Introducing the Modern Hygienist Editorial Advisory Board

January 4, 2018

Get to know the five experts who will serve on the board.

With a new year comes new changes. Here at Modern Hygienist, we’re excited to kick off 2018 by introducing you to the new Modern Hygienist Editorial Advisory Board.

At Modern Hygienist, we want to provide the most insightful, engaging content that can help you grow as a professional, simplify your day-to-day tasks and keep you abreast of the latest developments in the industry. Our new Editorial Advisory Board, composed of five hygienists who have years of experience in the hygiene world, will help to ensure we do just that. Our board members are popular speakers, experts, authors and educators who strive to help their fellow hygienists provide the best patient care, and we are thrilled to have them on our team to help guide the Modern Hygienist editorial vision.

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Throughout the year, the board members will share their expertise on a variety of topics, write informative, original content, and serve as Modern Hygienist’s eyes and ears in the hygiene community, bringing the perspective of career-driven hygienists to the brand. We’re very excited about our new board and all they have to offer, and we hope you will be too!

Click through the following slides to meet the members of the Modern Hygienist Editorial Advisory Board.

 

Alyssa Aberle

Alyssa Aberle is a 2009 graduate of the University of Colorado’s dental hygiene program. Immediately following dental hygiene school, Alyssa knew she had a passion for community health, which stemmed from her experiences abroad during several mission trips. Alyssa started her dental hygiene career working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment coordinating the children's oral health programs and the school sealant grants. Through relationships built in this role, Alyssa began working with a local nonprofit dental clinic, Kids In Need of Dentistry, and assisted in the development of a new partner nonprofit, the Colorado Orthodontic Foundation.

In 2013, Alyssa graduated with a master’s in business administration from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. While completing her degree, she remained active in the Colorado Dental Hygienists' Association. Alyssa served on the CODHA Board of Trustees as vice president, president-elect, president and immediate past president. During her year as past president, she was hired by the CODHA as executive administrator. She has been able to play a role in various aspects of the professional association and has a passion for advocacy and advancing the profession of dental hygiene.

Currently, Alyssa works for a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and operates a school-based sealant program in the largest school district in Colorado. She is the mother of two boys, Dax and Jet.

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Why did you decide to become an RDH?

I became an orthodontic patient in second grade. Through all of my many appointments, my interest was sparked in the healthcare fields. I decided to work for my orthodontist during high school to see what dentistry was all about. I loved the dental field but knew that I really wanted to work on the prevention end of dentistry, rather than restorative. I had the opportunity to travel abroad on several mission trips and truly found a passion for helping change people's overall health and impact generational lifestyle changes through relationship building and education. In my opinion, that's exactly what dental hygienists do!

What is your favorite part of your job?

I work in a school-based sealant program. My favorite part of my job is building relationships with the schools and the students. We have the opportunity to meet kids where they're comfortable and change their attitude about dental care. The best part of my day is when I hear a student say, "That wasn't so scary."

What are some of your hobbies/interests/passions outside of work?

I am a mother of two boys and we live in Colorado. Most of our free time is spent outside camping, hiking, snowboarding and adventuring. We also love to visit Lake Powell and volunteer at our church. 

 

Tina Clarke

Tina Clarke RDH, BSDH, MEd, graduated from Oregon Health & Science University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in dental health science and from Concordia University in 2013 with a master’s degree in education. She began teaching in 2007. Her area of educational focus has been: head and neck anatomy, histology and embryology, dental hygiene clinical practice, medical emergency, pain management, dental anatomy and dental ethics. She currently works with the Oregon Institute of Technology as the academic program director of the Salem campus. Prior to being an educator, she worked in a private general dental practice office in Salem, Oregon, and she still continues to work in a clinical setting and present at continuing education courses when school is not in session. 

Tina is involved with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. She has served as president of the Oregon Dental Hygienists’ Association and as a delegate on the national level. She has a passion for dental hygiene that is fueled by her work with students and continuing education for her peers.

Why did you decide to become an RDH?

In my early 20s, I was in that phase of life of trying to figure out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I realized I enjoyed science and helping people. This brought the idea of becoming a healthcare provider to the surface. Knowing certain things about what I can and can't tolerate (I don't like vomit), that took nursing out of the top choice. Also, about this time I had an appointment to get my teeth cleaned. My hygienist, being an insightful woman, noticed I was in this period of transition. We talked and she encouraged me to come back and job shadow her. Needless to say, I was hooked. I said yes, this is the career for me!

Read more from Tina: Are you asking the right questions about your patient's health history?

What is your favorite part of your job? 

I am lucky in that I get to have my hand in many different aspects of the dental hygiene profession. The common denominator in all of them is that I get to make a difference in someone's life. With my patients, I can be a part of their journey toward a healthy lifestyle. In regard to my students, I am blessed to guide and coach them through the rigors of our education and help them achieve their dream of being a primary healthcare provider. With my coworkers, it is the ability to provide support so they can be the best educators possible. Finally, when I am presenting at CE courses, having the opportunity to educate, remind and inspire fellow clinicians and enhance their capabilities to be providers is truly remarkable.

What are some of your hobbies/interests/passions outside of work?

I am a “health nut.” I really enjoy physical fitness and the competition that it can bring. I try to do at least one "sign-up" event per year. The best is when I get to do this with my family and friends. For my downtime, I enjoy diving into arts and crafts. I call it "grownup refrigerator art" because my mother gets really excited about the creations and can't wait to hang them up. 

 

Kim Miller

Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH, is an international speaker, published author and a lead profitability coach with Inspired Hygiene. Kim graduated from Loma Linda University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and is also a four-time graduate of the BaleDoneen Preceptorship Course. In addition to clinical practice, Kim has more than 25 years of coaching and consulting experience. She has mentored hundreds of dental professionals in workshops, seminars and private practice settings.

Kim enjoys speaking throughout the United States and Canada for national dental meetings, study clubs and component meetings. She displays her experience and passion for dentistry in her refreshing speaking style, and those in her audience walk away with information that is applicable on the very next business day. Kim is passionate about helping clinicians adopt solid science-based principles, treatment philosophies, and techniques resulting in exceptional outcomes, healthier patients and more satisfied clinicians. 

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Why did you decide to become an RDH?

My journey to dental hygiene was a circuitous one. I started out in college with preschool/elementary school education as my major. I had a very wise instructor who insisted each student spend a day in a preschool classroom setting; the student to teacher ratio was 15:1. The next day I started exploring other fields of study where I could work with children. I spent some time volunteering at a facility for disabled children, thinking children's physical therapy might be a good fit. During this time, my dad was encouraging me to look into dental hygiene, so I took the Dental Hygiene Aptitude Test (DHAT), which at that time was required in order to apply to a program. I interviewed two working dental hygienists and before I knew it, I had applied to Loma Linda University. I wanted to go to a Christian school, so I only applied to LLU. At the time, I was in love with a U.S. Marine, and what I really wanted to do was get married and run away to Tennessee, but I made my dad a promise that if I was accepted into the hygiene program at LLU that I would go. Thank God for dads! I fell in love with dental hygiene, Mitch went home to Tennessee without me, and I haven't looked back once!

What is your favorite part of your job? 

I can't narrow it done to just one thing. I love working with and mentoring dental teams of all sizes and job descriptions. I love it when team members discover something new about themselves and realize their capacity for change and growth. I especially love connecting with enthusiastic hygienists that are new to our profession and those hygienists who have been taking care of patients for decades. Most of all I love knowing that when I help dental professionals think differently about the seriousness of periodontal disease and the urgency to treat it, they in turn save lives.  

What are some of your hobbies/interests/passions outside of work?

You don't have to ask a proud grandma twice to tell you about her 'passion' for her grand babies! I have three: Everett is 1 month old, Isabelle is 3 and Marshall is 5. These kids are truly the “apple of my eye.” My husband of 37 years, Dean, and I are truly blessed to live near them and spend lots of time with them and their parents. We love to cook and often spend time together in the kitchen preparing and enjoying delicious, wholesome and at times indulgent foods. I do some jewelry beading and I love to read, sometimes late into the night. And nothing beats a good, brisk walk!

 

Katrina M. Sanders

RDH, BSDH, M.Ed, RF, is a graduate and recipient of countless awards from the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry Division of Dental Hygiene. She is proud to currently serve on the alumni society for one of the most prestigious dental schools in the country. Upon moving to Phoenix, Katrina sought opportunities to extend patient awareness beyond her operatory by exploring and performing nontraditional clinical roles such as developing outreach programs to further educate targeted populations. Katrina coordinated and implemented educational programs through participating schools and their districts as well as holistic grocery stores.

Katrina’s professional career emerged as an educator when she attained full-time employment with a career college in Phoenix. During her time in these capacities, Katrina spearheaded curriculum design, redesigned program objectives and created policy manuals. A physical manifestation of Katrina’s commitment to her profession is in the development of her textbook, “Introduction to the Dental Hygiene Profession.” Katrina has also been contracted to create curriculum for bachelor’s degree completion and nationally recognized continuing education coursework in local anesthesia.

Katrina proudly received her master’s degree in educational leadership with distinction through Northern Arizona University as a Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society distinguished member. Her graduate degree led her to founding Sanders Board Preparatory in which she has developed and implemented a 100 percent pass-rate National Board Preparatory course offered to dental hygiene students preparing for their national boards. 

Currently, Katrina is a distinguished speaker with Dental Hygiene Culture and lectures nationally in a variety of dental hygiene continuing education content. She also speaks internationally as a keynote speaker with Smiles at Sea and spoke as a finalist in Dentistry’s Got Talent in 2017 and 2018. She has also been a featured speaker with dental hygiene study clubs throughout the state of Arizona. She hopes to begin her Ph.D. studies in 2019.

Why did you decide to become an RDH?

Quite frankly, I decided to go to dental hygiene school because I always had wonderful dental experiences. I was a patient with a pediatric dental practice growing up, and that meant my hygienist counted my teeth, polished them and instructed me on how to swish with fluoride rinse. As I began the daunting task of deciding on a career while I was in high school, I shadowed a dentist and truly enjoyed how quickly the day flew by. I knew the dental profession was for me just based on the level of respect and integrity within the medical community. Imagine my surprise when I attended my first semester of hygiene school to learn that we not only polished and counted teeth but also used subgingival curets and gave injections! Looking back, I wouldn’t trade a thing about my journey that brought me to my degree in dental hygiene, as it has been an incredible adventure.

Read more from Katrina: 5 New Year's resolutions every dental hygienist should make

What is your favorite part of your job?

As a clinical dental hygienist, I love common components within the dental practice such as collaborating with doctors who respect and appreciate my professional judgement, seeing resolution in patient cases and watching dental-phobic patients proudly seek treatment. However, I must say my favorite moments are the ones when I am able to utilize educational techniques to inform patients who many may consider “challenging.” I have greeted the most natural, holistic (and anti-fluoride) of patients only to conclude the appointment by them requesting a fluoride treatment and prescription for fluoride gel. I have successfully taken radiographs on patients who are concerned about dental radiation, have educated anti-root canal patients on the safety of root canal therapy, and convinced ambivalent patients on the importance of seeking care for their elevated vital signs. I believe my educational background in tandem with my genuine determination to seek the best interest of the patient shine through in those moments and encourage patients to seek the care they need.

As a dental hygiene educator and speaker, I love collaborating with like-minded professionals who believe in the importance of excellence in the provision of dental education. Participants of my courses admire the moments when my passion for dental hygiene paired with my joy for empowering my colleagues shine through. I very much believe, as an educator, that it is my responsibility to maintain and continue to elevate standards for dental professionals as we continue to seek expanded functions and begin to manage additional systemic diseases.  

What are some of your hobbies/interest/passions outside of work?

I am an incredibly active and energetic person. Currently, I spend my free time writing articles and educational content. But when I’m not sipping coffee and tapping on my laptop, I find time to clear my mind with incredible hobbies and passions. I attribute my energy and personal fitness to Jazzercise. The high-intensity cardio paired with targeted weight training has helped me maintain my vitality as a practicing dental hygienist six days per week.

I am actively concerned with the ethical and kind treatment of animals and have committed efforts to aiding local pet shelters in saving animals from euthanasia. I have also had the pleasure of delivering dental hygiene care and utilizing my restorative functions certification to underserved populations in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.  

I also have a love and passion for the stage, as I have directed, choreographed and performed in multiple plays and musicals throughout the country. Recently, I received an ariZONI award for my choreography of “Sunset Boulevard” with Desert Stages Theatre, an ariZONI award for my choreography of “Oklahoma!” and a DreamMaker’s award for my efforts to deliver dance training to low-income children in Phoenix.  

In addition, I am currently studying for my Level I Sommelier as a wine expert. I have always been a wine enthusiast and am fascinated with the wine-making process. Wine creates a mood, an energy and an ambiance unlike any other, and I am loving the opportunity to learn about its deep-rooted history, the articulate nose and palate associated with tastings, and the new techniques in preserving wines.

 

Lynne Slim

Lynne Slim is an award-winning dental author who has published extensively in dental/dental hygiene journals including the Journal of Dental Hygiene, the Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene and the Journal of the Western Society of Periodontology. In 2003, Lynne founded Perio C Dent, a dental practice management company that specializes in the incorporation of nonsurgical periodontal therapy into the hygiene department of the general dental practice.

As a key opinion leader in the dental industry, Lynne is frequently asked to review new products and write product reviews. She participates in product development and is consulted about consumer/RDH product awareness. Lynne received the Philips Oral Healthcare “Mentor of Distinction” award at the 2012 ADHA Annual Session.

Read more from Lynne: How to get your patients to ramp up their oral hygiene efforts

Why did you decide to become an RDH?

I selected dental hygiene as a career while in high school. During my junior year, I took a job at a local dental practice as a dental assistant and enjoyed the work atmosphere right away. I’m an independent cuss, so I knew that I wanted a position that would allow me to work in a provider capacity, so that’s why I chose dental hygiene.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Over the years, I’ve always treasured my interactions with patients, and I love to mentor oral health professionals in evidence-based periodontal therapy. Being a nerd who’s always attached to her MacBook Air, I am an insatiable learner and derive tremendous pleasure in learning. Patient care has always included a focus on education and I enjoy nothing better than teaching my patients something new that will benefit them in the long run. I’ve always been popular with my patients even though most of them tell me they are not enamored with clinical treatment.

What are some of your hobbies/interests/passions outside of work?

Besides dental hygiene, I am passionate about country living, physical fitness, interior design and rustic cabin décor, and my standard poodle puppy Fozzy keeps me on my feet. I have spent many years traveling in Europe and I have relatives in the United Kingdom who are very special to me.