President's Statement

Hello, My name is Tasha Wendel. I have been in the dental field since 2005. I began as a dental assistant and then decided to further my career. I received my dental hygiene license in 2009 at USD. In 2017, I finished my MPH and taught in the Dept of Dental Hygiene at USD from 2017-2021. I am currently pursuing my PhD in Health Sciences. Like many of you, I consider myself a lifelong learner. This is my 4th year serving on the SDDHA Board. 

During the Annual Session Business Meeting, we did not have any candidates step into the President-Elect role. The Past President, myself, and the President-Elect decided to stay in our current roles for one more year. This is an opportunity to grow our organization and serve our members with more experience. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve another year as your President. I hope to take lessons that I learned last year and continue to move our profession forward. I did not choose a new theme for this year, but will continue with last year's theme of Empowering Hygienists. 

These last few years I have been able to experience working with both students and professionals. And what I have learned is that everyone is capable of something, but progress happens best when we work together and believe in each other. 

The 4 Goals I decided to focus on this year as president are: 

  1. To support dental hygienists in a variety of roles and pursue opportunities to advance the profession. 

  2. To promote the recognition, awareness and importance of dental hygienists. 

  3. To provide an engaging, inviting, and supportive space for dental hygienists and to increase membership and participation in SDDHA. We cannot do this without you. 

  4. To be a leader in developing and delivering dynamic, high quality learning opportunities. We know there are many options out there available for CE, but we hope to provide you with some enriching learning opportunities. 

I also ask that whether you are a member or not, please let us know what we can do to make the dental hygiene profession better. Your feedback is important for our success. I look forward to working with you all.

Tasha Wendel, RDH, MPH

SDDHA President 2022 - 2023