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Feb. 1, 2011
Linda Straub-Bruce, a dental hygienist based in Erie, Pa., was selected the winner of the Trident Xtra Care Award. In January ...

Trident Xtra Care Award

Linda Straub-Bruce, a dental hygienist based in Erie, Pa., was selected the winner of the Trident Xtra Care Award. In January, Straub-Bruce received a one-year supply of Trident gum and a $500 gift card for the chewing gum manufacturer's recognition of "outstanding community service of dental hygienists who use Trident while helping to improve the oral health of people in need."

Straub-Bruce, left, poses with colleagues next to Halloween booth at zoo.

Dr. William Hammerlee of Erie nominated Straub-Bruce for the award. The doctor praised his veteran dental hygienist for several public service efforts she initiated in the western Pennsylvania city. In his nomination, Dr. Hammerlee praised Straub-Bruce for coordinating a "Zoo Boo" event at the city's zoo, visiting area schools for dental health presentations, and patient education efforts.

"In both 2009 and 2010, Linda coordinated with our Erie Zoo for the 15-day Zoo Boo event, where we handed out Trident and toothbrushes as an alternative to Halloween candy. Over 40,000 people attended both years!" Dr. Hammerlee said.

In addition to distributing the gum during school visits, Dr. Hammerlee said Straub-Bruce "hands out Trident to the patients in her goody bags and recommends it to most patients as part of their dental care regimen. She also creates a quarterly newsletter and has featured Trident and the benefits of sugarless gum."

Straub-Bruce has practiced in Dr. Hammerlee's office since her 1989 graduation from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. In addition, she is a licensed public health dental hygiene practitioner, which allows her to provide dental hygiene services independently in a public health setting.

Dr. Hammerlee has practiced dentistry in Erie since 1984.

Nominations for the Trident award was advertised in RDH and RDH eVillage from September to December 2010.

Colgate establishes 2011 board

Colgate-Palmolive named 10 dental hygienists to its 2011 Oral Health Advisory Board. The board members will work with Colgate to find ways to more effectively reach patients in the United States. The board is comprised of nine dental hygienists and one hygiene student from a wide range of communities.

Colgate advisory board visits company's facility.

The meeting with the 10 board members was hosted in New York City in November 2010. The board members met with Colgate officials in New York City, as well as at the company's research and technology center in Piscataway, N.J.

The Oral Health Advisory Board, established in 2009, is a critical element in Colgate's well-established Oral Health Advisor program. This program offers educational benefits exclusively for dental hygienists. For more information, visit

Seven practicing hygienists were selected to be on the board based on the recognition submitted by their patients, volunteer outreach efforts, and commitment to dental hygiene. The dental hygiene student was selected based on an essay submitted on the topic of, "The value of a specific toothpaste recommendation for your patients' home care regimen." Two dental hygiene author/lecturers complete the board's composition.

The board members are: Stefanie Douek, New York N.Y.; Sherrie Farnsworth, Richmond, Va; Towauna Fisher, Atlanta, Ga.; Corinne Jameson, Brookfield, Wis.; Beatriz LeFran, Miami, Fla.; Hannah Medrano, Houston, Texas; Robin Smith, Findlay, Ohio; Ann Eshenaur Spolarich, Cave Creek, Ariz.; Tara Thompson, Odessa, Fla.; and Dianne Glasscoe Watterson, Frederick, Md.

Water Street buys Orapharma

Water Street Healthcare Partners announced in early January that it acquired OraPharma, Inc. from Johnson & Johnson. Water Street, a private equity firm focused exclusively on health care, plans to build OraPharma into a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on dental and oral health care.

OraPharma specializes in developing and distributing pharmaceutical products that maintain and restore oral health. Its main product, Arestin (minocycline hydrochloride) is a locally administered antibiotic used by dentists for procedures that treat periodontitis. OraPharma employs approximately 175 people who support thousands of dentists, hygienists, oral surgeons, and periodonists across the country.

Water Street recruited Janet Vergis, an executive with more than 20 years of pharmaceutical experience, to serve as chief executive officer of OraPharma. Through February 2009, Ms. Vergis served as president of Janssen Pharmaceutica – which included responsibility for the McNeil Pediatrics and Ortho-McNeil Neurologics businesses– a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. Previously, Ms. Vergis held positions in pharmaceutical research, new product development, sales, and marketing.

OraPharma is the latest in a series of acquisitions that Water Street has completed with global health care companies. Nearly half of Water Street's investments are business divisions it has acquired from global leaders including Gentiva Health Services, Inc., Medtronic, Inc. and Smith & Nephew.

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