August 2015 Print

President's Report

It was a fun and exciting trip to Nashville. If you have never been to Nashville, I encourage you to visit this beautiful city filled with friendly people! It was great meeting with dental hygienists around the country. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of more than 185,000 dental hygienists across the country.

ADHA kept us very busy during the 92nd Annual Session. More than 30 different continuing education (CE) offerings, divided into six tracks —clinical practice, education, research, students, professional development and public health were offered this year. The event began on June 17 with ADHA’s Community Service Day providing education for the elderly. After the CEs completed there were 4 days for the business portion of the meeting. Cindi Rasmussen, Heidi Jo Grubbs and myself served as your delegates. Renee DeMallie and Paige Holt attended as alternate delegates.

New Officers Elected: Our own Kelli Swanson Jaecks (Salem) completed her presidency and will move onto the dual position of Immediate Past President and chair of the ADHA Institute for Oral Health. Kelli was a phenomenal president and represented ADHA and Oregon well. She worked diligently to enhance communication and visibility at the national level.

Arizona dental hygienist Jill Rethman, RDH, BA, was installed as ADHA’s 89th president to lead the organization that serves as the voice of the dental hygiene profession. I have had the privilege of meeting Jill on several occasions and believe ADHA is in for a great year. Go to to learn more about the officers that will be leading our organization in the coming year.

The ADHA house of delegates set forth many new resolutions during the 2015 session that will continue to move us forward in elevating our profession.

  • The ADHA maintains that dental hygienists are ethically and legally responsible and directly accountable for their professional conduct and decision-making regarding the quality of the services they provide.
  • The ADHA supports diversity and recognizes the value it adds to our organization, our mission and the quality of our programs and services.
  • The ADHA conceptualized the creation and continues to support the concept of an advanced dental hygiene practitioner (ADHP) model.
  • Advanced dental hygiene practitioner was defined as: A dental hygienist who has completed an advanced, graduate level curriculum that allows for the acquisition of competencies that 1) build upon the fundamental knowledge and skills achieved at the entry level and 2) prepares individuals for a level of evidence-based clinical decision-making and scope of practice and responsibility required of the advanced practitioner.
  • The ADHA supports community water fluoridation as a safe and effective method for reducing the incidence of dental caries throughout the human lifespan.
  • The ADHA supports education regarding the preventive and therapeutic benefits, safety and cost effectiveness of community water fluoridation.
  • The ADHA supports education regarding the benefits of all preventive and therapeutic fluorides.
  • The ADHA advocates that dental hygienists receive direct reimbursement for services rendered.
  • The ADHA advocates the systematic collection of data by dental hygienists to aid in the forensic identification of individuals.
  • The ADHA advocates that any health insurance program include benefits for preventive, restorative and therapeutic oral health care.
  • Direct Access to be defined as: the ability of a dental hygienist to initiate treatment based on their assessment of a patient’s needs without the specific authorization of a dentist, treat the patient without the presence of a dentist, and maintain a provider-patient relationship.
  • The ADHA advocates that the ADHP will have completed an advanced graduate level curriculum. This allows for the acquisition of competencies that build upon the fundamental knowledge and skills achieved at the entry level preparing individuals for a level of evidence-based clinical decision-making, scope of practice and responsibility required of the advanced practitioner.
  • The ADHA supports accreditation standards that prepare entry level dental hygienists to assume all the professional roles of a dental hygienist in a variety of settings to meet the oral and overall health care needs of the public.
  • The ADHA supports dental hygiene curricula that leads to competency in the dental hygiene process of care: assessment, dental hygiene diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation and documentation.
  • Continued Competence to be defined as: the ongoing application of knowledge, judgment, attitudes and abilities in a manner consistent with evidence-based standards of the profession.
  • The ADHA advocates continued competence, lifelong learning and ongoing professional development for dental hygienists.
  • That the ADHA Framework for Theory Development definition of Dental Hygiene Actions be defined as: dental hygiene actions involve cognitive, affective and psychomotor performances. They include assessing, dental hygiene diagnosis, planning, implementing, evaluation, and documenting (dental hygiene process of care) preventive oral health care. They may be provided in independent, interdependent and collaborative relationships with the client and health care team members.

ADHA launched an exciting “members only” section to the website in late July. The new website features:

  • Easier navigation
  • Streamlined online join process
  • New member directory and public profile
  • Expanded profile page – upload a picture and “about me” section; update your credit card information; see recent activity
  • Enroll in quarterly and annual payments online
  • Members only content – just for you!
  • Mobile friendly – view on any device
  • Network with your friends and colleagues in communities

Be sure to take a few minutes to visit and on a regular basis to stay up-to-date with what is happening in our profession.

As ODHA president, I was invited to a training session for the constituent/component restructuring that is coming. I was able to see samples of the new charter agreements and get a better understanding of the new structure. I was pleased with what was brought forth and will be sharing this information with ODHA’s Board of Trustees this month. Your trustee will bring back this information to your component in August. ADHA will be distributing a “Tool Kit and Operating Guide” to the constituents this fall to help guide us in the establishment of the new charter agreements. The changes in the charter agreements will serve to:

  • Adopt and implement best practices for the ADHA and its constituents and components;
  • Protect the ADHA and its volunteer directors and officers from personal liability for constituent/component activities
  • Bring uniformity and consistency to the tri-partite structure
  • Require constituents and components to operate in accordance with applicable legal and tax requirements
  • Develop and protect the ADHA name and brand
  • Protect against misappropriation and misuse of member dues

I see all of this as a very positive change in our organization and will help to define the roles and obligations of both the constituent (state) and component structure.

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Oregon Dental Hygiene Conference

Please plan to join us at the 2015 Oregon Dental Hygiene Conference on November 13-15, 2015 in Portland at the Sheraton Portland Airport.  This year's conference features a dynamic agenda including CE education, annual business meetings and the ODHA House of Delegates, leadership development,  Oregon Dental Hygiene Celebration dinner and auction, and more! 

Registration will open in early September so mark your calendars now!

ODHA is currently seeking items for our second annual silent auction.  Do you have a vacation home?  Are you an artist or crafter? Do you sell lifestyle products?  Please help us build our auction!  Print a auction donation form here.

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Calendar of Events

Please plan to join us at the following events:

  • November 13-15, 2015 - Oregon Dental Hygiene Conference (ODHC) in Portland, OR
  • May 20-21, 2016 - 2016 Expanded Practice Dental Hygiene Conference in Springfield, OR
  • June 8-14, 2016 - ADHA CLL 2016, 93rd Annual Session in Pittsburgh, PA

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Government Relations Update

Membership does matter! Your support of our professional organization enables us to fund our Lobbyist who works hard to protect our practice act and expand it for future dental hygienists. This work benefits our profession and brings oral health care to those who need it most.

ODHA had two bills in the 2015 legislative session.  Senate Bill 301 made clarifications to the expanded practice dental act to clarify that all hygienists do risk assessments and to provide more flexibility in collaborative agreements for referral parameters.  Senate Bill 302 made it clear that there is statutory authority for hygienists to prescribe.  Both bills were signed by the Governor and are now law.  We are currently working with the Oregon Board of Dentistry in the rule making process so that EPP’s can have access to emergency kits which include epi–pens and hopefully will have a rule change by the fall.

Other bills this session of interest include Senate Bill 474 which is now law, which allows certain nonprofit charitable corporations to own and operate dental clinics that serve children with special needs.  Senate Bill 606 which extends dental pilots should pass before the end of the session.  The Governor signed Senate Bill 672 directing the Oregon Health Authority to appoint a state dental director to oversee programs that increase access to health services.

Remember that changes to rules and laws come from your input, so please make your ideas known!

Based on our current membership levels, we have exhausted our legislative funding for 2015, therefore the ODHA Executive Council has voted to freeze our legislative spending for the rest of the year.  Our leadership and Government Relations Council will continue working to represent our membership through 2015.  We are working diligently to budget for next year’s legislative funding and develop our legislative strategies so that our members are best represented in our future legislative work.

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This Month's Spotlight

Time to Renew Your Dental Hygiene License?

If you received your initial Oregon dental hygiene license in an odd year, your dental hygiene license will expire on September 30, 2015.
Dental hygienists whose licenses will expire on September 30, 2015 should have already received a yellow postcard directing them to the online renewal process.
All license renewals MUST be completed online; no exceptions.  Licensees are personally responsible for renewing their own licenses.  No one else should complete this process for you.
It may take several days for the online renewal process to post your new information, so do not wait until the end of September to renew your license.
If your license expires, you CANNOT continue to practice.  You may be subject to disciplinary action by the Oregon Board of Dentistry if you practice dental hygiene without a current license.
Please remind your colleagues to be prompt in renewing their dental hygiene license for Oregon.
For more information, click on

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Treasurer Update

These past couple of months ODHA has been working hard to continue to cut costs. We have been working with our legal counsel and management company to see how we can be more efficient in the use of our limited funds. Every member counts.  YOU can make a dfiference by sharing about ODHA with other RDH's, especially during our membership drive. Also, participating at state-level, ODHA sponsored conferences in the fall and spring will keep us going strong. With your help, we can be stronger together.

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Volunteer Opportunities

The Campaign for Dental Health (CDH), administered by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is a national network of organizations working to promote and protect community water fluoridation (CWF).

The Campaign seeks to fill two positions on our Project Advisory Committee (PAC) for a two-year term to begin in December 2015.  Click here for a description of the Project Advisory Committee and member roles and responsibilities. Candidates who are interested in participating in, and able to meet the expectations of, PAC membership should follow the link provided to complete the application.


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