Staying Connected To Your Legislators

Austin’s own Sandy Tesch and Nancy Cline have created a new legislative handout for you to use when setting up a virtual meeting with legislators.

Staying Connected to Your Legislators Virtually
The 2021 Texas Legislative Session

1.  Get to know your elected officials, especially those that represent you.

  • Request a virtual office visit with your legislator
  • Use an interactive software such as Zoom, GoToMeeting or Microsoft Teams
  • Invite your legislator to attend a component meeting virtually and speak for 15 minutes
  • Take photos of your computer screen during these meetings/visits and post on social media

2.  Plan your virtual meeting.

  • Request a virtual meeting in the legislator’s district or capitol office
  • Send a reminder notification
  • Test all technology prior to the meeting (video, wi-fi, screen sharing)
  • Establish connection about ten minutes before meeting begins
  • Set aside all distractions (children, pets, television, music)

3.  Send supportive TDHA resource materials before the virtual meeting.

  • The legislator may not be familiar with dental hygienists and TDHA’s issues
  • You may want to share information about local anesthesia, expanded practice settings and tele-dentistry (GAC can provide fact sheets to guide the discussion)
  • If appropriate, share statistics that show Texas ranking at the bottom on oral health issues

4.  Share your agenda ahead of time.

  • Purpose of the visit is to introduce yourself
  • Explain you are in legislator’s district
  • Explain you are a member of TDHA
  • Share your professional education
  • Express your concerns about access to care
  • Tell about how Covid-19 has affected your employment

5.  Be politically correct.

  • All politics are local
  • Be sure legislator knows that you live in his/her district and that you vote
  • Do not give misinformation
  • Do not be afraid to say,” I don’t know but I will get back to you”
  • Discuss any opposition to an issue (such as TDA)

6.  Be prompt, punctual and prepared.

  • Know the committees on which your legislator serves
  • Be gracious if legislator is late or cancels at the last minute
  • Talk to staff if legislator cannot be on meeting
  • Make the connection between legislator’s interests/committees and access to care
  • Respect the reserved meeting time

7.  Things to consider when ending the meeting.

  • Get contact information for everyone you connected with electronically
  • Leave your contact information
  • Offer to be the dental hygiene resource for the legislator

8.  Things to do after the virtual meeting.

  • ALWAYS send a thank you note, written or electronic
  • “Friend” your legislator through social media sites
  • Maintain ongoing communication through texts and emails       

9.  Help candidates get elected by volunteering.  IT TAKES TIME TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP!

  • Make a financial contribution if you are able
  • Write letters on their behalf
  • Display yard signs
  • Work phone banks
  • Block walk in their districts
  • Respond promptly to Calls for Action from TDHA Lobbyist and Legislative Director

REMEMBER YOUR GAC TEAM, LOBBYIST, AND LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU BEFORE AND AFTER YOUR VIRTUAL VISITS.


Community Volunteer Opportunity!

Join other volunteers on December 5th for the quarterly Samaritan Health Ministries Dental Waitlist Wipeout! Yes, it’s back and we’re ready to knock out some much needed screenings, radiographs, and scalings. This community event is split into an AM shift and PM shift and is located in Liberty Hill.

Sign up here

**Photos were taken before Covid, y’all


Saliva Chronicles Session 2

Thank you to everyone from Austin and San Antonio and all over the world that attended Session 2 last Thursday night. We had a great time learning from the one and only Anne Guignon about so many fascinating aspects of saliva and saliva testing that we don’t think about in the day-to-day task of performing hygiene procedures…but we should!

CE Certificates have been sent off so if you have not received your CE Certificate for Session 2, please contact greateraustindha@gmail.com and I can help you out.

If you missed Thursday night’s Session 2 of the Saliva Chronicles, Testing, Testing…One, Two, Three! Anne has a special message just for you.

Session Two Follow-up: A Message From Anne

*This is session is closed. We are unable to admit any further registrants at this time. If you are interested in learning more about this content, contact outoftheboxlearningacademy@gmail.com.


October CE Wrap UP!

Thank you Dr Wolfe for a wonderful lecture dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of Community Water Fluoridation. We also want to thank Crest-Oral B for sponsoring our speaker and virtual platform. If you missed this event, Dr Wolfe will be moderating a panel on this topic, see below.

Crest-Oral B also had some exciting news! The new Oral-B iO Electric Toothbrush is now available. Watch video HERE and click HERE for professional ordering Information.

A Toast to Community Water Fluoridation – Celebrating 75 Years!

Sunday October 25th 6:00 PM- 6:50 PM (CST) – 1 Hour Dental CEU

The Oral Health Section is happy to announce registration is now open for the 75th Anniversary of Community Water Fluoridation Celebration. The first 300 registrants will receive a commemorative glass.  Please send us a fun picture making a toast to community water fluoridation with your water glass (instructions will be included with your shipment).  We will include all the photos at the end of our celebration. We would love to “see” you! Registration information available here:  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rI2UUJ16ShKdAXW6Pp7lIg

The American Public Health Association (APHA) champions the health of all people and all communities. For the last 75 years, community water fluoridation has been a significant public health success that continues to benefit all segments of our communities. APHA is a proud supporter and advocate of community water fluoridation as an effective, cost-saving, and safe means of preventing dental decay. There have been many successes and achievements in the community water fluoridation movement over the last 75 years. This celebration will serve as an opportunity to highlight the inspiring perseverance of our public health partners across the country. We will continue to rally our communities across the nation to prioritize health equity and prevention efforts, such as community water fluoridation, for another 75 years and beyond.

Moderator: 

Dr. Josefine Ortiz Wolfe, Chair, APHA Oral Health Section

Featured Speakers:

  • Rear Admiral Assistant Surgeon General Timothy Ricks; Chief Dental Officer USPHS
  • Dr. Georges C. Benjamin; Executive Director APHA

Panelist: 

  • Dr. Myron Allukian Jr.; Past President APHA
  • Dr. Nicole Johnson; Associate Director, Division of Oral Health, CDC
  • Dr. Jayanth Kumar; California State Dental Director
  • Ms. Tooka Zokaie; Manager of Fluoridation and Preventive Health Activities, ADA

This event is a partnership between the American Public Health Association’s Oral Health Section and the American Dental Association. We are grateful to the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement for their sponsorship of this event!


Call for 2021 Austin Delegates

Are you interested in becoming more involved with your local component? We are looking to fill 9 delegate positions, and 2 alternate delegate positions, to represent Austin at the next TDHA Annual Conference!

2019 Austin Delegates

As a delegate, you will work with a group of hygienists from your local component to represent Austin’s dental hygienists as a whole. We will have the ability to bring resolutions to TDHA, request bylaw changes, and work with other components to ensure all Texas hygienists are equally represented.

This is a great opportunity to work with other hygienists in your area and it comes with free registration to TDHA Annual Conference. In addition, this year all Texas delegates will receive an exclusive swag bag, sponsored by the Houston component.

Can’t wait to nominate yourself? Fill out this webform. As we approach our November CE (11/05/2020), we will send out a virtual ballot so we can install the 2021 TDHA delegates before the start of the meeting.