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From the President

Jennifer Pierce
Meet Jennifer Pierce, the New IDHA President.

Pierce graduated from Des Moines Area Community College with a degree of Associates Applied Science in May of 1998. She has been a member of the American Dental Hygienists Association and the Iowa Dental Hygienist Association since 1998 and has served the Iowa Dental Association in several leadership roles since 2002. She has served on the Members Services Committee, Legislative Committee, Professional Development Committee and was also the Trustee. She has also served as a Delegate to the ADHA National Convention in 2011, 2013 and 2019 as well as serving as IDHA's Vice President for nine years, President Elect, and now President. Pierce won the Iowa Dental Hygienists' Association Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

Currently Pierce is employed at Apex Dental in West Des Moines where she has been working for 20 years. She is a mother of four children, Katelynn (22), Dalton (21), Emma (20) and Parker (14) and will soon be taking on the role of Grandma. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, animals and playing with one of her lesser known talents, her amazing rap skills involving the use of dental lyrics. She also likes to be actively involved with IDHA, Apex Dental's Operation Give Back, Habitat for Humanity project and mission trips to Jamaica. She loves to educate her patients about their oral health as well as their overall health. Her passion and dedication to her field shines through in her daily practice and to anyone that comes into contact with her.

Kirkwood Dental Hygeine Class of 2020

Kirkwood Dental Hygeine Class of 2020

And just like that, it’s the second year of hygiene school for Kirkwood’s class of 2020! We welcomed the incoming freshman into the program in August, as the seniors did to us one short year prior. Since we last touched base, we have been learning several new concepts, and implementing our skills on the clinic floor with our patients. Learning how to administer local anesthesia over the summer was one of the most exciting concepts for us. Although the initial thought of administering anesthesia on each other was quite scary, after weeks of practice we all successfully passed and are able to better treat our patients with these skills. We have also learned how to use the ultrasonic, place sealants, and better manage our time during appointments--we now treat patients three times a week. Whether we are at the Iowa City Free Clinic, the Veterans Hospital, or on a floor within the University of Iowa School of Dentistry, we are extremely fortunate to have the opportunities we do to treat our patients and learn from those experiences. Even through the stressful hours of the program we endure together, we still find time for fun. Just a few weeks ago, we each brought a treat to our book club discussion in class. We also attended the IMOM dental service in Davenport to volunteer in the sterilization area (picture of class and several instructors below). It was such a cool experience to be a part of! It was exciting to witness the helping hands of the community, because it truly made us realize we too will be able to impact others with our services as Registered Dental Hygienists in a few short months.

Member Spotlight

Nancy A. SlachName: Nancy A. Slach
Residence: West Branch, Iowa
Years in Dental Hygiene:  39 years
Years of Membership: 39 years
Family: Husband (Ray), Five Daughters (Raejean, Jennifer, Megan, Emily and Natalie), Four grandchildren (Bailey (15), Zachary (15), Kenna (10), Ellie (2)), Two dogs (Gus Nacho and Dot) and a few farm kitties, 7 Grand-dogs and one grand-cat

How I got interested in Dental Hygiene:  I spent a lot of time in the dental chair when I was about 12.  We switched dentists because our old dentist was always running late and my father would get parking tickets.  We started going to a new dentist that was a son of one of my parent’s friends.  He would explain what he was doing and it made me very interested.  When I got to high school they had a “dental aids” course and I took that and worked as a dental assistant in downtown Detroit, Michigan.  That was all it took.  The dentist thought I should go to dental school, but I wasn’t that much of a trailblazer, so I applied to the dental hygiene program at the University of Michigan and got accepted and the rest is history.

Favorite Instrument:  This is a hard question, it depends on the situation.  My tried and true for root planing are still the Gracey curettes, but love some of the new instruments like the Queen of Hearts and the diamond furcation instruments.

Memorable hygiene moment:  A patient stopped me in the grocery store and said “you saved my life”.  I had referred him to his physician, he had been reluctant to go, but I must have said something that made a difference.  He went and was able to finally get the diagnosis and treatment he needed. It is hard to choose just one moment in 39 years, one other thing is that I have gotten so much valuable advice from my patients – spend time with friends and family while you still can – time goes very quickly – that is one of the most important bits of advice that I have gotten.

Upcoming Events


January 18, 2020 Board Meeting, All Members Welcome, Hawkeye Community College, Grundy Hall, 9:00 am, Waterloo IA

February 26, 2020 Legislative Day at the Capitol  (Lobby Day)  Meet at the Capitol Cafeteria at 8:45 am

March 14th, 2020 Board Meeting, All Members Welcome, Kirkwood Community College, Linn Hall        9:00 am, Cedar Rapids IA