Hello Montana Hygienists!
Thank you for allowing me to be your new MDHA president. I am looking forward to an amazing year serving on the Board of Trustees. I love being able to represent the Flathead Valley and Montana hygienists. I was born and raised here on our 6th generation family farm just outside of Kalispell. I am so proud of my humble upbringing where I learned that faith, family, and hard work are what get you through. I grew up the third of four daughters with both of my parents being dedicated educators. Not going to college was never an option. When Great Falls College of Technology opened their very first Dental Hygiene program to begin in 2002 I quickly applied and was accepted! Phew! That was half the battle, am I right?! Fast forward almost 20 years later and I find myself back where my roots took hold. Back in this beautiful place I live feeling so privileged to call it home. I am blessed to have two growing children and a loving husband that I am forever grateful for.
I joined the Montana Dental Hygienists’ Association Board of Trustees in 2015 when I moved back to the Flathead Valley. Since then I’ve had multiple roles as component trustee, Annual Session chair, alternate delegate, and now President and Delegate. I am truly honored to have the privilege to represent the amazing hygienists that reside in our state. Through these different roles, I have learned so much about our profession. I have learned why it is important to have a Board of Trustees so we can have a voice in our profession. I have also learned the sacrifices and efforts of the amazingly dedicated hygienists that have gone before me. Their perseverance and courage has granted us privileges that we unknowingly take for granted almost every day in private practice. Privileges such as administering local anesthesia, or working under general supervision. These were rights that the hygienists before me fought for, hoping to advance the profession and secure the future for generations to come. We have a long and impressive history of outstanding trailblazers for the dental hygiene profession right here in the state of Montana. I love that I get to know these women and consider many of them mentors and colleagues (you know who you are!).
I can truly admit that being on the Board of Trustees these past many years has been the best professional decision I have ever made! Not only has it benefited me personally with lifetime friendships and experiences, but it has helped me to realize there is SO MUCH more to dental hygiene than scraping teeth and collecting a paycheck. By being a member of MDHA I am contributing to something bigger than myself. I am contributing to the profession that has sustained and nurtured my family for 17+ years. I have gained perspective and understanding of what is out there beyond my operatory.
MDHA is passionately dedicated to serving you and our profession. We genuinely implore you to consider getting involved. Start small. Go to a local meeting, ask questions, introduce yourself, take a leap of faith. Don’t be afraid, you have nothing to lose and your profession is worth it, and so are you!
I am so excited we got to meet in person this year for Annual Session in Missoula and can not wait to see all your smiling, bright faces of promise at our Spring C.E. in Butte this year April 22nd & 23rd at the Copper King Hotel! (Don’t forget to block the dates off in your work calendars)
Blessings for a fantastic end to 2021, and an even better start to 2022!
Ellie Bicha, RDH, LAP