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From the President

Donnella Miller
Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction. That is one of my favorite quotes, I find it to be so true. When it feels like the winds are howling and chaos is all around suddenly the path of direction is as clear as a summer day. Our profession has seen a lot of winds of change lately but nothing can compare to what is possible!

I have always been fascinated by windmills, as a young child watching those blades turn, I never understood the significance of what they did, what was happening on each twirl of the rotor. A windmill is used to harness energy, then that energy allows a variety of tasks to take place from the grinding of grain to extracting sugar, pumping water and producing electricity.

What do dental hygienist and windmills have in common? We are both resources. Hygienists are highly educated, skilled and innovative. We possess the ability to provide access to care for those Iowan’s who are in the greatest need while ensuring quality care. According to the U.S. Department of Energy 60 counties in Iowa are utilizing wind turbines for an alternative energy source. Compare that to only 42 counties (out of 99) where dentists are accepting Medicaid for children or adults. In my mind this equates more emphasis being placed on alternative energy than overall health and Iowan’s deserve better!

It is my belief we are in the midst of change. With the onset of Covid-19 telehealth services have accelerated demonstrating the ability for hygienists to integrate technology easily into practice while still providing proper supervision by a dentist. Access to care does not just mean opening more sites or attempting to sign on more dentists to Medicaid, it means meeting people where they are, especially in a pandemic. This is why the Iowa Dental Hygienist Association need YOU! There is strength in numbers, from legislation to changing rules it takes effort and members.

I would like to personally invite you to become a member and see what we are all about. Continuing education, access to care, lobbying efforts and communication is our focus. Enjoy the breeze and see your direction you won’t regret it!

- Donnella Miller



We are celebrating your courage in the face of a global health crisis. To thank you for all that you do, ADHA is teaming up with Colgate® for our Faces of Courage campaign. Submit your photo for a chance to win! Visit for details.

Member Spotlight

St.PierreName: Gail “Renee” St.Pierre-“Piper”
Years in Dental Hygiene: 25 years
Years of Membership: 25 years
Family: Two fabulous daughters: Lindsey Piper (a Social Worker/therapist) and Autumn Tanner (who is a dental assistant) and 2 wonderful grandsons
How I got interested in Dental Hygiene: I accidentally got into dental assisting through a friend who asked me to go with her and I was recruited into the dental assisting program. After 13 years of assisting I decided I wanted to move up the theoretical ladder and provide more one on one care to my clients. I also wanted to teach and later I had the opportunity as the program director to initially develop the Dental Hygiene program at Iowa Central Community College.
Favorite Instrument: 204s is my favorite instrument
Memorable moment: I think I have many favorable moments in my dental hygiene career (initially developing a fantastic dental hygiene program at Iowa Central and the numerous community outreach events that I was able to develop, Share Your Smiles, OHANCAW screenings. My most favorite thing is when former students reach out to me for advice or come up to me at a conference years later and thank me for being their advocate and give me a hug and tell me about their success and that makes me feel like I succeeded.

Upcoming Events


August 15th General Assembly via Zoom

October Fall Event Cancelled