Nebraska Names Hygienist of the Year
When Ryan D. Rutar, RDH, MAM, BA, BS, applied for the Nebraska Dental Hygienists’ Association’s 2019 Nebraska Dental Hygienist of the Year Award, he wasn’t sure he had much of a chance.
When Ryan D. Rutar, RDH, MAM, BA, BS, applied for the Nebraska Dental Hygienists’ Association’s 2019 Nebraska Dental Hygienist of the Year Award, he wasn’t sure he had much of a chance. “I knew I was competing against other highly qualified individuals. I mean, we are talking about the best-qualified individuals in the state of Nebraska,” he says.
Which is why Rutar was elated to receive an email congratulating him on being named the Nebraska Dental Hygienist of the Year—making him the first male practitioner in Nebraska to receive the recognition. At the age of 35, Rutar is making advances in diversifying the dental hygiene space by publishing articles aimed at educating men on the profession. Since his tenure as a Nebraska Dental Hygienists’ Association delegate and executive board member, the association has experienced an increase in male representation from none to three male delegates within the past 5 years.
Rutar is also breaking down gender roles through clinical work. He is a full-time clinical hygienist and manager at Morning Glory Dental in Lincoln, where he helps streamline and implement protocols to increase prevention and production. Determined to elevate dental hygienists, Rutar and Erin Haley-Hitz, RDH, MS, OM, cofounded Pearly White Prevention, a dental hygiene consulting and coaching practice. The co-founders help clinicians create a partnership within the practice, providing the dentist with time to focus on his or her business, while the dental hygienist concentrates on his or her area of expertise.
“I want to create hygiene managers as common as office managers; where every business will have a hygiene manager to help improve the hygiene side of the office and work in partnership with the dentist to create a smooth and streamlined business,” Rutar says.
From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. June 2019;17(6):10.