American Dental Hygiene Association recognizes WVU hygienists for service and excellence

Two professors receive lifetime credentialing

High achievers in dental hygiene

The American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA) held its annual conference July 7-9, 2023 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. ADHA 100th Annual Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, was indeed a special occasion, a celebration of the organization’s milestone of 100 years of leadership in oral health. 

This past year was particularly a proud year for the Mountain State with native West Virginian, Dawn Ann Dean, RDH, MSDH, CTTS, FADHA as 2022-2023 ADHA President.

Click the links below to learn more about Dean and her time as president.
National hygiene association president encourages graduates to always reach for the summit
WVU alumni take on presidential roles at national dental associations

Hygienists from across the state of West Virginia attended the celebration, including leaders and members from West Virginia Dental Hygiene Association (WVDHA) and ADHA District III Home Teams, representatives from West Virginia University School of Dentistry’s dental hygiene department, as well as West Liberty University, Bridge Valley Community and Technical College and Marshall University School of Medicine.

Ashlee Sowards, RDH, MSDH, NCTTP, WVU dental hygiene professor, is the West Virginia ADHA Institute for Oral Health (IOH) liaison and exemplified passion for service as a participant in the annual ADHA Annual Conference, Community Service Day event on July 6th. During this event, Sowards and other volunteers worked at the Greater Chicago Food Depository packing meals for the underprivileged. The group packed a total of 33,504 pounds of food which supplied roughly 28,000 meals. Recently, Sowards was nationally recognized by ADHA for her efforts in surpassing ADHA IOH state fundraising goals. Funds will contribute to the support of dental hygiene students, research, and community service projects.

In addition, three West Virginia dental hygienists Dawn Ann Dean, RDH, MSDH, CTTS, FADHA , Gina Sharps, MPH, RDH, CTTS, FADHA, and Elizabeth S Puette, RDH, MSDH, CTTS, FADHA were inducted into The American Dental Hygienists’ Association Institute for Oral Health (ADHA Institute) Fellowship Grant Program (FADHA). Several WVU School of Dentistry faculty and alumni attended the FADHA reception on Saturday, August 8th, as historic members of the inaugural FADHA Class of 2023 received special recognition, certificates of membership, pins and new professional lifetime credentialing for their excellent in service to the association and profession of dental hygiene.

“Some of my most memorable moments were the continuing education and networking opportunities that allowed me to spend time with a few of the many incredible dental hygienists that serve the state of West Virginia,” Puette said. “It certainly was an exciting opportunity to spend time with West Virginia dental hygienists. In fact, West Virginia was recognized as the state who had the highest percentage of registrations for the conference, winner of the ADHA23 State Registration Competition!”

Continuing Education

Following suit with the ADHA’s ability to provide evidence-based practice education, resources, advocacy, and a sense of community, WVDHA is offering a fall continuing education course for dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and dental teams that focuses medical-dental collaboration to provide the best outcomes for patients.

On October 14th 2023 nationally known speaker and WVU alumni, Casey Hein BSDH, RDH, MBA will present a 7-hour CE course "Time to Look Beyond the Tonsils: A Call to Action for Oral Healthcare Providers in the War on Diabetes." The experience includes lecture and a hands-on glucose testing workshop and will be held in Morgantown, WV, at West Virginia University School of Dentistry. Details and registration can be found at this link.
Click to easily add to your calendar as a reminder.

ADHA history

ADHA held its first meeting in 1942 at the Hollenden Hotel in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. It was there that a group of 46 forward-thinking dental hygienists representing various states, including West Virginia, drafted the first constitution and bylaws of the organization that is now known for the evidence-based practice education and resources, advocacy, and community it provides for dental hygiene clinicians, educators, researchers, administrators, entrepreneurs, public health servants, and corporate setting dental hygienists. With the centennial celebration, a new ADHA logo was unveiled, in multiple shades of purple which according to the ADHA website represents “diverse roles, responsibilities, and career paths in the industry”. ADHA community is made up of more than 226,000 registered dental hygienists (RDHs) from across the country.