Reconnecting Practicing Hygienists with the Nation's Leading Educators and Researchers.

Research Can Be Fun!

What do you get when you put 242 dental hygiene researchers and educators together for a three day conference?

Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Editorial Advisory Board members at the 3rd North American/Global Dental Hygiene Research Conference Gala (from left): Jacquelyn Fried, RDH, MS; Rebecca S. Wilder, RDH, BS, MS; and Harold A. Henson, RDH, PhD.

What do you get when you put 242 dental hygiene researchers and educators together for a three-day conference? Lots of learning, networking, and fun. The 3rd North American/ Global Dental Hygiene Research Conference, hosted by the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice, took place October 16 to 19 in Bethesda, Maryland. I was fortunate to attend, as it was full of excellent presentations by colleagues from around the world. Twelve countries were represented, with individuals from as nearby as Canada and as far away as Australia and South Korea. The conference proved there is indeed a global partnership in dental hygiene. We no longer work in isolation, wondering how our colleagues practice and use the evidence-based approach to care. We are an international society of professionals.

Chaired by Jane L. Forrest, RDH, EdD, and Ann Eshenaur Spolarich, RDH, PhD, the goal of the conference is to bring the global dental hygiene community together through intellectual stimulation. Forrest and Spolarich are the directors of the NCDHRP, so they live and breathe translating evidence-based research into clinical practice. The conference provided an opportunity to “convene and explore commonalities in research interests, learn from each other about new and ongoing research programs, and foster future collaborations.” All these objectives were achieved, and more. With the ultimate goal of sharing knowledge in order to provide the best possible patient care, the original research presented by dental hygiene professionals and students was top-notch.

On the final day, participants convened for an informal discussion and recap of the meeting. Frankly, I was sorry to see it end. I found myself thinking it would be wonderful if every dental hygiene professional and student could attend this meeting. The sense of pride in the profession was overwhelming. Armed with new knowledge, strong connections to one another, and renewed fervor, there is no doubt that every attendee felt that same pride. We all look forward to the next gathering.

Jill Rethman, RDH, BA
Editor in Chief
[email protected]

For more information about the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice, visit:

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. November 2014;12(11):14.


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