Prophy: Profile of Lisa Bahr, RDH, MEd

June 6, 2017
Jasmin Haley, RDH, profiles the career of Lisa Bahr, RDH, in her Think Beyond the Prophy blog.

By Jasmin Haley, RDH, BSDH, CDA

For career longetivity and satisfaction, every dental hygienist needs to find the momentum and encouragement to Think Beyond the Prophy. The Think Beyond the Prophy monthly blog feature was developed in 2016 and has featured dental professionals who have taken their career to the next level, whether that be in clinical practice, research, entrepreneurship, academia, or handling the role of parenthood.

We hope you enjoy these monthly features and further get to know these amazing professionals by tuning in to the MOMgienists Podcast.

This month's Think Beyond the Prophy feature shares insights about Lisa Bahr, RDH, MEd. An incredible leader, inspiration, and MOMgienist, she blew me away with her intelligence, enthusiasm for our profession, and her positive outlook in life. Lisa has conquered many challenges that could have stopped others from pursuing their dreams. Hear her incredible story, professional journey, and learn how you, too, can Think Beyond the Prophy.

Lisa Bahr, RDH, MEd

  • Master of Adult Education: Emphasis on Public Health, 2010, Carroll University, Waukesha, WI
  • Bachelor of Science, 2008, Carroll University, Waukesha, WI
  • Associate of Science: Registered Dental Hygienist, 2005, Waukesha County Technical College, Pewaukee, WI

Lisa is a scuba diving enthusiast who has contributed greatly to our profession and so far has had an amazing career in dental hygiene. And, she is not done yet! She has overcome challenges and has persisted towards her goals. She has a positive outlook that permeates all of her work and is a fine example for all hygienists who seek to Think Beyond the Prophy.

Lisa is a highly motivated professional. She began her dental hygiene career providing clinical services at a periodontal practice. Her biggest joy was motivating patients to make changes in their oral health, especially if the patients were not favorable to change.

While raising a family she pursued higher education and then transitioned into the position of clinical coordinator for the underserved populations. She would later find her passion in the realm of public health. It was through her love of public health that she was appointed as an ambassador for Give Kids A Smile. It was through that appointment she learned how to create public health programs. She started several programs, including school-based sealant programs, head start screenings, educational programs for nurse and medical personnel, and an adult program for dental services. As she progressed in her clinical, administrative, and public health career she completed her degrees and ultimately finished her master's degree.

After her graduate degree, she entered the professional realm of academia to become the program director at Waukesha County Technical College. It brings her great joy to work with students, inspire them to reach their levels of excellence, and helping them achieve their dreams. Lisa explains she finds it "rewarding to see when they have that light bulb moment and things click. I have the best of both worlds right now helping students learn and still be a part of helping patients."

Why she Thinks Beyond the Prophy?

Lisa became a teenage single mother and faced many challenges in balancing motherhood and achieving her goals. Yet, she persevered and took one step at a time. She is a great example for all professionals who have goals and yet can't foresee how they will achieve them with their current circumstances.

Remember readers, never base your future or ability to obtain your goals with your current circumstances!

What are you currently up to?

I am the dental hygiene program director at Waukesha County Technical College.

Why did you become a dental hygienist?

I wanted to make a difference for people that are scared to go to the dentist.

How have you kept your momentum to reach your goals?

I have a very supportive husband at home. While I was working on my undergraduate and graduate degree, I kept telling myself it is not a race. If I take one class each semester and that is all that I can do that semester, that is fine. I will get there when the time is right.

What mentoring moment helped shape you to Think Beyond the Prophy?

I am not sure if I can define what moment I thought beyond the prophy. I became involved with my local dental hygiene component and surrounded myself with members who were making a difference. I really try to learn from everyone that I interact with.

What tips do you have for other dental professionals that want to be entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You need to take risks. Sometimes the risks pay off and sometimes they don’t, but you will never know if you don’t try. When I took this position as program director I was scared and not sure if I could handle a position like this. I could have easily talked myself out of it, but then I would never know if I could have done it. You need to be ok with some failure. Also surround yourself with people that support your dream.

How do you maintain the joy in your life?

Spending time with family and friends. You need to make sure that you have balance.

Would you like to reach out to Lisa?

Contact her here at [email protected].

Listen to the podcast featuring Lisa and hear more about her journey. It will surely leave you inspired and ready to Think Beyond the Prophy. To listen to the podcast, click here.

Jasmin Haley, RDH, BSDH, CDA, is the founder and CEO of Beyond the Prophy LLC, co-host of the MOMgienists Podcast, and adjunct faculty of dental hygiene at a community college. She has 15 years combined experience in the dental field as a dental hygiene educator, clinician, and dental assistant. Haley’s interests include HIV/AIDS, cultural competency, and dental public health. She offers continuing dental education and can be reached at [email protected].