Nov. 21, 2000
Two graduates from Harrisburg Area Community College's Dental Hygiene program earned first place for their professional presentation at the national conference of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) in Washington, D.C.

Dental hygienists Kathryn Beachy, of Harrisburg, and Van Barney, now of Kentucky, shared the $1000 award for their table clinic, "The Link Between Oral and Systemic Disease." They asserted there is a correlation between oral health and the overall health of the human body. The award was presented by ADHA, OMNII Products, and Sullivan-Schein Dental, a Henry Schein Company. The three sponsors also presented HACC with a matching grant for $1000 for the college's Dental Hygiene program.

Ms. Beachey, a member of the National Dental Hygiene Honor Society, Sigma Phi Alpha ­ Chi Zeta Chapter, is employed by Drs. Kramer, Shirley, and Ditty, of Harrisburg, and also by Drs. Mendelson, Foer, and Harrison in Mechanicsburg. She is using the award to obtain a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene at HACC, through an agreement with HACC and the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Ms. Beachey plans to pursue research in dental technology. "The process of our table clinic has sparked my interest in research," says Ms. Beachey. "I want to become more familiar with state-of-the-art dental techniques, and share that with others. It¹s exciting to be part of the development of dental technology." Dental hygienist Van Barney is currently working on her eligibility for licensure in Kentucky, and volunteers her time as a dental hygienist at Fort Knox.

The matching grant for HACC's Dental Hygiene program will be used for both scholarships and equipment upgrades. "We'd like to see some of the grant added to our scholarship fund for immediate use by our students," says Kathy Schlotthauer, director of HACC's Dental Hygiene Program. "The rest will go toward our endowment to keep our equipment current with the dental industry."

According to Ms. Schlotthauer, the scope of dental hygiene practice is growing, and HACC's program is meeting the changes in the profession. "We will offer a certificate of completion program for certified dental assistants and licensed dental hygienists to be trained as Expanded Function Dental Auxiliaries as required by the State Board of Dentistry beginning this summer. The number of graduates returning to learn new technology is increasing. We have a number of local dental hygienists studying at HACC for their bachelor's degree under our agreement with Penn College," said Ms. Schlotthauer. "We are very appreciative of this matching grant from ADHA, OMNII Products, and Sullivan-Schein to help HACC stay on top of current technology and provide qualified, professional hygienists for our region."

HACC dental hygiene students will be involved in organizing the 2001 North East Regional Conference for student members of the ADHA, to take place at the end of March at the Harrisburg Hilton and Towers.

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