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Industry News

Sept. 1, 2009
The American Dental Hygienists' Association and the Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division announced the honorees of the Hygienist Hero Recognition Program ...

ADHA, Johnson & Johnson pay tribute to Hygienist Heroes

The American Dental Hygienists' Association and the Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division announced the honorees of the Hygienist Hero Recognition Program at the opening ceremonies of the ADHA Annual Session June 16–24 in Washington, D.C.

“These dental hygienists are making such a positive impact on the oral health of our nation through their inspiring efforts to educate all Americans on proper at–home oral care techniques, as well as increasing access to professional oral care,” said ADHA President Diann Bomkamp, RDH, BSDH.

Members of the ADHA's Council on Public Health selected 10 honorees.

Gail B. Stoops, RDH, BSDH, the senior manager of professional relations for Philips Sonicare, presented the Philips/RDH Mentor of the Year Award to Toni Adams, RDH, MA, of Rocklin, Calif., (left) during a ceremony at the American Dental Hygienists' Association's Annual Session in Washington, D.C., last June. To read the complete article about Adams, visit and click “Archived Digital Issues” for the April 2009 issue. The deadline for nominating a mentor for the 2010 award is Sept. 30, and the entry form is also available at
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The 2009 Hygienist Hero honorees are: Jennifer Via Clayton, RDH, of Boise, ID; Denise Maus, RDH, BS, of Wichita, KS; Linda Meeuwenberg, RDH, MA, MA, of Winter Park, FL; Ilya Babiy, RDH, BSDH, of Portland, OR; Patricia Doyle, RDH, BS, FADPD, of Seattle, WA; Judith Shimamoto, RDH, BA, of St. Louis, MO, presently living and working in Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands; Diana L. Corbin, RDH, of Flint Hill, VA; Dona Gabzdyl, RDH, BS, MBA, of Elk Grove Village, IL; Lisa Handa, BS, RDH, RDHAP, of San Mateo, CA; Jessica Huffman, RDH, BSDH, of Charlotte, NC.

Hygienist Heroes: Top, left to right: Lisa Handa, BS, RDH, RDHAP; Judith Shimamoto, RDH, BA; Patricia Doyle, RDH, BS, FADPD; Ilya Babiy, RDH, BSDH: Jennifer Via Clayton, RDH; Denise Maus, RDH, BS; bottom, left to right: Jessica Huffman, RDH, BSDH; Linda Meeuwenberg, RDH, MA; Ellen Guritzky, RDH, BS, products director, Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL–PPC, Inc.; Diane Corbin, RDH; Dona Gabzdyl, RDH, BS, MBA.
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For more information about the Hygienist Hero Recognition Program, visit or

Pulpdent extends Berk Award to hygienist

Pulpdent Corporation recently announced that Kathy Olson, RDH, BA, is the 2009 recipient of the Harold Berk Award, which is sponsored by Pulpdent and given each year by Special Care Dentistry and the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities.

The award is given annually to an individual who has shown outstanding leadership working with persons with disabilities.

Olson has been serving patients with special needs for more than 20 years, starting with hospital outreach programs and mobile dental hygiene services for 40 nursing homes in Illinois. In 1999, she piloted a program through a grant from the state of Illinois to provide dental services to individuals with disabilities.

Pulpdent established the Harold Berk Award in 1994 to recognize the role Dr. Berk played in helping form the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities in 1952.

Special Olympics, Toothfairy team up

Special Olympics, Inc. (SOI) and National Children's Oral Health Foundation: America's Toothfairy (NCOHF) have created a partnership to fight pediatric dental disease and promote overall health and well being for millions of children with intellectual disabilities through SOI's “Special Olympics Special Smiles” program.

The partnership provides SOI and NCOHF the opportunity to work together to improve access to oral health care to help prevent pediatric dental disease for Special Olympics athletes and children with intellectual disabilities.

Since its launch in 2006, NCOHF: America's Toothfairy, through its growing national affiliate network of community based programs, has supported delivery of care to over one million underserved children in the United States, and will aid SOI in securing dental care for children who participate in their programs.

ADHA honors Minnesota legislator

The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) recently awarded Minnesota State Senator Ann Lynch with a presidential citation to recognize her extraordinary efforts in passing legislation that will establish new oral health providers in Minnesota.

Minnesota became the first state to pass legislation allowing a “mid–level” oral health provider into state statute — enabling students who are educated under the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner (ADHP) model to become licensed to practice. The Minnesota state House and Senate overwhelmingly passed Senate File 2083, a bill establishing the Dental Therapist and Advanced Dental Therapist providers in the state. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed the bill into law on May 16.

The Dental Therapist/Advanced Dental Therapist provider language was the culmination of nearly two years of work spearheaded by Senator Lynch, who first brought legislation to establish a new oral health provider forward in 2008.

The impact of Senator Lynch's efforts on patient access to care are what led to her selection as a recipient of the American Dental Hygienists' Association Presidential Citation for having contributed substantially to the field of oral health.

Suni presents prize to hygienist

Earlier this year, Suni Medical Imaging, Inc. sponsored an article on the use of intraoral cameras by dental hygienists in RDH magazine. Accompanying that article was a survey on the use of intraoral cameras in practice.

“Intraoral cameras are clearly integral in educating patients about their oral hygiene and in gaining case acceptance,” said Paul Tucker, vice president of marketing at Suni. “Moreover, dental hygienists use intraoral cameras regularly and clearly influence the dentist when a buying decision about an intraoral camera is being made.”

Deborah Wheeler, RDH, won a drawing for a SuniCam II intraoral camera, presented by Suni Medical Imaging.
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The survey also reinforced the fact that hygienists are the principal users of intraoral cameras in the dental workforce. Seventy–six percent of 132 respondents validated that educating the patient about his/her oral health is the most important reason for purchasing an intraoral camera.

For participating in the survey, respondents were entered into a drawing for a SuniCam II Intraoral Camera System. The winner of the camera was Deborah Wheeler, a dental hygienist in Dr. Randolph Moore's dental practice in Buford, Ga.