I’ve been a member of TDHA since the day I activated my license to practice dental hygiene. I’ve found, repeatedly, that the organization has been one of my greatest tools, as I’ve grown in experience and confidence as a hygienist.
My goal for the 2021-22 year is to increase diversity within the association, and to allow us to be empathetic allies and advocates in the public health sector. I look forward to meeting (virtually and/or in person) hygienists who are passionate about politics, and eager to interact with representatives on behalf of GADHA and their patients. My hope is that new students will join, bringing their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives, and that seasoned hygienists will return, allowing us to access their font of experience. I’m excited to welcome more male hygienists, who might have slightly different experiences in the workplace that should be taken under consideration. In short, my goal is to meet you, and to help you get the most out of being a hygienist– both as a professional and as a person.
We provide both CEs and social interactions throughout the year, most of which have moved to an online platform, in light of current events. We are the go-to source for the latest info from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, employment opportunities, volunteer events and most importantly, a safe haven to address issues and areas where we, as hygienists, could use more support. I can’t count the number of times I had a question I couldn’t answer, but discovered that my fellow hygienists could provide not just one, but often multiple resolutions for my challenge.
Like any professional association, we’re stronger together. We provide more mentorship for one another when there’s a greater diversity in our voices and experience. We provide more advocacy and education for our patients when there’s a more significant exposure to the latest scientific and clinical advancements. We have more confidence and less burnout when we surround ourselves with professionals who have encountered some of the same challenges and celebrate the same professional milestones. In short, I believe in community.
I believe we need one another, in order to be the best versions of ourselves. Perfect? Never. But constantly improving, in the hopes to be the improvement? Always. I hope you’ll join us this year, as we strive to become better hygienists, better advocates, better volunteers, and better mentors.
Kym Whitehead, RDH