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Advocacy in Action • November 24, 2016

Advocacy and You

On July 27, CDHA launched the Advocacy in Action eNewsletter to raise awareness of the association’s advocacy initiatives and identify opportunities for members to take action. To assess how CDHA members engage with the content of the newsletter, we have created a brief online survey. Please take a moment to share your thoughts on this latest digital publication with us. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Dental Hygienists Advocate for Indigenous Oral Health

As a result of our submission to the AFN-FNIHB Joint NIHB Review Steering Committee, CDHA was invited to attend a forum to discuss opportunities to improve Indigenous peoples’ oral health and ensure that the delivery of programs meets their needs, is culturally appropriate, and optimizes resources through innovative and cost-effective initiatives. CDHA is very encouraged by the recommendations proposed during this meeting, and expects to see a final report in March 2017.

CDHA Members Reach
for the Top!

Huw Williams, president of Impact Public Affairs, delivered an engaging presentation on advocacy during CDHA’s leadership summit in Edmonton on October 21. He offered numerous strategies and tactics to ensure that the voices of dental hygienists are heard by policy makers and the media. Participants were provided with strategic, step-by-step guidelines, learning why grassroots lobbying works and how to create a unified voice. Angel from Cranbrook, BC, had this to say about the session: “Loved this event! I gained some great information to help become a better leader as an RDH.”

CDHA’s next leadership summit will take place in conjunction with our 2018 annual general meeting. Until then, feel free to use CDHA’s resources when advocating for preventive oral health care!

CDHA’s Commitment to
Help Fight Cavities

October 14 marked the official launch of World Cavity-Free Future Day, designed to spread awareness and engage communities in the fight against dental caries. While progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of dental caries, it’s still an epidemic with harmful social, economic, and health consequences. During this global event, CDHA attended a workshop, hosted by the Canada-US Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future, to discuss opportunities for collaboration on the delivery of more comprehensive health promotion programs and caries prevention approaches to positively influence oral health. CDHA also supported a Twitter campaign on October 14 to highlight the global awareness day. Search #WCFFDay on Twitter.

Optimizing Health Human Resources in Rural and Remote Communities

Rural and remote communities have higher rates of oral disease, often resulting in higher transportation and treatment costs for invasive procedures offered only in urban centres. CDHA recently met with the office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to discuss health human resources and the vital role of dental hygienists in the health care system. The federal government has already taken steps to attract doctors and nurses to rural and remote communities, and CDHA urged the government to expand the existing student loan forgiveness programs to include dental hygienists.

Present this advocacy resource to your member of Parliament to highlight the benefits of having dental hygienists in rural and remote communities.

CDHA Untangles the
Flossing Controversy

An Associated Press story on the lack of scientific evidence to support flossing broke in the Canadian media during the summer. In response, CDHA issued a media release, prepared talking points to assist members with client inquiries, and developed client education resources now found at CDHA encourages all members to support high-quality research on oral health practices and to continue providing individualized, evidence-informed dental hygiene care based on client preferences, abilities, and the principle of accessibility.

Tobacco Products: Plain
Paper Packaging

CDHA participated in federal lobby days on November 4 and 5 as part of the Canadian Coalition for Action on Tobacco to ensure that members of Parliament, senators, and senior political staff are aware of and will support the plain paper packaging legislation that will come into effect before the end of 2017. CDHA met with two senators and two MPs as part of the 30 interviews that were scheduled for the two days.

Read CDHA's Joint Position Statement on the Role of Health Professionals in Tobacco Cessation.

CDHA‒NIHB Provincial Territorial Technical Working Group

CDHA co-chaired the inaugural meeting with Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) to review the most recent dental hygiene providers’ data. NIHB reported that, in comparison with the same period last year, the number of dental hygiene providers has increased by 25%, insurance payments have increased by 8.5%, there is a higher number of new clients in the system, and the expenditures for preventive services are up by 5.2%. Overall, NIHB is very pleased with the results.

Dental hygienists who work independently in Canada are eligible to enroll in the NIHB program as service providers:

© 2016 CDHA | ACHD content in Advocacy in Action is copyright CDHA unless otherwise stated.