Final director’s message: Looking back, comments on ADHA charter, and more

As I write my final RDH eVillage Focus newsletter, it is a bittersweet experience. I have enjoyed writing and organizing this newsletter since 2011, and am grateful for the opportunity to share information with our many readers.

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As I write my final RDH eVillage Focus newsletter, it is a bittersweet experience. I have enjoyed writing and organizing this newsletter since 2011, and am grateful for the opportunity to share information with our many readers.

Thank you PennWell! However, change, even if difficult, is usually a positive experience!

January 7, 2011, was the premier issue of RDH eVillage Focus. Our goal was to provide science-based information, and distilling research into “news you can use” in your clinical practice, in your community setting, with your students, or in other venues. We also discussed product and product categories, as appropriate. Our first issue discussed evidence-based practice (EBP), as dental hygienists are licensed professionals responsible for making informed, evidence-based decisions and are accountable for his/her actions. EBP is the cornerstone of our treatment decisions and product recommendations, as we navigate through the “Dental Hygiene Process of Care.” We hope we fulfilled our promise to you.

Through the last five-and-a-half years, we have covered many topics related to oral and general health, new products, and other features. We reviewed minimally invasive dentistry (MID), remineralization, oral and oropharyngeal cancer, the HPV virus, prevention, and other related topics. More recently we discussed antibiotic stewardship, periodontal disease and its relation to various cancers, the inflammatory process, the Zika virus, and oral care as a significant aspect of primary care. Another hot topic proved to be career options for dental hygienists.

As dental hygiene continues to grow, we must take control of the profession and plan for the future. Dental hygiene is changing as the world changes. There are more opportunities for clinical practice in a variety of settings, and more opportunities outside clinical practice. However, we must become stewards of the profession if we wish it to continue to survive and grow.

My comments on ADHA and CDHA
On another note, there is an issue that I feel I must address. You may be aware that the California Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA) Board of Trustees voted to separate from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), which will have a significant impact on California dental hygienists and the profession as a whole. The CDHA House of Delegates has the final vote. ADHA has been affiliated with CDHA for over 90 years. I was on the committee that voted to consolidate Northern and Southern Californian Dental Hygienists’ Associations in 1985, as we felt there was strength in numbers. Yes, we had disagreements, but in the end, CDHA was stronger than NCSDHA or SCDHA. I still believe in strength in numbers. I truly hope that the CDHA House of Delegates does not vote to be an independent organization. ADHA’s goal is to ensure that ADHA maintains a charter relationship with all 51 constituents so that ADHA can collectively represent all US dental hygienists, advance the profession, and help increase access to oral health. 95% of the constituents have signed the charter agreement.

There is much misinformation being disseminated. As an ADHA past president, I know that the ADHA Board of Trustees reviews every piece of testimony that comes in during the ADHA Annual Meeting, and my understanding is that only three pieces of testimony were presented by CDHA members regarding these concerns. Those stating that ADHA “isn’t listening” or “doesn’t care” about the “average hygienist” is an unfair statement. For one, ADHA is not a trade union, it is a professional organization. As well, labor laws are determined on a state level—not a national level—so ADHA’s response to certain individuals wasn’t about “not caring,” it was to direct individuals to the where this particular issue could best be addressed. For an opportunity to learn more about this situation and ask questions, register for the ADHA Town Hall Webex, taking place on May 24th at 12pm (Pacific Time). Register here: http://bit.ly/1VCbVCE.

In the end, we will all do what is best for ourselves, and hopefully the profession. I have enjoyed working with the staff at PennWell, and want to thank all of them, especially Craig, Mark, Amelia, and Meg.

Stay in touch through my email mariardhms@gmail.com or my Facebook pages:

Personal Facebook
International Dental Hygiene Educators' Forum
Seminars for Women's Health

So, I will say “so long” and not goodbye. Best of luck to all of you. See you at RDH UOR!

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