It was brought to my attention that the hygienists that have concluded the actual Department of Health hearings are receiving attention, due to their names being listed on the GoFundMe/RDHFund Website...
Even though it is all a matter of public record, I have removed specific names.
One of the hygienists, the case was completely dismissed!
The other we are still awaiting the results of the hearing.
Your continued support is still vital and appreciated as there are more charges being filed against non-traditional dental hygienists.
How can you help to show support to your fellow Dental Hygienists?
-- Gather your list of email addresses of all your friends and acquaintances and send them the GoFundMe link! Cut and paste the link below into your email -- http://www.gofundme.com/RDHFund.
We all need to do our part, no matter how small to get the word out to our friends, family and colleagues that the future of our profession is at stake.
Thank you for your continued support for those few that are trying to make a difference for the future of all of the Dental Hygienist's in Washington State.
These few people are helping to CHANGE YOUR FUTURE!!! Opening up more opportunities for you and your families.
Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers and consider making a donation to the RDH Defense Fund. Most people don't have the advantage of a legal team, (like the Department of Health does.) Please donate to YOUR future.
The department of health is still trying to intimidate those few hygienists who are paving the way for YOUR future. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Also you can go to the Alliance of Dental Hygiene Practitioners page on Facebook and "Like" it!
In an interesting article below there is a rally for Dental Therapists in Washington State. What if this was expanded to letting Dental Hygienist's own their own business and/or practice independently? In the article Dr. Narváez talks about being able to expand the hours in his dental clinics with the use of dental therapists. What if he extended the same to independent Dental Hygienists'? It could expand to meet the needs of even MORE patients...
Please see the article: "Op-ed: Dental therapists could help people get care needed in Washington State"...
A new kind of dental provider could introduce flexibility and cost-efficiency to oral health care that nurse practitioners and physician assistants have brought to health care, writes guest columnist Alex Narváez. Link: http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2019408435_guestalexnarvaezxml.html.
Let everyone practice to the ability of their education and training!
Thank you for your support for the RDHFund. This is YOUR future!!! Thanks!
Scope of Practice:
This statement came from a paper submitted to the National Conference of State Legislatures in
Washington, DC titled, "Challenges and Opportunities
Facing the Dental and Dental Public Health Workforce:" by Tim Henderson, MSPH
"State laws/regulations and customary affiliations with dentists often restrict access to care by limiting the type of practice settings, imposing restrictive supervision requirements and not allowing direct reimbursement to allied dental professionals, especially dental hygienists. Such limits/requirements often are incommensurate with the education/experience of many of these professionals."
This paper was presented in 2004!!!!!!
Please support by donating to the RDH Legal Defense Fund so that the pioneering Dental Hygienists that are being targeted by the Department of Health are supported. Helping them is helping you and your future!
Greetings Washington State RDH Legal Defense Fund supporters!
I have some template letters for writing to your Senator and/or Representative concerning the Scope of Practice for Dental Hygienists. - It only takes a few minutes to insert your name and personal story. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send them to you. Please share with your patients and friends.
Hopefully next week I will have a couple "template" letters that people can use to write their legislators. The request for such has been overwhelming. Once you have the main "body" of the letter, you can plug in your specific Senator and/or Representative. Add your personal story and fire off the letter to them! I'll even have websites where you can easily look up their address information. Let's start being heard!!
Hooray! We are over the half-way point of our goal!
Thank you for all who have donated to the Washington State RDH Legal Defense Fund. Your continued support is crucial in assisting the hygienists who are under attack by the Department of Health. DOH rules are outdated. We should not accept their intimidation when people's livelihoods are at stake. Stand up for changing the scope of practice for all dental hygienists.
Did you know that in the majority of Canada, Dental Hygienists are recognized as primary health-care providers, and can have their own, independent practice settings! Think about it! Allowing the scope of practice to expand in Washington State for Dental Hygienists would allow people the choice for more affordable, obtainable oral health care!
See article below:
If we can again focus on the Scope of Practice for Dental Hygiene... Please take a moment to read the initiatives that concern us all. (links are in previous post and on main page)
YOU CAN DO something - write your legislators!!! I have a .pdf document that helps you navigate through the "jargon" of writing a letter to your elected officials. It will help you put a letter together in no time. (Then you can share it with your friends...)
You can go to the www.wsdha.com website and look for the .pdf on Writing your Legislators. OR Email me @ email@example.com and I'd be happy to send you a copy of the .pdf to get you started.
PLEASE, write a letter - they even take email!!! - thank you!
Scope of Practice...
For the next few weeks, I will be posting information regarding the Scope of Practice Initiative. For the entire story visit the Citizens Action Committee Website @ http://www.cacenter.org/cac/SOP.
From the dental hygiene Scope of Practice document it says:
"If dental hygienists were allowed to provide the full array of services for which they are qualified
based on their education and training, they will be able to help alleviate significant problems with
access to oral health care."
This is what we are trying to accomplish...
Speaking of accomplishments - we are almost half-way to our current Defense Fund Goal. Thank you for all your support!
Your friends and colleagues are not only being unfairly targeted by the DOH for use of topical anesthetic and practicing non-traditional dental hygiene. Some are actually being FIRED simply because they have been practicing a long time. Dentists don't want to pay for experienced hygienists. They'd rather pay part-time dental hygienists, leaving experienced dental hygienists now looking for "employment."
Are you a part-time employee? Do you bring in full-time patients"¦?
Isn't it time that you were your own boss? With your help this can become a reality.
Stand up for your profession.
For Washington Residents! - SAVE THE DATE: Join your friends and guide the future of your profession - attend House of Delegates for your component. October 13-14 at the Kitsap Convention Center on the waterfront in Bremerton.
Dear Friends and Colleagues - I am posting the below email that I have sent to many people. I would love for you to do the same! We have many friends and families who will be affected by what the DOH is trying to do. Please "copy" and "paste" the below email message and send out to your personal email lists. You never know who this might touch! If you would like me to send it for you, forward the email addresses to: RHDFUND@Gmail.com. - Thank you!
Washington State Dental Hygienist - Friends & Colleagues - These issues affect you!
The Alliance of Dental Hygiene Practitioners and the Washington State Dental Hygiene Association would like to bring to your attention recent actions by the Washington State Department of Health directed against Washington Dental Hygienists. These actions will impact you and how you practice in the future even if you are working as an employee of a dentist.
Several of your colleagues are under investigation (and in some cases charges have been filed) by the Department of Health (DOH). Without compromising their cases and to respect their privacy we will not share individual names. The DOH is investigating a range of issues; applying topical anesthetic without supervision, and whether it is legal for a dental hygienist to own a dental hygiene practice/business or deliver care to patients in their own homes. You might not know that the LAW regulating dental hygiene practice states that a dental hygienist MAY be employed in dental offices and in other private and public settings"¦ not MUST be employed. The "must" is a recent interpretation by the DOH. Several dental hygienists who operate as independent practitioners and work in "non- traditional" settings to provide their patients with the best possible oral health care are the main focus of these investigations. HOWEVER "“ it affects YOU. If the DOH's interpretation of the law prevails in these cases even hygienists working in dental offices may be subject to tighter and unreasonable restrictions. Do you want to be able to help your patients by providing the best care possible in any setting of your choice using your current education and training? As licensed professionals we could be doing so much more to help people access preventive services!
Part of the focus of the DOH investigations is on the use of topical anesthetic. You may recall in the most recent issue of the Washington State Dental Hygiene Association Newsletter; the article entitled Update of Department of Health Investigations by Colleen Gaylord states;
"Of particular interest to all practicing hygienists is the current interpretation of the law pertaining to the use of topical anesthetics. The hygienists undergoing investigation have used topical anesthetic for patient comfort during procedures. This has been interpreted by the Department of Health as practicing outside our scope of practice "“ interpreting this as the same as administering local anesthesia by injection. The DOH has interpreted any use of topical anesthetic as requiring the close supervision of a dentist. Although topical anesthetics are available as on over-the-counter product, the DOH has defined them as a local anesthetic without any differentiation between topical and injectable. Currently the DOH believes that any practice setting requires close supervision for the use of topical"¦"
Let's put this in perspective. The DOH is saying that it is "ILLEGAL" for a hygienist (a licensed professional) to apply topical anesthetic for their patients comfort unless they are "under the close supervision of a dentist." Really? In non-traditional settings such as nursing homes or prisons, where supervision is NOT required, are dentists now going to be required to go "watch" a hygienist apply topical anesthetic? It is as absurd as saying that a mother must have a dentist come to her home at 3:30 in the morning to watch her apply Anbesol to their teething infants gums!
This "interpretation" of the law and the bullying tactics of the DOH will continue unless you
DO SOMETHING. You can write your legislator (see below links). You can ask your patients and friends to do the same. If they don't know what to say, draft a script for them to use. Go the website of www.gofundme.com/rdhfund to donate to the Washington State RDH Legal Defense Fund to support those that are trying to make these changes. They are the ones on the front lines who will be challenging these issues in court for all of us and they really need your help!
The DOH will use all their legal resources against these dental hygienists. The real irony is our license fees are paying for this! Most dental hygienists don't have money for huge legal expenses. Do you?
The DOH wants to make sure things "stay as they always have." Is that what you want? We can use the skills and talents we have to change the face of oral health care in Washington! We have come too far to stop now! Help make it possible for you and future generations of dental hygienists by thinking "outside the box". Health care delivery is changing whether we welcome it or not! Help bring us closer to our goal of affordable and accessible preventive care for everyone and a future for hygienists to choose the way we want to care for those who need us most.
Washington State Dental Hygiene Association Newsletter "“ 3rd Quarter, Issue No. 155 Update of Department of Health Investigations by: Colleen Gaylord, Chair Regulation and Practice Committee
Is the Department of Health going to tell a mom that she can't apply Anbesol (which she can pick up over-the-counter) to her teething (crying, screaming and extremely unhappy) infant at 3:30 in the morning unless a dentist watches her?
Currently the Department of Health says it is "illegal" for Dental Hygienists "“ trained professionals - to apply topical anesthetic to their patients gums without close dental supervision"¦ "“ Crazy huh? BUT if you don't support the Washington State RDH Legal Defense Fund, this silly rule will continue to exist.
Thank you for all of your support. Please post our link on Facebook and send the link to your friends. Lets keep the momentum going!!
Let's take control of our profession and make some positive changes! It will affect all of our futures. - Thanks!!!
Would you like to be able to accommodate your patients with their oral health needs, even if the means might be "non-traditional?" You can help by donating to the Washington State RDH Legal Defense Fund. - see our story...
Washington State Dental Hygienists' Legal Defense Fund
**NEW ANNOUNCEMENT: Great news! HB 1330, our topical anesthetic/home-bound patient bill, passed the Senate unanimously on April 16, 2013. It has been signed by Governor Inslee and will take effect on July 28th, 2013.
"The Washington State Dental Hygienists' Association and the Alliance of Dental Hygiene Practitioners supports and endorses the efforts of our members who are practicing collaboratively within the Dental Hygiene Scope of Practice "”providing direct care to patients"”to pursue legal means to protect their right to practice".
has been one of the most progressive states when it comes to dental hygiene
practice. In 1971 we became the first state to allow hygienists to administer
local anesthetic for the comfort of our patients. Over the years Washington's
dental hygienists have made great strides in improving access to care and
providing safe, cost effective dental hygiene services. Unfortunately the
state's Department of Health threatens to derail all our efforts with recent
actions, and we are asking for your help! It is our turn to say NO.
For the past two
years the Department has investigated a number of dental hygienists who work in
non-traditional settings, own their dental hygiene "businesses" or contract
with various entities in order to provide services directly to patients. Some
of the patients that these hygienists serve are not able to afford dental care
because of loss of a job and/or loss of dental insurance. The current
traditional system does not allow any flexibility for people who simply want choices
about who cleans their teeth. Some patients cannot continue to see their
dentist due to physical disabilities, medical conditions or mobility issues,
and are better served by hygienists who can come into their homes or care
NONE of the complaints
that have been filed with the Department have been from patients!!! NO fraud or
harm to patients has ever been documented.
unknown reasons, the Department has decided to make interpretations of
long-standing statutes and regulations that conflict with the standards of
practice adhered to by Washington's hygienists for over 25 years! **
being accused of practicing dentistry because they own their businesses or
perform screenings for oral cancer and other oral conditions. The result of
these interpretations has been costly legal expenses and an emotional roller
coaster for the hygienists who are being investigated.
interpretations by the Department are allowed to stand it means taking a huge
step backwards for hygienists and an immense disservice to the public we serve! There is an impact to all of us: Washington's hygienists
would be required to practice working only as employees of a supervising
dentist and providing clinical care exclusively for patients who can afford to
receive that care in an office owned by a dentist!
This is wrong! It
is not consistent with other independent legal interpretations of the practice
act. The only way to confront the Department's misguided tactics is through the
court system. Individual hygienists should not, and cannot, bear the
potentially huge legal costs all on their own. This impacts ALL of our futures
because we are all in it together. That is why we are asking for your financial
The target number
is a BIG one: $150,000 at least to take this all the way to
the State Supreme Court should that become necessary. We know many people are
struggling financially, but the cost of not doing anything will be much higher!
Let these fellow hygienists know you are committed to their efforts on our
behalf. We all have a stake in how this turns out, so please give generously.
Every dollar helps!
This money was raised in support of our community practicing hygienists by member hygienists and students attending the WSDHA Annual House of Delegates, October 12th, in Richland, WA. We support you and appreciate your dedication to the profession of dental hygiene. Thank you!
Vhari, WSDHA Immediate Past President
I feel that if we do not continue to stand for our profession in the near future our profession may be just a "memory." Please consider donating a protion of your daily wage to support fellow hygienists.
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