Hello Montana Dental Hygienists!
My name is Katie Glueckert, and I am serving as the MDHA President for the 2023-2024 year. First of all, I would take a moment to say thank you for the opportunity to serve the association in this capacity. I am passionate about improving the oral health of Montanans, in which dental hygienists play an invaluable role. I’m honored to be entrusted with this responsibility and look forward to the progress we can make in the year ahead.
To provide a little background on myself, I am originally from Wyoming. I attended the Sheridan College Dental Hygiene Program where I served as the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association (SADHA) President and the ADHA District X Alternate Student Delegate. It was in this role, I had the opportunity to attend the 2012 ADHA Annual Session in Phoenix, AZ. This experience opened my eyes to the importance of our professional association and the outstanding network of colleagues and friends that existed. Upon graduation from Sheridan College, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene from Eastern Washington University a few years later.
I worked in private practice for six years before taking my first role outside of clinical practice as the Oral Health Program Specialist for the Montana DPHHS. I will forever be grateful for my time spent in this role as I learned so much about public health and the critical need for oral health promotion in our state. Currently, I serve as the South Central Montana Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Director with the Montana Hospital Association. In this role, I manage grants that support the AHEC mission to recruit, train, and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations. This includes introducing students to healthcare careers (such as dental hygiene) and educating healthcare professionals on the importance of oral health.
I have been an active member of MDHA since moving to Montana in 2016. This includes serving as the Helena Component Trustee from 2017-2021, Secretary from 2020-2021, and now as President. Through my participation in this organization, I have made several lifelong friendships and grown as a professional. After taking a few years off to spend with my little boys (2 and 4 years old), I am excited for this opportunity to reunite with fellow dental hygienists and to support our profession.
Lastly, I wanted to provide some highlights from the 2023 MDHA Strategic Planning session held in late October. In the upcoming year, MDHA will be focused on supporting and educating dental hygiene professionals throughout their careers. This will include conducting a biennial workforce survey and working to increase student participation in the 2024 Annual Session. We will focus on advocating for the profession and for the community’s oral health. This will include supporting political candidates who align with MDHA and increasing community level oral health awareness. Lastly, we are committed to strengthening MDHA’s infrastructure. This will include minimizing costs, streamlining BOT structures, and strengthening the leadership pipeline.
With all that said, I am looking forward to serving you as MDHA President. Cheers to the upcoming year!