I have been honored to be a small part of our hygiene society for the past 4 years. In that short time I tried to find as many resources as I could to help me along this journey. Aside from my state’s Dental Practice Act, I found that all my resources are, quite simply, other hygienists. There can be a number of questions that come up in a day’s work as a hygienist. From easy questions about loupes to more nuanced questions like asking for a raise, I can count on the hygienists in my professional organization to help me.
2020 has started rough. There is no doubt about that. We’re amidst a global pandemic that is only getting worse, having a direct impact on our profession. We are being accused of dividing the dental team by simply speaking up in defense of ethics during this pandemic. I will gladly take on this challenge to unify the dental team while still advocating for our rights and protecting the public from increasing their risk of contracting this highly transmissible virus.
We are also seeing a much needed human and civil rights movement. As a Latina who does not see representation in our leadership, it can be disheartening. But this year, I was fortunate enough to see the District IX delegates in preparation of the house of delegates and I found us. I saw our delegates confront ADHA candidates about their thoughts on inclusion and I found the hope I needed to continue in this journey.
My hope for this year is to be a resource for you. I envision this shift into virtual platforms and vocal representation existing together where our association is a place where people feel comfortable voicing their concerns and as a place where they can rely on factual information to help them navigate their professional world with ease. We may be faced with challenges along the way, but know that this association is filled with other hygienists. Our current members consist of a legacy of hygienists, along with their wisdom, resources, point of views, and experiences that could hold answers and guidance for you. If you are not currently a member, please join in this legacy today. You may have the answer to a question that can help another hygienist.
Thank you for entrusting me to oversee this growing group of Austin hygienists. I look forward to serving you with thoughtfulness, diligence, and courage with a touch of that Austin flair.
Thank you for reading and I can’t wait to meet you,
Melissa Chagollán Vetter, RDH