Help Your Local Community Clinic!

Samaritan Health Ministries is a community health sliding scale clinic in Leander, TX just north of Cedar Park. Samaritan’s dental clinic is in need of a hygienist that can work Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, 8 hours a week with compensation range of $35-38/hr. If you choose to volunteer instead it would be greatly appreciated, but we understand your time is valuable too. Samaritan has all the CDC recommended PPE available and are generally flexible with your schedule and clinical needs. They are in a new facility and are equipped with robust instrumentation and equipment.

Please send your resume to and call the clinic at 512-331-5828 with further questions about the position.

Trustee report 1/11/21

Hi everyone! I hope everyone has had a safe and happy new year. We just finished our first TDHA Board meeting of 2021 and it was exciting to learn about some of the finishing touches for TDHA’s first ever virtual Annual Conference. I’ve listed a few of the important items here:

  1. If you are interested in a committee position send your interest to Janessa Bock, President-Elect by February 12, 2021.
  2. Instead of an auction item donation to Ways and Means, we will be providing a $75 donation to the committee instead. For those that are still looking forward to the auction portion of TDHA Annual Conference, we will still be donating an item for HyPAC. If you have not joined the Facebook HyPAC Fundraising group, you can join here.
  3. TDHA is working with TDA, Smiles Direct on the tele-dentistry bill. If you know any dentists, doctors, or other providers that support tele-dentistry, send names to us here.
  4. Annual Session will be held virtually on Feb 13-14. Registration will be free!
  5. If you have volunteered your time in any capacity last year (ie., volunteered at a food bank, church event, making masks, dental charitable event) please fill out this form here by Jan 29.
  6. If you have a recurring donation to HyPAC, Connie Groves, Immediate Past President and HyPAC Treasurer will reach out to you to confirm if you want to continue to do so for 2021. If you would like to start donating monthly to HyPAC, you can fill out the form here. Or one-time donations can be made here as well.

Important Dates:
Jan 15-16
: ADHA Leadership Summit (registration closed)
Jan 15 7PM: HyPAC Happy Hour. We will be closing out current pending raffle items! Join us to win.
Feb 11: Last day to let your Trustee know if you are interested in a TDHA committee, director, or officer position.
Feb 13-14: TDHA Annual Session Register HERE
Feb 14 7PM: Get Lit for HyPAC: HyPAC’s LIVE Auction
Mar 2-5: TDHA CE Road Show (registration and details coming soon!)

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions!
Melissa Chagollán Vetter, Greater Austin Trustee 2020-2021

TDHA 2020 Board meeting wrap up

Hi all! We had a busy board meeting this week which wrapped up our 2020 meeting schedule. I want everyone to know a few items that came up and thought that since we’ve transitioned into a virtual platform for our meetings, it might be best to provide this information electronically as well.

TDHA positions available:

Membership Director, Secretary, and Speaker of the House

If you are interested in any of these positions, let me know! And you may also be interested in attending the ADHA leadership summit on January 15-16.

We are moving forward with a local anesthesia bill and a teledentistry bill. We are working with other associations to make sure everyone is on the same page and have some hopes to be on a unified front with them. However, since the uncertainty of our Texas congress’s session and how things will be completed this year due to the global pandemic, we must stay on course with our grassroots efforts and stay connected with our legislators. House and Senate Bill numbers will be announced as soon as possible so you can begin writing and encouraging your representatives to vote in the affirmative.

HOD is upon us so please send all Proposed Bylaw changes, suggestions, edits, and Proposed Resolutions to me here.

General Updates: click on the image for more info, if available

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