House Takes Action on Issues
DHASNY's 2013 House of Delegates began its November 1 meeting by celebrating the first-ever National Brush Day. Each delegate, toothbrush in hand, made plans to continue educational efforts to information children, caregivers and others about the importance of brushing twice daily for 2 minutes each. (That's President Robin Grasso with the super brush.) National Brush Day resources include this watch-as-you-brush video for children. Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, affecting 16.5 million in the U.S.
The House of Delegates adopted the following resolutions in November meetings held in conjunction with the Association’s Empire Conference:
- School readiness oral assessments: DHASNY encourages individual dental hygienists in New York State to perform the School Readiness Assessments and sign the forms and encourages components to plan initiatives to facilitate this involvement by hygienists. (See more information at right.)
- Interdisciplinary outreach on children’s oral health: DHASNY pursue interdisciplinary outreach initiatives with community healthcare and social service providers to increase understanding of the importance of oral healthcare for children as integral to overall wellness.
- Collaborative practice under Article 28: DHASNY encourages dental hygienists in New York State to partner with Article 28 facilities to implement the newly signed law, amending Education Law to enable dental hygienists to work within a Collaborative Practice Agreement with a dentist in an Article 28 facility. (See more information at right.)
- Tobacco cessation and second-hand smoke with the potential risk of third-hand smoke: DHASNY promotes tobacco cessation training and education and the use of the New York State quit line, and supports tobacco-free outdoor policies.
One and Only Campaign
DHASNY is working with the New York State program of the One and Only Campaign to increase information about safe injection practices, including dental procedures. This is a professional and public information campaign of the Centers for Disease Control and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition. Resources are available from the CDC and NYS programs. NYS has received renewed funding from CDC for this project.
What's New in Research, Reports
A consensus report from the American Academy of Periodontology and the European Federation od Periodontology sets out clinical recommendations for dental professions when treating persons with diabetes (December 2013)
New York State received a “good” or 60 percent rating in Oral Health America’s report, A State of Decay, which analyzes oral health care delivery and public health factors affecting the oral health of older adults. Primary workforce improvements were among the recommendations. OHA also launched a new web site with resources relating to older adults. (October 2013)
Public Policy & the Profession
New Law Adds RDHs for Dental Certificates: With DHASNY support, the NYS Education Law has been amended to include dental hygienists as designated professionals permitted to assess children's dental health and complete the certificates that report on the children's health readiness for school. Under Article 19, Section 903 (2)(a), RDHS, along with dentists can complete the certificates. The forms for use by RDHs when they perform the assessments have been revised and posted by the New York State Education Department, along with a Q&A from the Office of Professions.
Collaborative Practice - New Law for Article 28 Facilities: Successful achievement of improved oral health for New York residents will require multiple solutions with a diverse array of engaged partners. Legislation for dental hygienists to have collaborative practice agreements with dentists is a key part of DHASNY's agenda.
In a step forward to increase access to preventive and therapeutic dental hygiene services, legislation has been signed into law to enable a dental hygienist working in Article 28 facilities under NYS Public Health Law to have collaborative arrangements with a dentist who has a formal relationship with that facility. These include such public health facilities as hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic and treatment centers, acute care clinics, and free-standing ambulatory surgery centers. The law takes effect January 1, 2015.
Additional legislation for further collaborative practice opportunities was introduced in the state Assembly and Senate. Read more in our backgrounders and the legislation. DHASNY is continuing to advocate for initiatives that tap into RDHs' education and experience in improving oral health and access to such services for New Yorkers.
Influenza Regs: The New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council has adopted regulations for Article 28 and other designated facilities to require personnel who are not vaccinated against influenza wear a mask during the influenza season while working where patients may be present. See "Prevention of Influenza Transmission by Healthcare and Residential Facility and Agency Personnel” FAQ.
Dental hygiene time tunnel - Attendees at the DHASNY Empire Conference President's Dinner were joined by colleagues from the past and future who talked about what it was like to be a dental hygienist in the 1920s, 1940s, 1980s and what might be in store in the future. You may know our almost-ready-for-prime-time players as Donna DiGioia, Michele Rase, Jean Hall, Christine Rogers, and Karen Palleschi.
For Public Education: Factsheets Help You Maintain Good Oral Health
DHASNY produces a series of consumer-oriented facsheets that help people focus on maintaining good oral health. You can download these helpful facsheets here.
Charting Career Paths
Catch DHASNY members on Youtube videos talking
President's Perspective: Ringing in Exciting Century for RDHs
DHASNY held a momentous 93rd Empire Conference in Hauppauge, NY Nov.1-3, 2013. The 8 CE courses were well attended and got rave reviews on the variety and quality of the presentations. If you were among the many hygienists who attended you know we did celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Dental Hygiene Profession in style (see photo below at left).
I am so very pleased to see our legislative agenda progress. Governor Cuomo signed the law this past spring that ushers in Collaborative Practice for Dental Hygienists in Article 28 facilities. The rules and regulations are being drafted now. The law will take effect January 2015.Hygienists all over NYS need to keep an open mind - clinical practice is changing. We will practice where the patients are; they are not all coming into our private offices. Our scope of practice will be unchanged, but we will able to reach many more underserved patients. DHASNY continues to promote access to care. DHASNY will prepare hygienists to sign collaborative practice agreements with dentists. Get ready to grow with our expanding practice settings.
Robin Grasso, President