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ADHA Welcomes Dental Hygiene Education & Practice Specialist to Their National Office

Organization Expansion Calls for Newly Created Position to Guide Dental Hygiene Education Programs

Newswise — CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 1, 2018) – The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is happy to announce a new addition to its national headquarters, Vicki Pizanis, RDH, MS, EdD, as their Dental Hygiene Education and Practice Specialist. Effective immediately, Pizanis will assume responsibility as the technical expert and in-house dental hygienist for the dental hygiene community, be the liaison for dental hygiene education programs, and manage special projects to support resources for dental hygiene education programs.

As the dental hygiene profession evolves, ADHA has created this specialist role to strategically guide the organization’s educational and professional advocacy and to enhance and expand its current resources. Pizanis’ professional background as an educator and practitioner is ideally suited to fulfill the needs of this multifaceted position.

Pizanis joins ADHA with extensive experience as a dental hygiene educator, clinician, and advocate since graduating from dental hygiene school at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2005. Throughout her career, she has been an active member of ADHA at the state and local levels. She served as the UNM ADHA Student Advisor for five years and has also held officer positions within the New Mexico Dental Hygienists’ Association and the local High Desert Dental Hygienists’ Association.

“I am thrilled to be joining the ADHA team! Serving the dental hygiene profession on the national level is extremely exciting to me,” states Pizanis as she describes her next career venture. “In this new position, I aim to serve as a liaison between ADHA and dental hygiene educational programs by assisting as a direct contact to improve resources and support for faculty and students. I look forward to collaborating with the educational community in our continued journey in the advancement of our profession.”

On the advocacy front, Pizanis has been involved with changes in the scope of the dental hygiene profession, working to create additional opportunities for dental hygienists in New Mexico. In January 2015, she authored and was awarded a $2.5 million grant for dental curriculum development and clinical oral health care service to address the needs of patients with developmental disabilities in New Mexico.

Other notable accomplishments include implementing and managing the first international service learning program at UNM Division of Dental Hygiene, taking their students as well as dentists, physicians, nurses and occupational and physical therapists to Nicaragua in 2011 and 2013, where they treated over 540 patients. Pizanis’ passion for international service education began in 2009 when she was a part of the Dental Hygiene Delegation to South Africa coordinated by the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program and ADHA to learn about the clinical scope and educational structure of dental hygienists in South Africa.

After receiving her BS and MS in dental hygiene, Pizanis was hired as a faculty member at the UNM Dental Hygiene Program, teaching a variety of courses including ethics and law and dental radiology, as well as serving as a clinic coordinator for 10 years. During that time, she pursued a doctorate of educational leadership to gain more knowledge in teaching and evidence-based practice within education. She is currently an adjunct faculty member within the UNM Dental Hygiene Program. Pizanis has authored eight published articles in books and scholarly journals on the topics of clinical education and international service learning as well as local anesthesia.

**Vicki Pizanis will be available for media interviews. Please contact Britania Weinstein at 518-229-7083 or at [email protected] for all interview requests.


About the American Dental Hygienists’ Association:  The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of more than 185,000 dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. For more information about the ADHA, dental hygiene or the link between oral health and general health, visit the ADHA at