ADHA announces new executive director

May 26, 2005
Battrell is first dental hygienist and former ADHA president to serve.

The American Dental Hygienists' Association's board of trustees and the executive director search committee are pleased to announce that Ann Battrell, RDH, MSDH, has been selected as ADHA's executive director.

She is the first registered dental hygienist and the first former ADHA president to serve in this position.

Battrell, who is currently serving as assistant executive director for strategic planning and education for the association, will carry on in this capacity until July 1, at which time she will assume the comprehensive responsibilities for all elements of ADHA's operation as executive director.

As the largest association representing the professional interests of the more than 120,000 registered dental hygienists in the United States, ADHA operates an annual budget of more than $6 million and has approximately 40 employees.

"Ann brings her dedication to advancing the profession of dental hygiene and improving the oral health of the public to her new role with ADHA. This is exemplified by her leadership in developing a flourishing continuing education symposium named Center for Lifelong Learning," said Helena Gallant Tripp, RDH, ADHA president. "Ann has also been instrumental in partnering with varied health organizations and leading strategic initiatives that have proven successful for the growth of the dental hygiene profession. She is an exceptional choice to lead ADHA through the exciting opportunities that lie ahead."

As executive director, Battrell will build on her existing role of representing the organization to governmental bodies and educational institutions, among other related associations, and building valuable relationships for ADHA such as with corporate partners. She will also oversee a host of staff programs from membership recruitment to consumer awareness.

"I will continue working on several key ADHA projects within our strategic plan, such as increasing ADHA membership, access to oral health care and the advanced dental hygiene practitioner initiative," said Battrell. "ADHA will focus our efforts on improving the public's oral health through advancing dental hygiene practice and increasing the public's direct access to dental hygienists.

Prior to joining ADHA, Battrell served as the association's strategic planning consultant. She then began her career with ADHA in June 2000 as manager of education. She was later promoted to director of education and in October 2004, she was promoted to assistant executive director for strategic planning and education. Battrell has also served as acting director of research.

Battrell has held dental hygiene faculty positions at Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago and Palm Beach Community College in Palm Beach, Fla. Additionally, she has been a practicing dental hygienist for 26 years, which will serve her well in representing ADHA's membership with key organizations across the country. While working as a dental hygiene clinician and educator, Battrell also advised a variety of dental corporations as a consultant. In addition to several dental hygiene leadership positions on a state and national level, Battrell served as ADHA president from 1996 to1997.

Battrell has conducted numerous educational, governmental, and strategic planning presentations throughout the country. Her area of expertise includes working with the dental hygiene and dental education communities, related dental organizations and the federal government on health education and practice policy, as well as health workforce issues.

Battrell holds a certificate in dental hygiene and earned a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene from Northwestern University in Chicago. She also is a candidate for a master's degree in dental hygiene from the University of Missouri — Kansas City, School of Dentistry. Battrell has been a member of ADHA since 1979.

Battrell resides in Elmhurst, Ill. with her daughter and son.

ADHA is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of the more than 120,000 dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. For more information about ADHA, dental hygiene or the link between oral health and general health, visit ADHA at