The dental hygiene world lost an innovator, leader, mentor, and friend with the recent passing of Ann Battrell, CEO of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA).
Described as a strategist and collaborator who believed in the collective power of the hygiene profession, Battrell was the first hygienist to serve as ADHA CEO, a position she assumed in 2016. Previously, she had served as ADHA's president in the late 1990s and began her career with the organization in 2000 as manager of education.
ADHA 2022-2023 president Dawn Ann Dean, MSDH, RDH, described Battrell as a “champion for the association and dental hygiene, always pushing to raise the important issues, promoting our accomplishments and bringing our profession’s voice to the table … our lives and the dental hygiene community are better thanks to Ann.”
RDH chief editor Jackie Sanders, MBA, RDH, said Battrell's passing has a profound effect on not only on the profession as a whole but also on many who knew her as a friend and mentor, including Sanders.
“The recent passing of Ann Battrell leaves a hollow presence in my day. Her leadership in ADHA was a reflection of a profession that continues to gain recognition,” says Sanders. “Ann and I met when I first moved to Illinois. She guided and mentored me and was always a positive presence when our paths crossed. After I accepted the chief editor position at RDH, I would often talk to her about the direction of our profession.
Ann will be greatly missed by many of us and I want to personally acknowledge her hard work and dedication as she tirelessly worked to empower the role of the dental hygienist. Personally, I will miss her smile, her laugh, crossing paths at trade shows to embrace a hug, and her friendship.”