Aiming for a vision in dental careers

Sept. 1, 2010
Christine Hovliaras, RDH, BS, MBA, CDE, began her oral care consulting and professional marketing company, Professional Savvy, LLC, in 2002.

by Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FAADH
[email protected]

Christine Hovliaras, RDH, BS, MBA, CDE, began her oral care consulting and professional marketing company, Professional Savvy, LLC, in 2002. Since then she has provided team and leadership communication development, career planning and counseling, and practice productivity seminars. Now Christine is taking her company to the next level. The inaugural symposium for dental professionals and dental teams will be Jan. 5-8 and is entitled, "Optimal Success for the Dental Professional."

This continuing education meeting will be held at the Epic Hotel in Miami, Fla., and will feature 24 dynamic speakers on a variety of topics during an exciting three-day learning experience. The weekend will feature keynote speaker Katherine Eitel, as well as Tammy Filipiak, RDH, BS, Kristy Menage-Bernie, RDH, BS, RYT, Dr. Brian Novy, Carol Jahn, RDH, MS, Dr. Louis DePaola, Jacqueline Fried, RDH, MS, and many other excellent speakers. Christine has developed a program that will spark and reenergize any dental professional's enthusiasm.

Christine and Professional Savvy's goals for the symposium are to provide quality continuing education courses that are on the cutting edge in dentistry by speakers who will share the latest in trends and technology. Topics include:

  • Career vision and communication
  • Ergonomics and yoga
  • Glass ionomers
  • Minimal invasive dentistry
  • Infection control
  • Leadership

Other topics include career opportunities in a dental hygiene panel discussion, a front office/dental assistant seminar, and a corporate new products and technology lecture. Christine wants dental professionals who attend to use the information as soon as they return to their work environments. This can be accomplished within a team environment and will lead to positive changes within professional lives, which will then help people achieve personal and career/practice goals.

The symposium is designed to bring entire dental teams together to achieve a practice mission and vision, which increases communication skills and helps teams work collaboratively in a team environment. This fosters leadership and teamwork through targeted clinical topics. Teams from across the country will learn from each other and grow as dental professionals. The symposium registration fee includes continental breakfasts and lunches each day, along with a networking cocktail reception with corporate exhibitors on Jan. 5.

In order to determine the best type of program, Christine and Professional Savvy went to the source, asking dental professionals what they want in continuing education seminars. A majority consistently said they need better communication and goal setting in the office, as well as refinement of practice goals. They also wanted an overview of team members' roles and responsibilities in order to meet those goals, as well as an update on new technologies and the latest in infection control and oral systemic links.

Christine has been a hygienist for over 26 years in a variety of roles, including clinical, education, and research in both academia and industry. Her expertise includes dental clinical research, sales training, professional sales, and marketing/professional relations. She was the editor-in-chief of the American Dental Hygienists' Association's Access Magazine from 2005 to 2008, and editor emeritus from 2009 to 2010. She is an active ADHA and New Jersey Dental Hygienists' Association member, and has received numerous awards and honors.

As a continuing education presenter, Christine has presented over 55 programs during her career. She understands that she must connect with the audience for the message to be delivered effectively, and she usually moves through the audience and makes attendees comfortable by asking and answering questions. Being a speaker often means laughing at oneself, as well as laughing with the audience and maybe even bringing them to tears.

Christine hopes to live life to the fullest while staying healthy. She is passionate about the young man in her life, her 10-year-old son. She has set goals for her career as a dental hygienist, speaker, writer, and consultant, and wants to share her goal-setting techniques with other dental professionals. She has developed Career Tools for the dental team, and has found it be useful for dental assisting, dental hygiene, and dental students as well.

She enjoys seeing her Professional Savvy clients reach levels that they never thought possible in both career and personal goals. She is also in the process of completing her first textbook, "Savvy Success - Achieving Professional Excellence and Career Satisfaction in Dental Hygiene" in 2011. (This columnist feels privileged to have been invited to be part of the book.) Christine is also planning the next symposium for 2013.

As a continuing education participant said to Christine, "Your program was so inspiring that I wanted to go home and quit my job on Monday and get started on my dream. Of course I didn't quit Monday, but hopefully someday soon." What's stopping you from starting on the way to your dreams of professional and personal satisfaction? Christine's programs and January 2011 symposium will start you on your way.

For information regarding Professional Savvy's symposium, contact [email protected], or visit the Web site at for more details.

Ann-Marie C. DePalma, RDH, MEd, FAADH, is a fellow of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene and a member of ADHA and other professional associations. Ann-Marie presents continuing-education programs for hygienists and dental team members and has written numerous articles on a variety of topics. She can be reached at [email protected].

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