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From the President:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I hope this finds you making time to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather we have been blessed with. Last month marked National Dental Hygiene Month, where dental hygienists are recognized for their amazing efforts to ensure their patients have the best oral health possible.

We have a lot to celebrate in NH and would like to highlight in this issue some of the outstanding accomplishments of our colleagues that are making a difference through their dedication and passion. Read about how Susanne Kueul changed legislation in Maine and how Cindy Bishop is shining a spotlight on oral health.

There is a lot happening right now in the area of interprofessional collaboration.  Recognizing that dental hygienists are the "prevention specialists," other organizations have reached out to NHDHA to request oral health education in their community settings.  Have you ever thought about sharing your knowledge in this way?  Now is your time!   We will support you by providing a PowerPoint for the presentation and dental goody bags for participants. Please contact me for details.

In the past and present some of our state outreach efforts have been partially funded by the ADHA / Institute of Oral Health (IOH).  The IOH provides scholarships, research, and community service grants to dental hygienists. Having been a past recipient myself, I can speak to the value of the IOH.  I would like to appeal to you to please consider a donation to this year's campaign so that many more useful projects can be funded next year. Any amount will make a difference. Currently, your donation will be matched by Oral Healthcare at Home thanks to Joan Fitzgerald CPHDH, BS. To learn more about IOH and donate online at by clicking the "About US" tab and the IOH link.

If you are a member of NHDHA, thank you!  We acknowledge and appreciate you. For those who have not yet committed, we ask you to consider joining your professional association. You have many colleagues working and volunteering diligently behind the scenes on your behalf, to ensure you have and will always have what you need to practice to the full extent of your licensure and advance in your career.  My husband pays Union due to ensure he is represented in his profession and they are a whole lot more than membership to ADHA.  "If not now when? If not you, who?" -Hiller the Elder

Be well,

New and Exciting Opportunity with ADHA
Constituent Advisory Committee Roles and Responsibilities 

This standing committee will help to ensure successful implementation of the charter agreements and serve in a support and advisory capacity to both state leaders and the ADHA Board of Trustees. 
Charge of the Committee:
 Support/coach states through the reporting process. 
 Assist ADHA with assessing, ensuring and communicating on compliance issues, as needed. 
 Help ADHA assess and prioritize constituent needs. 
 Provide input on and review state resources. 
 Assist in reviewing updates and additions to the Guide to the Constituent Charter Agreement.
 Facilitate any future proposed amendments to the Charter Agreement or Addendum based upon input from constituents or the Board of Trustees. See Facilitation of Charter Agreement Amendments. 

Requisite Criteria & Skill Sets 
 Solid working knowledge of the tri-partite and charter agreements. 
 Excellent communication skills. 
 Ability to think strategically on behalf of all constituents and in advancement of ADHA's strategic plan. 
 Demonstrated ability coach and mentor. 
 Ability to work within a virtual committee environment. 
 Demonstrated team building skills. 
 Strong technology skills (i.e. facilitating Zoom meetings, navigating ADHA members-only website, etc.) 
 Past president or past constituent officers. 
 Flexible schedule and commitment to attending meetings. 

Terms & Appointments 
 The CAC is a standing committee comprised of constituent leaders; one from each district for a total of 12 members. 
 CAC members must serve or have served in a constituent leadership position. 
 Appointments are for two years. Members may serve for up to two consecutive terms (four years total). 
 The committee will be appointed using option A or B outlined below as determined by each district. The ADHA district trustees will inform ADHA central office of their chosen appointment process. 

Deadline 11/17/17 email if you are interested.
Finally, a Gingivitis Code!
If you missed our amazing Fall Symposium with Patti DiGangi, you can you still learn all about D4346!  Check out the On Demand Webinar:
for valuable information on how and when to use this new code!
Nevertheless She Persisted

LD 1085 "An Act To Amend the Requirements for Licensure as an
Independent Practice Dental Hygienist" in Maine

Discouraged by a job market gone bust and as a long time Direct Access Advocate, Susanne Kuehl RDH, BS, CPDH bristled at the makes-no-sense-barriers to getting Independent Practice status in Maine. Inspired by the trailblazing hygienists who passed independent practice originally in 2008 she nevertheless persisted. As a seasoned Past President and current Governmental Affairs chair for NHDHA, with licenses in Maine/NH/MA, her first attempt was to petition the Maine Board of Dental Practice to accept her 35+ years of clinical experience gained working part-time instead of their insistence that candidates earn 5000 hours in the preceding four years which is only attainable working full time. The MBDP Executive Secretary sadly stated that her hands were tied despite Kuehl's additional credentials that included a BS Marketing Degree from Daniel Webster in 2008 and Certified Public Health Hygienist status from NH in 2016. The only way forward to IPDH status was to change the law legislatively.
Determined and highly frustrated, she then contacted her state legislator from her hometown of Kittery, Representative Deane Rykerson, in November of 2016 to sketch out a proposal to reduce regulations from 5000 hours to 2000 hours with no time restriction. Strategically chosen co-signers of the bill were from both sides of the aisle and were once hygienists! (Reps Heather Sirocki and Anne-Marie Mastraccio). Kuehl made sure to keep her MDHA Leadership colleagues in-the-loop and worked closely with Governmental Affairs Chair Lorraine Klug, President Kellie Stanhope and Lobbyist Bonnie Vaughn.
In April 2017, LD 1085 was heard by the LCRED Committee where the chairwoman remarked that to her knowledge, this was the first hygiene bill which had the support of the Maine Dental Society, the Maine Board of Dental Practitioners and the Maine Dental Hygienists' Association. Thanks to strategic fact sheets using common sense marketing language, several legislators observed that hygienists are 98% women and probably 90% work part-time, which positioned this bill as a solution to access to care while removing gender discrimination for working moms under the original legislation.
It was all smooth sailing until, without warning Maine's controversial Governor vetoed the bill in early June. With the full support of Representative Rykerson, Kuehl quickly sent out a plea to all legislators to vote to override the Governor. Kuehl's updated fact sheet touted collaboration between all dental organizations, excerpts from prior submitted testimony and of course the need for improved oral health for Maine citizens:
"I think this is essentially a glitch in our requirements for the License. We can all agree that dental health is beneficial to our state and that there are certainly areas that are in need of hygienists!"    Maine State Legislature
"LD 1085 would remove the time frame when the clinical practice experience must be earned, and would create a third pathway for hygienists who could verify 2000 hours of clinical experience."   Maine Board of Dental Practice
"lPDHs function in many roles and have been invaluable working in
federally qualified health centers by providing services and when dental practices are unable to sell in rural areas, IPDHs have stepped in to continue the practice until it is sold."   Maine Dental Hygienists' Association
"LD 1085 provides a pathway to lPDH authority for dental hygienists who have
broadened their education and training in alternative settings, while continuing to ensure appropriate clinical practice experience."   Maine Dental Association
The legislature was successful in over-riding the Governor's misinformed veto by 145 in favor - 1 against in the House and by unanimous decision in the Senate. Adding to the excitement of that decisive vote, MDHA was in attendance with students from UNE and Bangor for Lobby Day! (Lobbyist Bonnie Vaughn, Representative Rykerson, President Kellie Stanhope and Students)
LD 1085 is another rung in the dental hygiene career ladder for all clinicians. Interested in expanding access thru independent practice using tele-health and portable technologies?  Join your ADHA tribe! "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Susanne Kuehl RDH, BS, IPDH is the president of Hygiene Health™, an Independent Dental Hygiene practice, offering comprehensive, patient-centered dental hygiene services in a comfortable pressure-free atmosphere. You can contact her at .
  Active RDH in NH: 1,469       Active Dentists:  1,176        Active CPHDH: 41
Inactive RDH:  207        Inactive Dentists: 239         Active EFDA: 12
  New revised rules package waiting for submission to legislature,
1.      Separation of RDH and dental assistant duties within the rules to make it easier for licensees to understand and follow.
2.      Update of certain RDH duties and dental assistant duties.
3.      Rules for prescribing opioids by dentists and training required for maintenance of prescription writing abilities.
4.      Clarification of CEU's for BCLS - 3 units every 2 years, not 6.
5.      Clarification of language on many rules to allow for easier understanding of rules.
Rules package is not finalized or official until voted on by legislature and adopted into Dental Practice Act. Need to emphasize importance of licensees reviewing rules and regulations before attempting to commence new duty. Instances  have occurred where licensees have attempted to perform duty thinking it was legal because of what they have heard, not read to confirm. This can result in fines or discipline by the NH Board of Dental Examiners (NHBODE).
Substance abuse among dental professionals seems to follow trends in overall misuse of controlled substance.  We have had a few hygienists and dentists who have availed themselves of the New Hampshire Professionals Health Program.  This state agency allows licensees to confidentially discuss problems with alcohol, drugs, and/or behavioral issues affecting their work and lives. This is not a treatment center but a resource to guide those in need of help. The NHBODE uses this resource for cases where substance misuse has been identified by investigations and complaints. The fee is now included in biennial dental or dental hygiene license renewal.
Contact Sally Garhart, MD, Medical Director,
In the News
Cindy Bishop (pictured with Dr Skip Homicz, Dental Director of Families First Community Health Center) was recognized as "Dental Hygienist of the Year" presented by the NH Dental Society. Cindy is a certified public health dental hygienist with Families First and runs their school based oral health program Seacoast Healthy Grins.  She was featured recently on NHPR and WMUR TV Chronicle, see links below. As if that was not enough, Cindy is a 2017 recipient of the Institute of Oral Health (IOH)/ Wrigley Foundation Community Service Grant. 

Click here for Cindy on NHPR

Annual Session 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida

From submitting testimony to voting on the House of Delegates Floor, we are working to be YOUR voice at our National Meeting. Team building, Awards, Networking, Education, Product Testing, and more are all part of the work and experience of Annual Session. Please join NHDHA in thanking Susanne Kuehl, RDH and Jaime Murphy, RDH for their hard work and dedication, not only to our profession, but specifically to our state! 

Annual session is open to everyone, if you are interested in attending in Columbus, Ohio in 2018, please let us know! It is always a fun-filled and educational event! 

Online OSHA Training for the Entire Office
Compliance is Key - Keep Yourself and Your Office Current
The ADHA's core ideology is focused on leading the transformation of the dental hygiene profession to improve the public's oral and overall health. The ADHA's vision is that dental hygienists are integrated into the health care delivery system as essential primary care providers to expand access to oral health care. The mission of ADHA is to advance the art and science of dental hygiene. We work to:
  • Ensure access to quality oral health care
  • Increase awareness of the cost-effective benefits of prevention
  • Promote the highest standards of dental hygiene education, licensure, practice and research
  • Represent and promote the interests of dental hygienists

Crest/Oral B

Patterson Dental

How the best perform

Northeast Delta Dental