August 2014 Print

President's Report

My presidential year is rolling right along and it really picked up speed after our April Board of Trustees meeting!   Our sponsored speakers at the Oregon Dental Conference were amazing; I hope you had a chance to see them! ODHA sponsors speakers every year for this conference, so if you have suggestions please send an email to! We also had a table in the atrium and I had the chance to meet many hygienists in attendance. Those who renewed their ADHA memberships were entered into a drawing for a $100 visa gift card. Barb Sabin was the lucky winner and Cynthia Hull won a Sonicare Airflosser. Welcome to all of our new members!

Our Expanded Practice Conference in May sold out and we are planning a larger venue for next year. Exhibitors were really excited to be able to speak directly with hygienists who are accessing patients directly, the speakers had a wealth of new information for those who are using their permits, and the energy of this group is out of this world. If you have or are considering getting your Expanded Practice Permit, you should definitely plan to attend this conference next year!

My presidential theme has been Transformation, and things are really starting to get going. State and component leaders joined me in July at our Strategic Planning meeting in Salem. We discussed the purpose of our state association, how to best develop our leadership team, and decided what we can accomplish in the next year. We will meet again next summer to work on the evolution of this multi-year plan.   My year as president will conclude with a big celebration at the Oregon Dental Hygiene Conference in November.   We have redesigned the schedule to make sure all hygienists are welcome and give you opportunities to hear what we’ve been up to. Opportunities to get involved abound, please contact any ODHA leadership for more information. With the assistance of our association management company, each volunteer will be assigned tasks that are realistic, achievable and something that suits their unique talents. Please consider joining us!

We have a wonderful opportunity to give our association a fresh start, and I hope that my work this year will assist future leaders in achieving their goals in creating an association that truly creates a strong network of dental hygienists working together to create a profession that is able to adapt to a changing environment.

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Calendar of Events

Save the date for our NEW Oregon Dental Hygiene Conference, November 14 -16 in Portland. We are very busy planning an exciting meeting that is a combination of business, education and celebration. It’s our once a year event where hygienists from around the state join to learn about our successes, provide input for future planning, and seek out new opportunities. We will celebrate our members, offer high quality CE courses just for hygienists with special programs for students, educators, leadership and expanded practice hygienists, and conduct our annual business meeting, including a forum on professional issues. The 2014-2015 ADHA President, Kelli Swanson Jaecks from Salem, Oregon, will be a keynote speaker and will be participating throughout the conference. We encourage you to plan your class reunions or component receptions for this time and allow our new management company, Western Advocates to help arrange room space and catering for your event.

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This Month's Spotlight


In November 2014, at the ODHA House of Delegates, the 25th Dennis Muir Scholarship will be awarded to a very deserving dental hygiene student. In honor of the event the Scholarship will be raised to $1,200.

Twenty-five years ago a group of ODHA members wanted to honor Dennis Muir, a Procter & Gamble Regional Representative, following a life threatening illness and transplant. Dennis was very supportive of the dental hygiene profession and was also very active as a volunteer in his community. This Scholarship celebrates Dennis’s community involvement and his support for the profession.

The Scholarship Committee looks for applicants with career goals, leadership, compassion, communication skills and personal ethics.   As there are so many deserving students, in 1992 the Dennis Muir Scholarship Committee decided to recognize deserving students from each school from which we received applications, by presenting non-monetary Awards of Excellence in addition to the Scholarship.

In order to apply for the Scholarship, students must be an Oregon resident attending an Oregon dental hygiene program, have a GPA of at least 3.0 at the end of their first term and submit a completed the application. The application goes out to the schools the first week of April, and applications are due May 9, 2014. Applications can also be downloaded from the ODHA website under Awards and Scholarships. Link to website page.

The Scholarship is funded through personal and Component donations and the sale of 8 X 10 mats which display dental hygiene, dental license or dental assisting certificate in a professional manner. Mats can be purchased for $20 at an ODHA meeting, the Oregon Dental Conference, $15 for students, or ordered online. The order form is located on the website under Awards and Scholarships. The mats make excellent gifts for colleagues or graduation gifts. If you wish to donate to the Scholarship, you can send a check to The Dennis Muir Scholarship at 10631 SW 64th Drive, Portland, OR 97219.

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In June, during the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s(ADHA’s) 91stAnnual Session, Kelli Swanson Jaecks, RDH, MA, of Salem, Ore., was installed as the organization’s 2014-15 president, along with the ADHA’s new slate of officers for the upcoming 2014-15 year. “The diverse needs of a diverse public will demand that we change the way we practice,” said Swanson Jaecks during her installation speech to the ADHA House of Delegates. “Our future will better position us to collaborate with other health care professionals and our strategic partners. The ADHA is harnessing our knowledge, experience and resources to make sure that dental hygiene will be at the forefront of innovation.”

Swanson Jaecks has served the ADHA in a number of ways, including as ADHA President-Elect for the 2013-14 year, as a trustee for district XII, as a member of the Council on Regulation and Practice, as well as a delegate, a Reference Committee member, and an alternate delegate. She also has served as president of the Oregon Dental Hygienists’ Association, as well as president of her local component, the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Dental Hygienists’ Association (MPYDHA). Swanson Jaecks is president of Verbal Impact, LLC, an educational and consulting company that offers healthcare courses in both lecture and interactive formats. She holds a master’s degree in Communication and Adult Education from Oregon State University, where she taught leadership and public speaking. She received her Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene from Oregon Health Sciences University in 1996. She also holds an expanded practice permit, which in Oregon allows the provision of services without the supervision of a dentist to underserved patients in certain settings. She has received various recognitions and awards, including ADHA Research Poster Presentation for her project “Interdisciplinary Collaboration: The Dental Hygienist’s Role” in 2007, MPYDHA Inspirational Leader Award in 2006, the ADHA/Colgate Community Outreach Award for her component in 2004, and the John O. Butler Healthy Gums/Healthy Life Award of Distinction in 2003.

Join ADHA next year in Nashville Tennessee to Celebrate Kelli Swanson-Jaecks Presidency!

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Local Focus

Each newsletter will feature one of our 10 component organizations. This month it’s Rogue Valley Dental Hygienists Association.

RVDHA is located in beautiful southern Oregon. Paige Holt RDH is the leader of this reenergized component and is reaching out from the Rogue Valley to all surrounding areas. Cynthia McCarty serves as Treasurer, and they would love to have more members to help. They have 33 members and currently provide CE courses for local dental professionals and are hoping to plan a project for National Dental Hygiene month.

Paige decided this year, in order to gain more involvement in our component last year that she needed to get the component event calendar out in September. She worked through the summer to plan and confirm CE speakers.

Patterson Dental provided the graphics and printing, and then distributed it for free to Jackson and Josephine County (including Roseburg area) dental offices. Information was also posted on the component page on the ODHA website. Attendees came from all over the area, including Roseburg!

She also planned a CE the first week of September. 25 local hygienist’s came for a course on “Hygiene & Lasers.” Some of them drove 45 minutes one way after work to attend! The annual meeting, held at the end of September is not normally well attended, but with the excellent advance notice many members from the area were able to attend. Component leaders were very pleased with their input and enthusiastic brainstorming sessions!

Paige put on her largest event last February when she invited dentists and office staff along with local hygienists by email to a CE on “Cardiology Review: The Compromised Patient,” by Dr. Cook a local cardiologist. Several dental offices attend the course and a total of 60 attendees were present. Paige also hand delivered flyers for this event, resulting the great turnout.

Rogue Valley component is excited to have renewed interest in our activities from our SW Oregon membership, and hope to continue planning new projects in the future.

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Expanded Practice

This section will be featuring dental hygienists who are actively using their Expanded Practice Permit. Please contact Lori Aus if you are interested in writing an article about your practice.

Oregon’s Expanded Practice Permit (EPP) was created by ODHA and the Oregon State Legislature in 1997 and has evolved significantly since then to become a permit that many dental hygienists are using to successfully reach populations of Oregon dental patients who have not previously had access to preventive oral health care. In 1998 Administrative Rules were adopted by the Board of Dentistry. In 2007 the act was amended to create alternative pathways to apply for the permit. Additional amendments have increased the settings in which hygienists can practice and added the option of a collaborative practice agreement which may allow an expanded practice hygienist to use local anesthetic, administer temporary restorations without excavation, prescribe prophylactic antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and complete overall dental risk assessment and referrals. The permit was originally called the “Limited Access Permit”, but the name was changed to Expanded Practice in 2012

A hygienist who holds an Expanded Practice Permit may provide dental hygiene services without the supervision of a dentist to patients or residents of facilities who, due to age, infirmity or disability, are unable to receive regular dental hygiene treatment. Hygienists with this permit are allowed to examine and provide dental hygiene services for people in nursing homes, schools and other public health settings. In other words, this is an independent dental hygiene practice!

It takes incredible energy and foresight to start up your own business, not to mention an initial and ongoing financial investment. The specific populations served are not private practice patients we generally see each day. Tough questions must be asked and answered. Who is your target population? How will you promote your services to them? How much time are you willing to put into the business? Do you need financial and/or legal counsel? Marketing and advertisement must be considered and sought out. Changes to the legislation have removed some of the barriers to expanded practice, but the only way to continue improving the business outlook for these hygienists is for them to go out and do it. [1]

This section of the ODHA newsletter will follow the stories of the dental hygiene pioneers who are finding ways to make expanded practice work for them. With the support of ODHA and others they are identifying barriers to access to care, and slowly creating new jobs and a new practice modality for all dental hygienists. When ODHA members asked where are the jobs, it was not an easy question to answer, but with this permit we can truly say that we are responsible for our own destiny as a profession.

If you are interested in learning more about using or obtaining your Expanded Practice Permit, you can find application information at the Board of Dentistry’s website.  You can also join the google group “Hygienists in Independent Practice” to be included in an online forum of Expanded Practice hygienists. ODHA also sponsors an annual Expanded Practice Conference in the Spring where you can network, meet suppliers and speak with hygienists who are actively using their permits. Watch for information on next years conference in this newsletter or at ODHA. Org.

[1], by Kelli Swanson Jaecks, RDH, BSDH, MA




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Volunteer Opportunities


The Tooth Taxi is a state of the art mobile dental clinic that is staffed with a full-time dentist and assistant; the van travels the state providing free dental care to school children. The Tooth Taxi needs volunteer dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants, who enjoy working with children. This is also a great way for you to serve the community where you live and work – and volunteers report it is a great team building experience. Come spend a day or half-day on the Tooth Taxi and help make a difference.

Volunteer hygienists provide a much needed service of cleanings and sealants to students that do not need restorative care. Hygienists frequently work from the portable unit which is located in the school. Hygienists need to bring a copy of their current Oregon license, protective eye-wear, and wear scrubs or a lab jacket. Please let us know ahead of time if you are left-handed. Students are screened by a staff dentist and a treatment plan is made; qualifying children are scheduled for appointments in the Tooth Taxi.

Cindi Rasmussen RDH an ODHA member, component leader and dental hygienist in Eugene (who also has a family and a winery) found time to volunteer with the Tooth Taxi and makes the following report: "The Tooth Taxi is an amazing asset to kids.  I have worked with the Tooth Taxi on many occasions.  Sometimes on the bus I can be doing triage, providing home care instructions, providing cleanings or just holding a hand. I'm constantly amazed at the needs of the children we are able to care for and feel privileged when they trust me with their care.   The technology available on the bus allows us to provide the greatest of services to many kids that may not have access to care and we are able to provide it in a safe, peaceful environment.  I've been able to work with some amazing colleagues as well that have also dedicated their time to this program."

Please consider joining the Tooth Taxi when it is in your area to further the mission of "Improving Oral Health for Oregon's Children." View the upcoming Tooth Taxi schedule.

Don’t see your town on the schedule? You can invite the Tooth Taxi to come visit your local school. Requests must come from the school and meet the following requirements:

  • Dedicated project coordinator to arrange and oversee the Tooth Taxi visit. This should be someone familiar with the school system (staff personnel, retired personnel, parent volunteer, etc.) that has time to dedicate to Tooth Taxi visit preparations. The project coordinator needs to be assigned so the Tooth Taxi program manager and or OEA Choice Trust rep can schedule a pre-site visit meeting to review preparations for hosting the Tooth Taxi.
  • High percentage of free & reduced lunch recipients
  • School with adequate and safe parking for Tooth Taxi
  • One volunteer per day to escort students to Tooth Taxi and back to class during Tooth Taxi site visit.

Click here to read more about this process

Questions? Contact Mary Daly, Tooth Taxi Program Manager, at 503-329-8877 or

Looking for other ways to help? The Tooth Taxi also needs financial contributions to purchase supplies and keep the van running.   Click here to donate online.   
You can read more about Tooth Taxi visits at the Tooth Taxi Adventures section.

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About ODHA

Learn about your State Professional association! ODHA is part of a tripartite organization and your membership dues are split between national, state and local entities. ADHA represents hygienists at the national level. ODHA is your state association. We have a number of local components as well. If there is not one in your area, you may join any component you would like. You can also consider reactivating a component in your local area.   This is not a small task, but never underestimate what a small group of committed people can achieve.

ODHA leadership consists of a Board of Trustees. There are 6 executive officers including President, President Elect, Vice president, Immediate Past President, Treasurer, and Secretary.   Other Board members are representatives from each Component organization, known as Trustees.   ODHA also has councils that do the work of the Association. Current active councils are Government Relations, Membership Services, Event Planning, and Communications.

Watch this column for more news on how ODHA works!

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