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From the President

Jennifer Pierce
Hello, my name is Jennifer Pierce and I am the IDHA President.

I would like to give a shout out to our Members……without all of you we would not have an Association.

For those of you who are not members yet, I would like to extend an invitation for you to join us. We NEED your involvement, your ideas, your voices, and your vision!! I challenge each and everyone of you who are even considering becoming members to come forward and help shape this Association….YOUR Association in to what you would like it to be.

I would like all of you to know that your existing Hygiene Association is working very hard behind the scenes by actively attending meetings, working on legislation to forward the profession of dental hygiene to help benefit and protect everyone and your interests.

It is important that all of you know that IDA is trying to move forward legislatively with a plan for scaling assistants and has had this on their legislative plan for 2 years. We met with IDA, our lobbyist, their lobbyist, their lawyer and the Dental Board on Oct 14 th . We were not able to come to an agreement because your Hygiene Association is not going to budge on this. Scaling is the main component of a hygienists role and once the language is opened up, the ability to take it back will not be an easy task.

That being said, we were very optimistic that we were invited and were able to sit and talk with IDA in the same room for the first time in all of the years that I have been a member. We were able to agree to disagree and both the IDA and the Dental Board were able to hear our voices and concerns about this issue. I hope that this has opened the door for more open communication and a different and better culture with the IDA in the future. I, as IDHA President am certainly open to working together, rather than against each other on future endeavors and implore them to let us practice to the top of our scope and let us be an integral part of the dental team as things go forward.

As an Association, our next step is to try and get key legislators in place to try and stop the bill from passing with any language that opens up scaling assistants. As in many other situations in life…. strength is spoken with numbers(members). The numbers speak volumes to the legislators. How many people are opposed to this and how many people who want it. I could talk until I was blue in the face about this but IDA’s membership vs our membership is a big difference. If we want to have an impact when we go in to fight for things that we want or oppose…..we need to have the numbers with members and people to write letters, talk to legislators and get involved to back us up. Otherwise our profession as we know it could change in the blink of an eye because we were not paying attention and protecting it.

We want you to know that the Iowa Dental Hygienists’ Association is working hard on your behalf, knowing that this is not in the best interest of the citizens of Iowa or the dental hygiene profession as a whole and that we are going to try and get the bill with its original language (without scaling for assistants) passed into law. If it passes this will open up settings where a dental hygienist will be able to practice, paving the way for a more colorful future and different directions and job opportunities for ALL hygienists BOTH clinical and public health. It will also open the door for future legislation for dental hygienists to allow us to be a more active and more rounded part of the dental team than we already are to help our patients, public and our employers.

As we move forward to keep all of you in the loop about these things we are going be working on communication with our members. One of the things that I hear most is…"I didn’t know that this was happening." Please be sure that IDHA has a current email address and contact information. Please also LIKE us on our Facebook page as we will be using this for communication as well.

I would welcome for any of you to reach out to me with your thoughts and ideas.

Jen Pierce RDH

DMACC Dental Hygiene Class of 2020

DMACC Dental Hygiene Class of 2020

Hello from the DMACC class of 2020!  Our class participated in Special Smiles, which is a part of the Iowa Special Olympics, held late in May every year at the Iowa State University campus. We first heard about this opportunity during our first semester at DMACC while taking Dental Anatomy and Histology. Our instructor, Jackie Kollasch, shared pictures with us and told us some stories about helping out at the Special Smiles tent. We were hooked. We all wanted to be a part of this event. We completed our first and second semester and soon it was time for the Iowa Special Olympics and Special Smiles. We couldn’t wait to sign up. Before we knew it, the day was here! Unfortunately, the morning started off with a major downpour, which landed the whole event inside. We were told that had the event been held outside with nice weather, the turnout would have been much better. As it was, we had one of the larger turnouts for our class or volunteers than they had experienced in a couple of years. They kept us busy. Soon the crowds came and we were busy making mouth guards for the participants, educating them on healthy foods vs. not so healthy foods and teaching them how to brush correctly. A few of us even got to assist with the dental screenings, under the supervision of a dentist, of course. The athletes were tons of fun and they couldn’t wait to show us the medals they had won. Most of them seemed very interested in our demonstrations and some even asked us questions. Overall, it was a great experience and we enjoyed all the “Olympians”.  I feel like our class has a big heart for helping others. I would not be surprised at all to find my fellow classmates participating in local community events, as well as events in other countries, once we all have our licenses.   

-submitted by Cherisse March, Secretary

Member Spotlight

VaLinda ParsonsName: VaLinda Parsons
Residence: Ames, Iowa
Years in Dental Hygiene: 22
Years of Membership: all of them!
Family: husband Mike, daughter Meredith
How I got interested in Dental Hygiene: my previous careers were in home economics and journalism; my sister, a dental assistant, encouraged me
Favorite Instrument: H6/7 scaler
Memorable hygiene moment: when I moved to Iowa from Minnesota, at my first IDHA meeting, I sat next to Mary Kelly, RDH. We started talking and realized our husbands work in cubicles side-by-side at Iowa State!!
Side note: I worked as an adjunct instructor a few years ago at DMACC in dental hygiene and went back to school to get my master's in higher education in my late 50's. I've been a CRDTS examiner since 2008 when I served on the Iowa Dental Board. I'm now in private practice fulltime at Metzger Family Dental in Ames. I work to support my passion, which is travel

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