I am Amber Reap, your newly installed MDHA president. I want to start off by telling you a little about myself. I was pretty much born and raised in a tiny town in southwestern MT. I attended dental hygiene school in Sheridan, WY, graduating in 2010. After temping in the Billings area for about a year, I moved closer to home when I was offered a permanent position in a private office in Dillon, MT. I worked in this practice, that I loved, for about six years before I decided that it was time for a change. It was difficult to leave my patients that I had grown so fond of and coworkers that had become my best friends. However, I had the opportunity to gain my limited access permit and move my career path in a different direction. As a LAP, I started with the Ag Worker’s Health and Services providing care in the clinic in Dillon as well as on outreach trips. Prior to Covid, I was also seeing patients in our local nursing home and the SouthWest MT Community Health Center and I hope to be again soon. I enjoy the diversity of these roles and the focus of patient education and medical/dental integration. At ten plus years of hygiene, I still love my job!
I am honored to be your MDHA president this year. I was an active member of SADHA and have been an ADHA member since I graduated in 2010. I joined the MDHA board of trustees in 2014 as a co-trustee for the Butte component and have held several positions since, including membership chair and treasurer. My time on the board has helped me to see the true value of membership. For me, it’s not about the discount on my personal liability insurance or the deals on CE, although both are nice perks! To me membership is about an organization that is supporting me as a professional. I see on a state and national level how our organization advocates for hygienists whether they are working in private practice, public health, education or somewhere in between. ADHA is giving hygienists a voice at the table in many important discussions, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. The more members we have the stronger our voice! If you are a current member, I want to thank you. If you are considering becoming a member, I encourage you to reach out to your board of trustees or a fellow hygienist that you know and ask what membership means to them. We are stronger together!
This year will likely be challenging as we face continuing struggles with the board of dentistry, legislation, and figuring out how to come together in an era of social distancing. Our board of trustees met virtually in November to define our strategic pan. This is our commitment to the profession and a roadmap to how we will focus our energy throughout the year to benefit our membership. This process started at the member meeting in October when the board listened to what our members are asking us to achieve. For the board to be successful in fulfilling our strategic plan we need the continued support of our membership in each of these endeavors that we strike forward in. This support comes from being active in your local components. Speaking to your dentists and your legislators. Volunteering, whether it be within the MDHA board of trustees or local community outreach programs. Become active and stay informed. Big things are accomplished when we have lots of people each doing their part! I look forward to a great year serving as your president!
Amber Reap, RDH LAP