HAPPY 2019 NDDHA!
It is my pleasure to introduce myself to
all of you who may not have been able
to attend Fall Session with us this year.
I am not going to lie, stepping into the
role of President for the NDDHA is
daunting and I continue to sit back and
think of what to write for the
newsletter; what tasks I should be taking
on; what areas I can work on to improve you experience with the NDDHA; and much more. Therefore, I am asking for you, as members of our association, to become VOCAL and share with me any concerns you have; any suggestions you have for improving membership experience; areas you would like me to get to work on; etc. I am not only SUPER new to this position, I am SUPER new to the dental hygiene world, having graduated from MState in 2017. So, there you have it; I have started the new year with giving you all a task!!!
Dental hygiene is an AMAZING field to work in. I absolutely love working in an FQHC clinic, reaching so many patients who may not have been to the dentist in 5 years, or ever for that matter. Patients come with little oral hygiene IQ; with severe anxiety and fear; with limited resources to pay for dental care; and many other obstacles. There is nothing as rewarding as seating a patient with utter distain and fear of the dental chair: to talk them gently through radiographs, an exam, a prophy; and,
Meet Rachelle Gustafson
Rachelle Gustafson, RDH, District VII Trustee is from Grand Forks ND. She graduated from North Dakota State College of Science in 1997 and is in the process of completing her Bachelors of Dental Hygiene at Minnesota State University Mankato. She plans to continue her education with the goal of receiving a Masters in Organizational Leadership. Rachelle has worked as a hygienist for 20 years with the first 10 years of her profession working in a small private office before making the change to work in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Currently, she works part-time as a clinical hygienist at Valley Community Health Centers and spends the remainder of her days helping individuals explore options that will help make their health care and dental care affordable. Rachelle has also had the great pleasure of work with two different school-based sealant programs. One program “Smart Smiles” was developed with a private practice office and she is currently working to develop and implement a school-based sealant program within the FQHC. She enjoys new challenges and understands the importance of bringing care to children who may not have the opportunity to receive it otherwise.
Rachelle and her husband Ryan have two children. Mikayla (22) will be starting graduate school at the University of Wisconsin Madison in the Doctorate of Audiology program. Travis (17) will be a senior in high school. He recently earned his Eagle Scout award and plans to further his education upon graduation studying Mechanical or Computer Hardware Engineering. Rachelle and her family enjoy spending time with family at the lake in MN, attending automobile races, and cheering on the Steelers. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, photography, and scrapbooking. During the long cold North Dakota winters, you will find Rachelle relaxing with a good book or watching a movie with her “Baby Girl” Daisy (5-year-old King Charles Caviler) curled up on her lap.
Rachelle is proud to be a member of the ADHA and has enjoyed the friendship she has formed through her involvement. She has held various positions on the NDDHA Board of Trustees. Those positions include Secretary, Treasurer, President-Elect, President, Past President, ADHA Delegate (3 years) and Legislative Chair (2 years). In 2014, Rachelle was honored by the NDDHA as Outstanding Hygienist of the year.
Rachelle is excited to continue her journey in leadership and looks forward to the friendships that will form along the way. Rachelle believes that by working together we can make a difference.
To improve the public's total health, the mission of the North Dakota Dental Hygienists' Association is to advance the art and science of dental hygiene by increasing the awareness of and ensuring access to quality oral health care, promoting the highest standards of dental hygiene education, licensure and practice, and representing and promoting the interests of dental hygienists.