It’s been two weeks and I am still charged after attending the 93rd Annual Session and Center for Lifelong Learning of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA). This is my fourth time attending. I share the sentiments of many of my colleagues, "It gets better and better every year." This year’s CLL was located in the city of bridges, Pittsburgh, PA. The architecture and city location was absolutely breathtaking!!! We were in a prime location with easy walks to great restaurants and activities. The Penguins won during our stay! You could hear the cheers and celebrations all throughout the streets. Pittsburgh is one live city!
My first event was the IOH Presidential reception. It was a great way to kick of the 5 days I would be in attendance. I was eager to see my friends and meet some new colleagues. We each have a unique story and passion for our profession. I gain energy from sharing those stories. The networking and camaraderie is the best part of the ADHA Annual Session. The band that played that night was INCREDIBLE!! My original partner in crime Christie Lincoln of Your Smiling Hygienist, joined me and it was just like old times!! I was "breaking it down" on the dance floor. At the end of the night, I didn't want to leave.
Saturday's Plenary session was nothing short of AH-mazing!!! I think that's my favorite adjective. I kept saying it throughout this plenary session. They kicked off the session with a true "Pittsburgh welcome." It was hard to keep in my seat. What a great way to pump up the energy before the session began. Maryland's own was awarded!!! Our Immediate Past President of the Maryland Dental Hygienists' Association Laura Smith received the Esther Wilkins Future Leader Award and Jackie Fried received the Irene Neuman Professional Achievement Award. Congratulations ladies!!!
The Saturday keynote speaker was Allison Levine. Allison is a force to be reckon with. Love her message! Her story was exhilarating and inspiring. She discussed her experience with climbing Mount Everest and likened that journey to leadership. I held on to each of her words. The energy in that room after her speech was contagious. She has a book that follows that journey entitled "On the Edge". It’s waiting in my Audible library! Can’t wait to hear it.
This year the ADHA introduced Networking and Hot Topics, several free 1 hour discussions. ADHA gave Shavonne Healy and I the opportunity to speak about our passion. Super excited to share this experience with her! The group I facilitated was entitled “The Many Facets of Diversity in Dental Hygiene.” A diverse group of hygienists attended and contributed to an informational discussion on the evolution of diversity. It was clear at the end of our discussion that this exchange of information should continue in order to help hygienists provide cultural and linguistic competent care. At the end of our meeting, one of the participants stated "I hope ADHA continues this discussion and provides a course longer in length." I concur!!
Sunday began my first experience with the ADHA House of Delegates (HOD). I was literally blown away by its efficiency. Our speaker of the house was phenomenal. She ran the HOD like a well-oiled machine. The process was nerve wracking but I am eager to join next year and have a chance to participate again. I attended several other business meetings from Sunday-Tuesday that ranged from the legislative update, leadership discussion (so much fun!), membership discussion, candidates forum, and reference committee meetings. I was honored when asked to join a panel for the Governance of Tomorrow Project. I joined the stage with Kelli Swanson Jaecks and Elijah Desmond. I had a great time talking about the future of our professional organization. The discussion after the panel was invigorating and I look forward to reading the results of our meeting and seeing the final outcome in 2017. Read more about this historical project HERE.
Congrats to all the newly elected officers especially District III’s own Michele Braerman as Vice President and Presidential Appointed DIII Trustee Dawn Ann Dean. The association will be busy for another year. Read on what they accomplished in the past year HERE.
Other cool happenings, my former professor Marion taught me how to use UBER…strange feeling that it wasn’t the other way around! What a hoot! It was great seeing and meeting new colleagues. I spotted “my BFF in my head” Michelle from A Tale of Two Hygienists. Tried to remain calm while I was geeking out, LOL. So sad that I missed Andrew! What a delight to finally meet Karen Siebert and Sherri Lukes who will be speaking at the Maryland Dental Hygienists’ Association at our 2017 Spring Scientific Session. As long as I am able I will continue to support and attend this Annual Session. I am thankful for each and every experience I encounter and look forward to creating more memories in the future.
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