Board Meeting Highlights

CDHA’s board of directors works year-round in service of all members, setting priorities for the association and advocating for the profession and the importance of oral health to overall health. Twice a year, board members normally meet in person to discuss important operational and policy matters and review the association’s progress in meeting its strategic goals. Due to the pandemic, the most recent Board meeting was held virtually.

Winter 2021 Board Meeting Highlights

The CDHA Board of Directors met via Zoom, February 19-20, 2021.

Key highlights from the Board meeting:

Policy and Procedure

The Board directs, controls and inspires CDHA through the careful establishment of broad written policies reflecting the Board's values and perspectives. One of the key roles of the board is the establishment of “Ends” to guide the association’s work. Early in 2020, the Board established a new End focused on CDHA’s response to the pandemic: Members have the resources to support themselves through the pandemic and to take appropriate actions to minimize risk to themselves and the public upon return to work. The board recognized that, although this End is still very important, it required some minor revisions to ensure relevancy, since most members have returned to work. Thus, the revised End is: Members have the resources to inform practice decisions regarding the pandemic response and recovery.

One of the roles of the Board is monitoring and assessing policies and executive limitations prior to each Board meeting. The Board reviewed and accepted the CEO Monitoring and Assessment Reports. The Board completed a self-assessment on governance policies with the aim of continuous improvement and approved recommendations from the Rules of Order Policy Review Committee to improve board effectiveness.


The CDHA Board appoints representatives to the International Federation of Dental Hygiene (IFDH). A report was received from IFDH Directors Tracy Bowser and Beth Ryerse.

Jennifer Lawrence, Registrar/CEO of the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia, presented an update to the Board on Health Regulatory Modernization in BC.

Ann Battrell, CEO of the American Dental Hygienists Association, presented an update to the Board on recent research they completed regarding the impact of the pandemic on the profession, the dental hygiene workforce, PPE access, anxiety and depression, vaccines and more.

Written reports were received from the Federation of Dental Hygiene Regulators of Canada, the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board and CD Warrant Officer, Andrea Plante, from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Audit and Budget

  • One of the key roles of the Board of Directors is its fiduciary responsibility. To ensure ongoing competency in this regard, the Board had a financial education session and approved the draft governance budget for the next fiscal year.
  • In addition, the Chair of the Audit Committee, Anne Caissie, presented an update of the audit committee meeting.
  • The Board approved the signing of the audit engagement letter with KPMG.


The CDHA Board has a series of awards that they grant on an annual basis. The Board was pleased to grant the following awards:

Award of Merit -

Katharine Chatten
Paulette Dahlseide
Shivvon Hayles

The CDHA Award of Merit is given annually to a maximum of 4 individuals who have voluntarily made a meaningful contribution to dental hygiene and their community on a regular basis in a selfless, professional manner.

Distinguished Service Award - Donna Scott
The CDHA Distinguished Service Award recognizes a dental hygienist or other individual who has made a significant contribution over a minimum four-year period to the advancement of the dental hygiene profession in Canada or nationally to the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association.

Life Membership Award - Mandy Hayre
CDHA Life Membership is awarded to an active member, in good standing, of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association who has made an outstanding contribution to both dental hygiene and the association at the national level.


An election will be held this year for the Director positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Alexandra Sheppard was elected for a second term on the Board.

The Board elected Anne Caissie, Director from New Brunswick, as President-Elect for CDHA.

Board Ends Related Work

The board identified a number of key issues requiring strategic exploration on behalf of members for the future. These include:
Universal dental care – the Board will be commissioning a white paper to explore this important topic

Other topics included:

  • Advocacy for dental hygienists and the profession - carving out our place as primary healthcare professionals
  • Overall future of the profession (capacity, early retirements, independent practice, new delivery systems)


The board conducted two interviews for a new policy governance coach to support the board’s work.

Constituent Agreements

CDHA currently has constituent agreements with all provinces, with the exception of Ontario and Quebec. These agreements have not been revised for a long time; thus, the board struck a Constituent Committee Task Force to work on reviewing an updating these agreements.

CDHA Annual General Meeting

The board approved October 16, 2021 as the date for the 2021 Annual General Meeting.

Board Lobby Day

Prior to the board meetings, Directors participated in a virtual Board lobby day. 14 meetings were held with members of parliament, senators, and senior policy staff with the objective of increasing awareness about the dental hygiene profession and the oral-systemic health link. Additional meetings were held the week of March 2 with MPs and Ministers who were not available on February 18, 2021. In addition to providing education, the group was focused on advancing solutions for national dental care for seniors, inclusion of oral health care in the national standards for long-term care and highlighting the impact of the pandemic on the profession.