An Important Letter from the UDHA

Dear Valued UDHA Member,

We would like to express our gratitude for your continued support of your profession! Your membership empowers your Utah Dental Hygienists' Association Board of Trustees (BOT) to support you throughout your career, strengthen you through networking and education, and advocate for the full application of your education.

We want to inform you of a recent development within the Utah Dental Association (UDA). You will be receiving an invitation to join the UDA as an “affiliate”. This membership, at the low cost of $50, provides some monetary advantages. However, this affiliate membership does not give you a voice in the UDA; it is not a voting membership. This means that if the UDA can say they represent more hygienists than your own association, they will have taken your voice and silenced it. You may be asking yourself, “What is my voice in association with UDHA and does the association work for what I want?” We are constantly volunteering and working hard to ensure that our education is put to use and we are able to not only employ our skills in an operatory but also for the underserved populations in Utah. What does that look like?

In 2015, we were able to change our practice act to allow patients direct access to the preventive services we as dental hygienists are uniquely qualified to deliver.

Our current legislative efforts are working towards being able to be directly reimbursed from Medicaid for services provided in these public health settings within the collaborative agreement.

In addition, we have looked into the inconsistencies of the practice act and what actually happens in the majority of offices regarding a dental hygiene diagnosis, as well as the legal ramifications that exists when we are forced to over or under treat patients.

We are hoping to strengthen our association and keep our voice strong. Earlier this year legislation was brought forward by the Washington State Dental Association for assistants to scale subgingivally. The legislation was not passed due to the lobbying efforts of the Washington State Dental Hygiene Association, the “hygiene voice” in Washington.

We ask for your continued support and petition you to talk with other hygienists that you work and associate with whom are not currently members of UDHA. Ask them to think about where they are putting their money. Is a cheap affiliate membership in a professional organization that is not our own worth silencing our voice? Is it worth undermining our profession and our education? And know that if UDA can go to the legislature saying they have more hygienist members than we do, they have succeeded in silencing ALL of our voices, not just their affiliate members.

You are a valued part of our profession and we again thank you for your support.

Sincerely, The Utah Dental Hygienists’ Association Board of Trustees