Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I am honored and privileged to assume the role of President of the Arizona Dental Hygienists’ Association (2023-2024). I acknowledge the leadership and outstanding contributions provided by Jeanette Lalli during her presidency. The work of the Arizona Dental Hygienists’ Association (AzDHA) cannot be achieved without the Board of Directors (BOD). These volunteers share their time and energy to fulfill the mission of AzDHA. In this endeavor, I am joined by Jeanette Lalli (Vice President), Katy Obert (Secretary), Davy Evans (Treasurer), and Shawn Everingham (Director at Large). On behalf of all of us, I thank our Executive Director Deb Goldman for her commitment to helping us achieve our goals.
The 2023 AZ legislative session is in full swing and AzDHA is remaining engaged. We are steadfast in our ambition to improve oral and overall health. We support House Bill (HB)2141 which expands “the list of covered services under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) […] to include comprehensive dental care for women who are at least 21 years of age and in any stage of pregnancy.” House Bill (HB)2338 expands “the list of covered services under AHCCCS […] to include preventive dental care.”
Our efforts to advance our profession continue with HB2473 which expands dental hygienists’ scope of practice. In summary, it states that “dental hygienists are authorized to perform a “dental hygiene assessment” and do “dental hygiene treatment planning” (both defined) as components of a diagnosis and treatment plan developed by a dentist.”
We agree with HB2529 which “repeals statute establishing a [sunrise] process for a health professional group seeking an increased scope of practice.” There is a mirror bill in the Senate chamber, Senate Bill (SB)1248 which seeks the same result.
Outside of the AZ Legislature, AzDHA has invested considerable resources in seeking clarity on how existing statutes & rules apply to Botox & dermal fillers. We have been persistent even when faced with numerous obstacles because our members, and a majority of dental hygienists across Arizona, say this matter is of great importance to them. Due to our tenacity, a request for an opinion from the AZ Attorney General’s office has been recorded. They are the ones to provide an interpretation of the statutes.
In everything we do this year, we will build in the opportunity for you to get to know your colleagues. This is how AzDHA will support our members’ success. We know that having a strong professional network that you can call on with a difficult question helps you do your job better, especially if a job change is on the horizon.
We are committed to providing quarterly Continuing Education (CE) opportunities with a specific focus on each AzDHA component. All of AzDHA’s work is focused on enriching your experience as member. Your support will make 2023 a year to remember.
All the best,
Valery Brady, RDH