As I sit here preparing to write my 1st presidential message; I ponder "What should I write about?" "What will make the most impact to those reading this message?" Looking down I see the supplement that I just received in the latest issue of Dimensions of Dental Hygiene titled "Perspectives on Dental Hygiene and the Transformation of the Profession". This supplement outlines the different strategies that the dental hygiene profession is working towards and covers the topics most essential to this transformation. This is truly what we are working towards in North Dakota and as dental hygienists we are in a great position to use our skills and knowledge to bring dental care to all.
Dental Hygienists are the prevention experts in maintaining oral health and preventing dental disease. Over the years the dental hygienists have worked hard to bring additional duties into our scope of practice. Some of the recent additions include sealants in the 80's, local anesthesia during the 2000's, and now proposed expanded restorative functions. Along with these additions we see the health care environment changing rapidly and the dental hygienist is poised to be an integral part of this landscape change, if we dare to explore new directions.
Many states are considering allowing the dental hygienist to fulfill the needs of their states by freeing the dental hygienist to practice to the full extent of their education and training. They are doing this by allowing the dental hygienist to work in nursing homes, schools, clinics, and public health clinics as primary care providers. So my question to you is…'where do we go from here'? What are the goals and ambitions for the hygienists in ND? The North Dakota Dental Hygienists' Association will continue to protect the integrity of our profession, our scope of practice, and work to address the need to increase access to dental care in North Dakota. As quoted by Alfred C. Fones, DDS "Every dental hygienist must have their mind open to every-thing that is progressive."
Rachelle Gustafson, NDDHA President
Tammy Filipiak was elected by the delegates of District VII (Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota) in May at the District meeting to serve as the District VII ADHA Trustee. She was installed at the ADHA annual session in Boston in June and will serve a two year term as Trustee. Tammy has been a member of ADHA since she was a student (over 25 years) and has served many positions at the local, state and national level, including President of WDHA in 2001-02 and most recently as the Chair of the ADHA Council on Policy and Bylaws. Tammy's educational background includes an Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene from Northcentral Technical College in WI, a Bachelors Degree in Business, and a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and Quality.