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Editor's note: Virtual conference supports the reality of an essential profession

Nov. 1, 2020
"We have our work cut out for us, but after watching the RDH community pull together this year I tend to believe we are in a profession that will never be considered nonessential again."
Jackie Sanders, MBA, RDH, Chief editor, RDH magazine

I will admit that when the decision was made to host RDH Under One Roof virtually, my heart sank. But what we did know at RDH was that the convention was still necessary. We would continue to provide the dental hygiene community with the energy and education they had grown accustomed to over the past 20 years of RDH Under One Roof. The virtual conference was a necessity for a profession that had been advised it was nonessential.

With countless hours of preparation, the virtual conference provided evidence-based programs, interactive exhibit hall visits, and product presentations that introduced dental hygiene professionals to the latest in product solutions. To lighten the educational load, the late afternoon hours were filled with DJs who had us all dancing and laughing at social events.

We mailed out products to support your participation in educational workshops and networking sessions. The swag bags included content and educational materials from many of the exhibitors. The Sunstar-RDH Award of Distinction alumni received a traditional present for their attendance, and the RDH Community Connection reception participants received their complimentary wine or wine glass so we could all celebrate together.

The November cover reflects the Sunstar-RDH Award of Distinction recipients, and their stories lie within this month’s edition. Anyone who reads their stories will realize these ladies are essential to the health of the people they care for.

Anyone who attended RDH UOR and listened to the speakers understands why our profession is essential to an individual’s overall health, and every dental hygienist who has attended an educational program over the past 10 months knows why their professional skills and knowledge are essential to their communities.

We have our work cut out for us, but after watching the RDH community pull together this year I tend to believe we are in a profession that will never be considered nonessential again. Looking through numerous posts on social media, I’ve learned that dental hygienists are embracing our challenge and becoming more vocal about the difference we make in patients’ overall health each day.

I continue to be proud to be an RDH and I want to thank you for supporting the RDH Under One Roof virtual conference and our professional community. The numerous emails and texts I have received in appreciation for hosting the event are welcome. The RDH team looks forward to numerous opportunities to get together in 2021 while we continue to bring an awareness to the essential professionalism of dental hygienists.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving season, from the RDH team!

All the best,
Jackie Sanders, MBA, RDH
Chief Editor