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Second North American Dental Hygiene Research Conference: Getting inspired by research

Nov. 17, 2011
FOCUS Editorial Director Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, highlights in this issue some of the features of the Second North American Dental Hygiene Research Conference, which was held Oct. 20-22 in Bethesda, Md. The event was sponsored by the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice and was organized by Drs. Jane Forrest and Ann Spolarich.
By Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS
The 2nd North American Dental Hygiene Research Conference was entitled “Inspiration, Collaboration and Translation.” It was sponsored by the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice, Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, and organized by Drs. Jane Forrest and Ann Spolarich. The meeting was held October 20-22, 2011, in Bethesda, MD. Partnering with the National Center was the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the Canadian Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA). This newsletter will highlight some of the features of the meeting.
Jane Forrest, RDH, EdD (left) and Ann Spolarich, RDH, PhD
“Getting Inspired by Research” was the theme of the welcome from the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice. Jane L. Forrest, RDH, EdD, and Ann E. Spolarich, RDH, PhD, opened the meeting with an update of the DHNet and the program to follow. We then had a presentation from a representative of the National Library of Medicine. This was followed by the keynote address: Don’t Swallow Your Gum! Myths, Half-Truths and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health by Aaron E. Carroll, MD and Rachel Vreeman, MD, MS. There was also a Research Poster Session and a Resource and Technology Exhibition. Current Topics in Oral Cancer Research and Oral Cancer Screening was presented by Brian Schmidt, DDS, MD, PhD, FACS. We also heard about The State of the Science of Lasers in Dentistry by Georgios Romanos, DDS, PhD, Prof.
An international group of dental hygienists with the IFDH banner: From L to R: JoAnn Gurenlian, IFDH President Elect, USA; Annamaria Genovesi, Italy; Jean Suvan, UK; Maria Perno Goldie, IFDH President, USA; Marina Harris, UK; Olivia Marchisio, Italy; Dagmar Else Slot, the Netherlands.The Conference was publicized through professional association partners as well as by the conference planning committee. Specific target groups who be invited included: dental hygiene researchers; academicians; graduate program directors; graduate dental hygiene students; journal editors; representatives from professional organizations and industry; and representatives from the NIDCR and other NIH agencies. The Inaugural Conference was held in June, 2009. It was very successful by incorporating a wide range of topics that appeal to the many communities of dental hygienists through 11 scientific sessions, 38 original research posters and 19 Lunch and Learn topics. Over 150 participants attended, representing a cross section of the dental hygiene education, clinical practice, public health, industry, professional associations and research communities.
From L to R: Jane Forrest, conference organizer; Maria Perno Goldie, IFDH President; JoAnn Gurenlian, IFDH President Elect; Ann Spolarich, conference organizer. Conference attendees represented five countries, including 33 states in the U.S., five Canadian provinces, Great Britain, Italy and Sweden. Outcomes and expressed needs of the conference participants were incorporated into the goals for the 2nd conference. Also, the conference was expanded through a global outreach. The proceedings from the first conference can be found in the Fall 2009 Journal of Dental Hygiene. (Proceedings from the North American Dental Hygiene Research Conference. Washington, D.C., June 15-17. Journal of Dental Hygiene, Volume 83 Issue 4 Fall 2009, pp. 1-78. The 2nd North American Dental Hygiene Research Conference was designed to bring the global dental hygiene community together once again to: develop and refine research project conceptualization and grant writing skills; share new knowledge obtained through research investigations; explore how to translate research to practice in a meaningful and useful manner; increase and diversify the number of individuals engaged in oral health research; captivate, advance and nurture a cadre of dental hygiene researchers; provide information about valid and useful research tools and resources; provide workshops for ‘hands-on’ training in manuscript preparation, searching for best evidence, and teaching research methods; and promote the effective use of web-based technology for networking, collaborating, and disseminating research findings. Attendees included: 30 graduate students (MS and PhD); 110 full and part-time faculty from universities, dental schools, and community colleges; nine from dental school research centers and private research companies; 19 full-time clinical practitioners; eight public health/hospital dental hygienists; 26 RDHs, DDS from different industries; nine professional association representatives; four journal editors; and, eight “others.” This represented an almost 50% increase from the first conference.
An opportunity to network was through Special Interest Group (SIG) discussions. Through the DHNet Network Section, Jane and Ann will provide a “home base” for future discussions and building a critical mass of dental hygienists who can participate in future research activities and projects. The SIGs included: Access to Care/Alternative Models; Caries; Clinical Dental Hygiene Practice; Educational Research; Health Behaviors; Health Disparities/Health Literacy; Oral Cancer; Oral Systemic Link; Periodontics; and Technology.There were eight continuing education workshops: Grant Writing; Manuscript Preparation and Professional Presentations; Keeping Current: Clinical Decision Support Systems; Overcoming the Fear of Statistics; Getting Started in Clinical Research; Introduction to Preparing a Systematic Review; Design Considerations in Qualitative Research; and Emerging Science that Influences Practice.There were also Plenary Sessions and Oral Papers. The Keynote was entitled: “Don’t Swallow Your Gum! Myths, Half Truths and Outright Lies about Your Body and Health.” There was also a presentation on the National Library of Medicine, and Hot Topics in Clinical Research.Save the Date for “Advances in Practice” CE Mini-Conference, to be held prior to the ADHA Annual Session and Center for Lifelong Learning. June 12-13, 2012, Phoenix, AZ. For more information, visit the DHNet website. (

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS introductions by Editorial Director Maria Perno Goldie, go to introductions.