Sunstar Americas recently celebrated its fifteenth year of honoring North America’s outstanding dental hygienists. The oral health care leader and RDH magazine joined forces to create the Award of Distinction program in 2002. Since then, 113 dental hygienists have been recognized for their success and accomplishments in the field of dental hygiene. The four most recent recipients of this prestigious award were honored during an award ceremony at the RDH Under One Roof conference in National Harbor, Maryland on July 29.
“Too often the efforts of dental hygienists, who spend the majority of their time providing treatment chairside, are not fully appreciated,” said Jackie Sanders, Manager of Professional Relations for Sunstar Americas. “Dental hygienists make a difference in 8-to-16 lives per day. They review health histories, take an individual’s health care into their own hands, and make recommendations and provide care that may change a patient’s life forever. And on top of that, most will then go home to take care of family or other important commitments.”
The 2016 Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction honorees are:
• JoAnn Galliano, MEd., RDH, one of the creators of the Dental Hygiene Committee of California and the legislative consultant for the California Dental Hygienists’ Association.
• Corinne Jameson Kuehl, RDH, BS, OMT, who founded OMT of Wisconsin, to help patients find solutions to oral dysfunctions caused by sleep disorders and other health connections.
• Susan Wingrove, RDH, BS, the co-designer of the Wingrove Implant Titanium set, ACE probes, and Queen of Hearts instruments, and the author of the “Peri-Implant Therapy for the Dental Hygienist” textbook.
• Debbie Zafiropoulos, RDH, who formed the NationalCancerNetwork.org to raise awareness of prevention, progress, screening and referrals for all affected by a cancer diagnosis, and who has delivered more than 2,300 hours of continuing education programs.
“Our entire team at Sunstar Americas is proud to be able to honor not only these exceptional hygienists, but the entire dental hygiene profession,” said Ms. Sanders.
While the hygienists honored by the Sunstar/RDH Awards of Distinction are driven to provide the best possible patient care rather than to seek attention for themselves, the fact is that the Sunstar Americas Inc. 301 East Central Road Schaumburg, IL 60195 awards can open doors for honorees. According to Sandra Boucher-Bessent, BS, RDH, one of the honorees from the inaugural 2002 Awards of Distinction, “As each year’s recipients are announced and details of their accomplishments are unveiled, a common thread is a heartfelt enthusiasm for elevating the standard of oral health care for their patients.” She pointed out that dental hygienists traditionally work in relative isolation. “This can make dental hygiene a lonely profession,” she said. “Fortunately, through its Award of Distinction Sunstar has brought dental hygienists into the limelight.” Much to her surprise, the notoriety Ms. Bouchard-Bessent received from her award led national organizations and Fortune 50 companies to seek her out and invite her to join their teams. She currently serves as Director of Sales and Marketing for The Dental CFO, and says, “My Award of Distinction catapulted me to a career beyond anything I could have imagined.”
Ms. Sanders pointed out that Sunstar relies on all 113 Award of Distinction honorees to serve as a valuable source of input regarding the company’s product development efforts throughout the year. She asked, “If you’re looking for feedback about new products or possible improvements to existing products, who could possibly provide better insights than this awardwinning group of dental hygienists?”
Starting in October, ads will explain how licensed dental hygienists may be nominated for the 2017 Awards of Distinction. All judging is maintained by RDH Magazine and nominations close on March 31, 2017.
About Sunstar Americas
Sunstar Americas, Inc. is a member of the Sunstar Group of companies, a global organization headquartered in Switzerland that serves oral health care professionals and consumers in 90 countries around the world. Sunstar’s mission is to enhance the health and well-being of people everywhere via its four business areas: mouth and body, health and beauty, healthy home, safety and technology. Sunstar Americas, Inc. provides quality oral care products under the Butler®, GUM® and GUIDOR® brands.