Editorial Advisory Board member since November 2020
- Who/what has inspired you in your career?
I have been a dental hygienist for over 23 years. My sister-in-law introduced me to dental hygiene and I have never looked back. I cannot imagine doing anything else. A volunteer experience at the Tri-County Dental Clinic changed my path. It made me realize I wanted to work in the public health capacity and help the underserved. I have been fortunate to work with some incredible people along the way. Dental hygiene has cultivated many friendships with people who always inspire me.
- What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Becoming the Dental Clinic Manager for Lake Area Free Clinic has been my greatest challenge, but also the most rewarding. Learning the administrative, marketing, HR, fundraising, business, and balancing the operations has been a lot of fun. I love never having the same day twice.
- What’s been the most memorable moment?
Working alongside an amazing staff, volunteers and students to develop a dental clinic model has been most memorable. Taking the Clinic from its inception/design and watching it come to fruition to serve the needs of a vulnerable population, who had no dental home, has been truly rewarding work.
- How do you spend your free time?
I spend a lot of time in the bleachers or behind the windshield. My son is a sophomore at UW Madison majoring in economics. My daughter is a freshman and plays high school and club volleyball. I would not want to spend it any other way!
- What’s one thing others would be surprised to know about you?
I am the daughter of a carpenter. I grew up pretty comfortable with tools in my hand and love do-it-yourself projects.
- What would be your dream job if you weren’t a dental hygienist?
Working at the Lake Area Free Clinic IS my dream job.
- What advice would you give to new graduate dental hygienists?
Most importantly, find the right office. A job should never be about the pay, take money out of the equation and go with what feels right. The money will fall into place. Who you work with can make or break your experience.
Attend lots of continuing education: it keeps the profession fun, keeps you up to date, and helps you provide better care to patients. When dental hygiene becomes a routine it becomes boring. Find ways to keep it fun. It shows in your work and your attitude.
- What are your hopes for the future of dentistry?
I hope that hygienists will always be seen as the professionals they are. I wish more dental hygienists could learn the business side of dentistry. It helps to understand how a dental hygienist is instrumental in the care of patients and an important part of the business. A great dental hygienist can only enhance the patient experience and the team. Strive to enhance not only your profession but those around you.