Each week the RDH PIRA (Patient Impact & Rise Above) recognition program, sponsored by Water Pik, Inc., features a dental hygiene clinician who excels in his or her role and goes the extra mile. The past two years have been a challenge for many clinicians and as we return to the operatory, we want to acknowledge those who provide patient care—clinicians who are changing their patients’ lives, influencing their patients’ health, and making a difference every day. This week we honor Davette McCoy, BSDH, RDH.
While a student in Wichita State University’s dental hygiene program, where she’d end up among the first to be awarded a bachelor of science degree, Davette developed a passion for the underserved. She knew community health was her calling and did her extramural rotations at organizations such as the VA, in public health, and in other community clinics.
After practicing for several years in a small community health clinic, Davette decided it was time to think about the future. In 2018, she started a master’s program at Texas Woman's University. During this time, she remained working a full-time job, with a husband and two children, and took a few classes at a time so she could stay active and present with her family.
Past PIRA honorees:
In 2020, Davette proved herself the epitome of strength and achievement after she and numerous family members—ultimately 19 in all—contracted COVID-19, making it difficult for her to continue her last few semesters. Davette’s brother passed from the illness; it was a devastating time in which she had every right to stop her program, but she dug deep and found the strength and courage to continue. She graduated with a 3.8 GPA with a Master’s of Health Science degree in Health Studies with emphasis in dental hygiene in 2021.
Over the years, she’s remained in public health and developed a healthy smiles program in area schools for children with low socioeconomic status. Davette remains a positive voice and advocate for the oral health of the children in her community. This year, she saw the need to help educate parents on kids’ oral hygiene routine and developed a book about nighttime brushing. The book is called Goodnight Teeth and is available on Amazon. Davette has recently accepted a promotion at her current job and will be taking on a lead position while still remaining chairside. In the future, Davette wants to remain in her current role and possibly transition to academia.
Visit the PIRA website to nominate someone today! Good luck, and we look forward to hearing from many outstanding and qualified colleagues!