Past Award Winners
Legislator of the Year Award
Employer of the Year Award
Advocate of the Year Award
Community Service Award
Hygienist of the Year Award
Student Scholarship Award
Outstanding Dental Hygiene Student Award
2019 Award Nominations
The NDHA Dental Hygienist of the Year Award recognizes a dental hygienist who has distinguished him/herself by outstanding leadership and commitment to his/her peers through the dedication of extraordinary time and professional skills to advance the practice and future of dental hygiene. The Dental Hygienist of the Year award is given to a person who has obtained the following achievements: Holds a current Nebraska dental hygiene license, has practiced dental hygiene for at least five (5) years, be a current member of NDHA for at least five (5) years, has maintained ADHA membership for a minimum of five (5) years, has served as an officer or committee chair at the local or state level for at least three (3) years, and exhibits evidence of leadership and advancement of the dental hygiene profession.
The Nebraska Dental Hygienists’ Association Advocate of the Year award is given to a person who has demonstrated ongoing support of the dental hygiene profession, as well as a concern for the commitment to the betterment of the community. The Advocate of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding and enthusiastic individual for their efforts in advocating for the profession of dental hygiene at the local, state, or national level. This individual shall display enthusiasm and passion in sharing the advancement of dental hygiene and has a history of volunteer efforts to advance and improve the dental hygiene profession.
The NDHA Employer of the Year Award recognizes an individual who employs a dental hygienist and has created/maintained a supportive workplace for the dental hygienist. Recipients of the award should display respect and recognition of the dental hygiene profession and have served as a mentor, advocate, or educator to the dental hygienist.
The NDHA Legislator of the Year Award honors a Nebraska Senator or a United States Senator or Representative who has assisted in the advancement of NDHA’s policy agenda and legislative priorities. The Legislator must show active support of legislation or amendments that advance our legislative goals.
The NDHA Community Service award recognizes a dental hygienist (NDHA member or non-member) for his/her professional contributions to the betterment of the community through volunteer activities. These outreach endeavors should be focused on improvements to others oral health and well-being, but considered contributions are entirely of a voluntary basis where the nominee did not receive compensation.
The NDHA Future Leader Award recognizes an NDHA member who exhibits a strong commitment to the dental hygiene profession and has demonstrated leadership in the association within five years of graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program.
2018 Award Winners
Advocate of the Year - Kristen Strasheim
Kristen has worked at the national level to help create the much needed gingivitis code, D4346. It took a long time for the CDT to recognize the gap in care and a committee of dental professionals have spent a tremendous amount of time responding to the need for an additional procedure between preventative prophylaxis and scaling root planing. Kristen has worked as an advocate for dental hygiene with her work on creating the new code which can truly help patients understand the severity of gingival inflammation. This new code has the potential to make a huge impact on dentistry and our ability to educate patients about their gingival health, and we thank individuals like Kristen, who advocated for its creation.
Kristen volunteers on several work groups with the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) including: Terminology Work Group, Current Dental Terminology Codes Work Group, Dental Quality Alliance (DQA) Work Group and SNOWMED Work Group. She also volunteered at Hope Community Church and for the Dream Factory as an executive committee member this past year. The Dream Factory grants dreams to chronically ill children.
Employer of the Year - Dr. Charles Genrich, DDS
Dr. Genrich has created and maintained a supportive workplace for dental hygienists by always being flexible with our schedules. He understands sometimes we may need more time with some patients, or may not be able to complete everything originally planned in an appointment. He also encourages shorter recare intervals for patients with gingival concerns. He is in constant communication with us, letting us know if there are any concerns or special needs of a patient. He also supplies what ever instruments we request, and does not put a restriction on how frequently we need to order more. Dr. Genrich is willing to listen to concerns we may have with a patient, and will always check areas we have mentioned, even if the patient is not "due" for an evaluation. The hygienists in his office always feel comfortable approaching him with any problems or concerns we may have regarding anything. Whenever a new patient arrives at our office, Dr. Genrich will express the importance of having the patient\'s gingival health taken care of before any dental work is completed, unless the patient is in pain or discomfort. He also keeps up on the latest technology, and encourages his dental hygienists to stay current on these as well. He recently purchased a CO2 laser to help with periodontal pockets on patients who have not shown improvement from conventional scaling and root planing. He will even find continuing education courses for his hygienists he thinks they may find interesting to go to.
Dental Hygienist of the Year - Nicole Baker, RDH
Nicole has demonstrated leadership at the local level of our association by serving as membership chair of PNDHA for 4 years, vice president of PNDHA for 1 year, and president of PNDHA for 2 years. Nicole is now serving at the state level for NDHA as HyPac Chair. And has also served on multiple committees at the state level including: Bylaws Committee for 1 year, Ethics Committee for 2 years, Education Committee for 2 years, and Legislative Committee for the past 2 years and still serving. Nicole has also taken on the role of a full time clinical dental hygiene instructor at UNMC College of Dentistry for the past 9 years. Ans also received my Dental Hygiene Public Health Authorization for treating Children and Adults in the state of Nebraska and have used it to help serve our local children at sealant programs and our local elderly residents at one of our local nursing homes.
Nicole envisions advancing the practice of dental hygiene by staying involved within our association and lending a helping hand at either the local level, at the state level, or national level. She says since being involved with PNDHA and NDHA, she has seen so much passion and devotion to the betterment of our association and I have just felt so happy to be a part of something so great. There are such a dedicated group of hygienists locally, statewide and nationally, all with the goal of making a better future for dental hygienists and our patients. I believe together we can accomplish so much towards advancing dental hygiene and advancing oral health care for everyone.
Community Service of the Year - Molly Asbjornson
For the past year, Molly has volunteered at Clinic with a Heart where she helps assess the care of patients and also take radiographs for treatment planning. She has also held the role of co-president for the Lincoln Dental Hygienist Association where she helped plan and run meetings as well as coordinate continuing education courses.
Molly devotes some of her time to volunteering at Clinic with a Heart: one Tuesday a month from 5:30pm-7:00pm Co-President of LDHA (volunteer)- 4 hours spent a month coordinating and running one meeting per month.
Was the nominee creative or innovative with their public health contributions? Please explain in detail. (Essay limited to 250 words): I don\'t believe I was very creative or innovative while contributing to Clinic with a Heart as this program was already established however I do feel that I was able to help it grow and serve many people.
Molly is an advocate and volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She also helps out at their office every Friday afternoon and have been involved in their two major events of the year, the Dream Gala and T1D One Walk. Molly has been gone on two dental mission trips down to Honduras with Southwood Lutheran Church
Future Leader Award - Stephanie Kuvetakis
Stephanie has shown leadership within the profession of dental hygiene as a licensed and practicing dental hygienist by volunteering for both the Lincoln Component and Nebraska Dental Hygiene Association. She has volunteered to help find new officers for the Lincoln component when both the president, and vice president, stepped down from their positions unexpectedly. And also volunteer for Clinic with a Heart, a free clinic which provides dental and medical screenings, taking radiographs once a month, helping set up a protocol for doing so, and also training new volunteers. I have also tried to help promote the Nebraska Mission of Mercy and encourage other dental hygienists to volunteer for this event by writing articles in the monthly news letter when the event approaches, as well as having volunteered myself since its existence.
Stephanie would very much like to be able to spread access to dental hygiene, and dental care, in our communities. Although there are some wonderful programs put in place to help achieve these goals, there will always be a need for more. Being able to have hygienists in nursing home/retirement home settings, schools, and hospital settings, would really improve the quality of life for so many individuals.