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A Letter From our President…
For those who know me well, are aware that one of the ways in which I find
relaxation is having the opportunity to step into the cockpit of a historic airplane for what I like to call “flight therapy”. Flying, momentarily frees us from our earthly bounds. Flying a plan smoothly requires a bit of knowledge, skills, and confidence – much like organizational leadership. When flying, it is critical to set your course, pick a point on the horizon and keep your aircraft pointed towards that point on the horizon. While this may sound simple, it is easy to get caught up in managing the speed, heading, and altitude – allowing you to become distracted. Leaders must have the clarity around the goals of the organization, where it is headed, and where we want to be in the future. As leaders, we must be able to get people to lift their heads and focus on the horizon. If everyone can pick the same point on the horizon, it is unlikely that anyone will be left behind.
When flying the pilot works with three dimensions – lift which allows the plane to overcome the weight of the craft, drag which counteracts the thrust, and roll and yaw which allows the pilot to maneuver the craft up or down and left or right or as well like to say while doing aerobatics – loop and roll. To maintain the plane in the air, the pilot must manage the balance between the various forces along the journey. Leading an organization is very similar. Leading through change is not always a linear process and leaders must find ways to energize and mobilize people in a way to create positive forward momentum.
Occasionally when flying, you may find yourself in a cloud or approaching storm which can block your view of the horizon. During these situations, the pilot must maintain safety by relying on instruments to provide data or information that allows the pilot to manage his plane safely through this stormy environment. In a similar way, leaders use transformational change to build their own instrument panel or dashboard – carefully selecting data or information to help stay on track. While the leader may have the controls, it is the contribution or collaboration of the team that provides accountability and delivers success.
I am honored to accept the position of the President of the North Carolina Dental Hygienists Association. As your President, I will continue the course that has been chartered from our previous leaders to advance our profession in our state. It is my vision to continue to nurture positive collaborative relationships with
our peers (both state and nationally), as well as with our entire state dental community – this includes dentists, hygienists, assistants, and office administrators – we are a team! If 2020 has taught us anything it has shown us what it is like to step out of our normal routines and use our skills and knowledge to chart a new course. This coming year we will complete the overhaul of our ByLaws , Operations Manual, and Policy Manual that will bring us into compliance with NC non-profit legislation as well as with our ADHA constituent agreement. Furthermore, we will finalize the change to General Assembly. I will continue to work with the North Carolina Dental Society and NC Legislators to advance our efforts to add local anesthesia as a delegable function in NC, with the goal of introducing that legislation in long session of 2021. I look forward to working with our executive committee, board of trustees, component leaders, and Management Company for the advancement of our association and our profession. As an individual we may flourish, but together as a team we will soar. So for 2021 – Through TEAMWORK we will SOAR into Success!!!
About Our Association
In the earlier years of our association, five charter members: Carolyn Smart Keith, Winifred Brewer Burns, Maxine Bowman, Mary Louise Tuttle and Nancy Horton Pappas created NCDHA’S Constitution and Bylaws and were adopted in 1949, at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Dental Society, in Pinehurst, NC. Over the next decade, dental hygienists slowly transitioned from public programs into the private practice setting by educating dentists and the public about the advantages of the preventive therapies provided by dental hygienists. Dental hygiene education in North Carolina began in 1953 at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, accepting 11 students who graduated in 1955. Dental hygiene education programs were implemented at the community college level beginning in 1965.
Who We are Today
The North Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. The North Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association is part of the tripartite structure of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA). Thus all North Carolina ADHA members are recognized as members of NCDHA as well as a member of your local Component. Currently, in NC there are 11 Components located conveniently across the state for easy access to networking and CE events.
Hygiene News in North Carolina
For many years, dental hygienists in North Carolina have explored expanding our functions to include the ability to administer local anesthetic to our patients. On February 25, 2021 an important piece of legislation was introduced to the NC House and Senate that would allow dental hygienists to administer local anesthetic with appropriate certifications. The North Carolina Dental Society, the North Carolina Dental Hygienists Association, the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative, as well as counsel from the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners were responsible for the collaborative effort to develop this important piece of legislation.
In addition to local anesthetic, this legislation (HB144/SB146) also supports the use of Teledentistry to help deliver oral health care in rural areas.
Check back often for updates!
As of May 7, 2021 – SB146 has passed all Committees in the Senate where it has been passed back to the House to adopt some minor changes. As for HB144 has passed all Committees and message has been sent to the Senate.