Young Hygienist Is Passionate About Public Health
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Dentistry, in 2016, Sommer Wisher, RDH, BS, went to work in clinical practice in Holly Springs and Raleigh, North Carolina.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Dentistry, in 2016, Sommer Wisher, RDH, BS, went to work in clinical practice in Holly Springs and Raleigh, North Carolina. In Holly Springs, she worked for a fairly new general practice where she was able to help establish long-term patients and provide comprehensive care.
While she loved helping patients improve their oral health, Wisher also had a heart for nonprofit work. When the position of executive director arose at Wake Smiles, a free, nonprofit dental clinic for low-income and uninsured adults in Wake County, North Carolina, she jumped at the chance. Her primary role is to ensure that the clinic is well-prepared to provide care to the most vulnerable populations, which includes recruiting and retaining participating volunteer dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. The position also calls for major fundraising efforts and leadership skills to continue to grow the clinic’s ability to improve both oral and systemic health for the populations it serves.
The position is an excellent fit for Wisher, as she is passionate about dental hygiene, public health, and people. “I love being able to come alongside patients and educate them on how to take ownership of care for their WHOLE body—not just their oral cavity. I also really love people and building relationships,” notes Wisher.
Wisher is also active in organized dental hygiene and she currently serves as president of the North Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association. She comments, “I hope that more licensed dental hygienists in North Carolina take part in the rewarding experience of being a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and letting their voices be heard. I firmly believe that in order to make a larger impact on our profession and the direction it is going, we need a more unified voice going after what we worked so hard to do—provide care to all.”
A mother of a son, Finch, and expecting a baby girl, Ruby, on April 28, Wisher’s life is full. She loves working in a field that brings her such joy. “I find that I get far more out of seeing patients than the care I provide. There is nothing like that ‘aha’ moment patients experience when they discover what it means to have a healthy mouth!” Wisher exclaims.
From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. March 2019;17(3):11.