President’s Message


What Is Gratitude?

Defined as:

Gratitude is recognizing the bonus value for favorable things or positive life experiences for which we did not actively work towards or ask for. A dictionary definition would be ‘gifts outweighing exchange’

And sincere Gratitude is what I have for you all being here today. Although I have lived through and survived, working without masks and gloves, horrified my now almost 40 yr old daughter by telling her I would come home from work, most likely with prophy paste under my nails and nurse her as soon as I picked her up from daycare, 2K, H1N1, Aids, Ebola, and who knows what else. This CoVid-19 is unknown territory. Being calm and practicing social distancing, we will get through this one too.

Gratitude is what I have for the people who surround me, on the executive board and also those in allied roles. 

DDHA functions with so many hands. BUT, more can always be used. I am preaching to the choir , so to speak as you are here, giving of your time and minds to better this association. I have heard stories from other states that there are those who feel their help and involvement is unwanted. Please know, if anyone ever feels that way here, please speak up, to me or anyone so that can be corrected. There is always room for input, help, suggestions or whatever. This is an open and growing group. We need new voices so that we don’t become stagnant.

My challenge is to Inspire Others, join me, us, in this journey as hygienists. Growth of DDHA relies on this.

Yes, I am a senior member and proud of it! You too can gain senior membership in ADHA, easy to do. Just be a continuous member of ADHA for 25 years and the US Government legal retirement age and you qualify. Bonus is a reduced membership fee! 

This proud senior is not finished. There are ways for DDHA to grow. This past year DDHA held its first meetings by Zoom, as I have said I am taking DDHA kicking and screaming into the 21st century, there is so much more to do. Join us in this journey and Inspire others to join too. Possibly if we were all quarantined, we could have held this annual session by Zoom.

Many are unhappy with the limitations of working in Delaware. As many of you know, I will soon retire from clinical after 48 years. Eventually I will move to Seattle where my daughter and family live. I cannot get a license there because I do not have an anesthesia certificate! Washington State was the first state to pass anesthesia in 1971. I graduated in 1972 from WVU, the class after me was anesthesia certified.  Together, we can work towards changes, it is not something that can be done alone. Making steps towards this I have joined my local representative committee, become acquainted with my state representative and senator. Through one of our advocacy days in Dover, I met someone who happened to be from my representative district who also is the lobbyist for the Heart Association. Last legislative session this led to him calling me to support what was called the “child’s beverage bill”. A bill to have restaurants offer water or milk as first choice for kids meals. I was asked, “ are you still involved with the hygienists’ association?” I said,  uh, you could say that! A last minute email to come testify at a hearing when the bill was introduced in the house seemed impossible but when a patient canceled, I moved another one up and was on my way to Dover. I proudly and nervously provided testimony, excited to be able to speak before the lobbyist (paid by the way) for the dental society, just by the luck of how we signed up to speak. The bill passed the house. When the bill came up in the senate, my schedule did not cooperate and fortunately dedicated member and Kent Sussex Adviser, Mary Trinkle was able to attend and provide testimony for DDHA to support this bill! The bill passed and was signed into law by Governor Carney.

Through this process I also met Representative Melissa Minor- Brown and participated in her health fair she had in her district, along side the DSDS president. She had great give aways, I had a self made display of sugar in drinks which was very popular! Another networking opportunity.

I challenge each of you, get to know your local representative and senator. If DDHA ever has any legislation, they will know who you are and hopefully support us. I also represent Delaware as a liaison to Head Start although I am still trying to get New Castle County to participate. As a representative for Delaware to a national dental access to care advocacy group, OPEN, Oral Health Progress and Equity Network we advocated in Washington last October. It was then I found out there has never been a CDC office in Delaware and that only 20 states now had one. In today’s virus issue, I now understand what that absence means.

Why am I boring you with all of this??? There is a place for each one of you in DDHA. Make your self  known in your community. I have introduced myself so many times to the now governor as, yes, I’m that Dental Hygienist! 

We have many committees and officer positions that are perfect for YOU, if someone is currently in that position, there will be a vacancy at some point, especially President! 

As I express my gratitude for all you do, for giving up your time and being away from your family, I also ask you to Inspire Others and join us in DDHA.

Thank you!

Nancy Brohawn, RDH, BSDH

DDHA President