Heather Blair, Carmen Negron-Dupee and I recently returned from a very successful ADHA 95th Annual Conference. It was such a privilege to serve as your Delegates & Alternate Delegate for Vermont. It was such an amazing experience and nice to meet with colleagues from our district and see old friends from around the country.

The week, while busy, was packed with fun, educational and inspiring events. We were excited to be able to participate in a community service event that kicked off the conference. Each year the event is held in a different city, allowing us to provide oral health care education to locals in need. This year we worked with an organization called The Open Shelter. It is a homeless shelter that provides its clients with everything from food, clothing, linens, and toys for children. We spent the morning educating clients on how to perform a self oral cancer exam, discussing caries risk in relation to diet as well as well as handing out homecare supplies.

The next few days were filled with great continuing education courses, both didactic and hands on, as well as an exhibit floor showcasing all hygiene supplies! There were a couple of great speakers to start off our days, including Michael Walsh, a futurist. His inspirational speech left us all thinking about how the upcoming generation will help shape the world and how we as professionals can best communicate with them. Another fabulous, and funny, speaker we had the privilege to hear was Michael Jr. While he is a comedian, his mission is to create a community of individuals from all backgrounds who can come together in a time of need and help service a community. To learn more about his mission visit: https://punchliners.hivebrite.com/page/about-us.

The next part of the conference was the business meeting, which encompasses the House of Delegates (1, 2 & 3) as well as balloting and electing the new officiants of the ADHA. We were happy to serve as your delegates & alternate delegate from Vermont. Be on the look out for updates to our National Executive Board Resolutions and Bylaws. We also attended advocacy updates and membership workshops – both which gave us new ideas to implement in Vermont.

Attending this conference is such an amazing experience! It allows you to make connections with other hygienists that you may never have had the chance to meet as well as work on advancing the profession forward at a national level and bringing back a new perspective and energy back to the state organization. It is my hope you can experience it in the course of your career!

Erica Gates, RDH, BA, AS
VDHA President-Elect