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 meet in person to discuss important operational and policy matters, and review the association’s progress in meeting its strategic goals.

Fall 2018 Board Meeting Highlights

The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) hosted a Leadership Summit in Charlottetown, PEI October 12-13, 2018. The Executive Director’s and Provincial President’s meetings were held on October 12, the Annual General Meeting was held on October 13, and the CDHA Board of Directors met October 11, 13 and 14.

Key highlights from these meetings include:

Provincial President's Meeting

On October 12, provincial presidents met to share information and discuss CDHA’s new End: Healthy and Respectful Workplace. CDHA presented its upcoming member survey on this topic and each provincial president or executive director shared information about current priorities in their respective province.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

CDHA’s president and CEO presented the highlights of the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Financial Statements and Appointment of Auditor
The chair of the audit committee, Tiffany Ludwicki, presented the 2017-2018 audited financial statements that are included in the Annual Report.

KPMG was appointed as auditor for 2018-2019.

By-law Amendments
In order to be compliant with Canada’s not for profit corporations act, CDHA was required to update its by-laws to ensure that all directors are elected at its annual general meeting. The process for elections remains the same: directors are elected from all voting CDHA members from their province; a Director from the North is elected by members in Canada’s three territories.

The second update concerns Section 7, that the board can make, amend or repeal by-laws that regulate the affairs of CDHA. However, members at the AGM must confirm, reject or amend the decision of the board regarding the by-law change. These proposed by-law amendments were approved by the members.

Sophia Baltzis and Gerry Cool

CDHA’s Board of Directors
Gerry (Geraldine) Cool, Director from Alberta, completed her term on the Board at this meeting. Gerry also served as president 2016-2017.

Transition of CDHA President from Sophia Baltzis (Past-President) to Tracy Bowser (President)

Tracy Bowser was installed as the new president of CDHA.


At the AGM, the following awards were presented:

Tracy Bowser, President, and Donna Lee

Donna Lee was recognized as Canada’s dental hygiene superhero for her work in clinical periodontal practice, as an educator in UBC’s dental and dental hygiene program, as a researcher focused on oral care among marginalized and oppressed populations, and as an Indigenous cultural competency curriculum developer for dental professionals.

Tracy Bowser, President, and Mary Ito

Two very deserving runners up were Mary Ito and Lisa Chovin. Mary was nominated for her dedication as a founding member of the Northumberland Oral Health Coalition, which works to remind the provincial government of the importance of access to dental care for seniors and adults living on a fixed income.

Lisa Chovin was nominated for her dedicated work with the Northern Lights Travelling Dental Clinic where she works exclusively with NIHB clients on reserves in both health clinics and schools in Northern Alberta. Lisa was not able to attend the AGM.

Alexandra Sheppard and Tracy Bowser, President

Alexandra Sheppard was the winner of this year’s CDHA Oh Canada! Readers’ Choice Award. Her article, entitled "I Think it Was Missed Because I Was Not A Smoker," was published in spring 2018.

Tracy Bowser, President and Balbir Sohi

The CDHA Award of Merit is given annually to individuals who have voluntarily made a meaningful contribution to dental hygiene and their community on a regular basis in a selfless, professional manner. The winner of the 2018 Award of Merit is Balbir Sohi. Ms. Sohi was noted as a trailblazer who has worked tirelessly to promote independent dental hygiene practices. She volunteers with several organizations and has started many initiatives to bring oral health awareness to the profession. She is a founder and active participant in My Dream Smile – a non-profit organization that focusses on providing awareness on oral health and its impact on overall health. She also founded Let’s Walk Health. She is also the host of health education/ information television program called Health Talk with Balbir.

Tracy Bowser, President, and France Bourque

France Bourque was recognized for celebrating 25 years membership with CDHA. 192 deserving members from across the country will be celebrated with the honour this year.

Key highlights from the Board meeting include:

  • The primary focus of this meeting was to carefully review, assess and update the Board policies. The Board ensured a thoughtful and informed process by engaging a governance coach, Susan Radwan, who led the board through this process.
  • One of the key roles of a Board of Directors is its fiduciary responsibility. To ensure ongoing competency in this regard, the Board held a short education session on reading financial statements.
  • The Audit Committee Chair, Tiffany Ludwicki, presented the fall activity report and the results of the annual self evaluation.
  • The Board directs, controls and inspires CDHA through the careful establishment of broad written policies reflecting the Board's values and perspectives. Thus, one of the key roles of the Board is monitoring and assessing Board policies and executive limitations at each Board meeting. The Board reviewed and accepted the CEO Monitoring Reports.
New CDHA Board of Directors

The election of the new CDHA Board of Directors for 2018-2019

Left to right: Deanna Mackay (Manitoba); Natasha Burian (North, representing Nunavut, Yukon & Northwest Territories); Leanne Huvenaars, President-Elect (Saskatchewan); Wendy Stewart (Nova Scotia); Francine Trudeau (Quebec); Tracy Bowser, President (Prince Edward Island); Beth Ryerse (Ontario); Sophia Baltzis, Past President (Quebec); Anne Caissie (New Brunswick); Alexandra Sheppard (Alberta); Tiffany Ludwicki (Newfoundland & Labrador); Mandy Hayre (British Columbia)

  • The Board participated in an exercise to develop their annual workplan.
  • The CDHA Board has two representatives to the International Federation of Dental Hygiene (IFDH). They are Deanna MacKay and Donna Scott. The board reviewed the report from the IFDH delegates.
  • The CEO presented an environmental scan, highlighting the current broader world environment from a political, economic, social, technology and policy perspective.
  • The board defined the values, from an ownership perspective, of the various elements presented and focused on the exploration of the CEO’s environmental scan highlights: cannabis, dementia, opioid crisis, interdisciplinary teams: respect, aging population, and new AAP classifications. Based on this discussion, the Board struck a Cannabis task force to gather data, frame the data and present back to the Board at the February meeting.
  • The Board transitioned the presidency from Sophia Baltzis to Tracy Bowser.

The Directors on the CDHA Board are also members of the Canadian Foundation for Dental Hygiene Research and Education (CFDHRE). The CDHA Board attended, as members, the CFDHRE Annual General Meeting on October 11, 2018.

Ownership Linkage

Another key role of the Board is connecting with the owners (who are the members) of CDHA. The Board hosted a Bingo-style event during the Leadership Session allowing delegates the opportunity to interact with their Board of Directors.

Board Ownership Linkage Bingo

Next CDHA AGM and Conference

2019 National Conference
St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador
October 3 – 5, 2019