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.

Winter 2020 Board Meeting Highlights

The CDHA Board of Directors met in Ottawa, Ontario, February 21-22, 2020.

Key highlights from the Board meeting:

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 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 audit committee reviewed four proposals for audit firms for CDHA and the board approved KPMG as CDHA’s auditor for a five-year term, with the understanding that the membership votes on the auditor at each annual general 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. Thus, 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 approved a revised policy on Bullying and Harassment.


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.

Following the results of the CDHA survey on healthy and respectful workplaces, the CDA, CDHA and CDAA agreed to collaborate on promoting a safe, healthy and respectful dental workplace. The Healthy Workplace Working Group (HWWG) is supporting the three associations in the development of education and information resources that will raise awareness on the issue of harassment in the workplace and the importance of creating a safe and healthy work environment. The working group has developed a temporary webpage to list pertinent national and provincial information related to the 4 categories of a healthy workplace (legal, mental health, physical health, and workplace safety resources) and has defined the type of educational materials that will be disseminated.


The CDHA Board has a series of awards that they grant on an annual basis. Although applications were received, none of the nominees met the minimum evaluation criteria established by the Board.


Igor Grahek, Manager of Information Technology at CDHA, was introduced and presented on the importance of protecting the confidentiality of CDHA documents, using strong password and not using the same passwords for multiple accounts.


An election will be held this year for the Director position in the North (Yukon, NWT and Nunavut).

Wendy Stewart, Francine Trudeau and Anne Caissie were elected for a second term on the Board.

The Board elected Wendy Stewart, Director from Nova Scotia, 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: What does it look like? What are the impacts?
  • Coronavirus-COVID-19 (and other possible pandemic situations)
  • Vaping
  • Corporatization
  • "Green" mindset, demonstration of best practices

The board determined that universal dental care is the top priority at this point.

Other Board Business

  • The Board approved a draft governance budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Tracy Bowser(R), past-president, presented with bound Publication of Oh Canada! by president Leanne Huvenaars(L)

Board Lobby Day

Prior to the board meetings, Directors participated in a Board lobby day. Over 30 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. In addition to providing education, the group was focused on advancing solutions for national dental care, the oral health care needs of Canada’s seniors and Indigenous peoples. See full report.