Jackie Sanders

Editor's note: Acknowledge, recognize, and congratulate

April 1, 2020
It's time to acknowledge gaps in oral cancer screening; recognize dental hygienists' role in treating autistic patients; and congratulate the highly deserving winners of the 2020 Philips-RDH Heart to Hands Award.
Jackie Sanders, MBA, RDH, Chief editor, RDH magazine

Looking over this month’s issue of RDH leads me to realize that this is a time for acknowledgment, recognition, and words of congratulatory appreciation.

Acknowledging April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

As dental hygienists, we are mindful of the benefits of early detection and prevention. We read articles, attend educational programs, and screen our patients … or do we? I can’t count the number of times I have asked family members and friends if they received an oral cancer screening at the dentist, and they look back at me with blank stares. This month, we have several articles to increase your awareness of where we stand with oral and oropharyngeal cancers. These authors remind us that oral cancer is cancer, and we have a responsibility to take care of our patients. Simple guidelines are provided in this magazine that can be cut out and placed in your operatory.

Recognizing April is Autism Awareness Month

In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that approximately one in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.1 There are numerous programs available to assist you with guidance on how to provide care to autistic patients. I have many friends who I will think of this month as they are raising amazing autistic children. I follow the journey of a close friend, Josey Sewell, and continue to be inspired by her motherly love and her family’s daily dedication to face autism with joy-filled hearts.

Congratulatory appreciation to the recipients of the RDH-Philips Heart to Hands Award

RDH and Philips developed the Heart to Hands award program four years ago. As noted by Gail Stoops, RDH, Philips’ senior manager of professional relations, “Dental hygienists are some of the greatest communicators, caregivers, and compassionate healers in health care. Their motivating stories capture our hearts in inspiring ways. They reignite our desire to make a difference in people’s lives and to help family, patients, and friends rise to higher levels of oral and overall well-being.” Each of this year’s Heart to Hands Award recipients is the epitome of Gail’s words and make me proud to be an RDH. 

Enjoy the beautiful days April has to offer, and I look forward to seeing many of you soon, in July, at the 2020 RDH Under One Roof conference (rdhunderoneroof.com)!

Jackie Sanders, MBA, RDH

Chief Editor, RDH


1. Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated September 3, 2019. Accessed March 1, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html