Hygiene Highlights


Winter 2021


A letter from the President..

Greetings! I hope this finds you well!

Lobby Day was a huge success! We were thrilled to be accompanied by three USD Dental Hygiene students who are members of the executive board for the student chapter of ADHA.  We were able to speak to many legislators on behalf of our profession in terms of our education, skill level, and desire to help address access to care issues. The executive board supports the house bill, which would add dental hygienists to the list of mandatory reporters. Hygienists are all well trained to recognize abnormalities in the oral cavity (which is where much physical abuse occurs), and a dentist is not always available to report, especially in cases where hygienists are under collaborative supervision.  During our time at the capitol, we were asked more than once whether we had any other bills and what our goals were for our future. To that point, we are your voice, and we want to hear from you. Where do you see our profession going in South Dakota? Are there skills you are not utilizing that you wish you could?

On a related note, as a delegate for ADHA, I welcome your thoughts on any possible proposed resolutions, proposed bylaw amendments, or standing rule amendments. Is there something you would like to see our state bring before the House of Delegates in June?  If so, please let us know before the deadline of March 26. There is additional information on the ADHA membership page.

I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to take advantage of one of many ADHA membership benefits by participating in ADHA’s first ever virtual Dental Hygiene Leadership Summit which was held January 15-16. I was joined by fellow board members and also recognized a few other names of participants from our state. It was a wonderful learning experience and a time of reflection on future goals and different paths we all take on our individual leadership journeys. Several speakers reminded us that although we may not always recognize ourselves as leaders, all dental hygienists are leaders in their own right.  We educate patients in taking an active role in their oral and systemic health, and we align them with the treatment and resources they need to be successful every day.

In closing, I recently had a conversation with a colleague who had not renewed her SDDHA membership for many years. After a very pleasant exchange, she shared with me that she had been reflecting recently on her reasons for not joining the association and asked herself: “What if most other hygienists thought like me, and SDDHA no longer existed due to lack of membership? Who would protect my licensure and my profession?” I was so pleased to see her name added to our list of renewed members a few days later, and we hope to see all of your names very soon as well.

We hope to see many of you face-to-face in May for our annual meeting! Stay safe and well.


Carissa Regnerus RDH, MA

President, SDDHA 2020-2021

[email protected]

A letter from the President Elect..

Thank you to all the members who have renewed this year. Of the 93 previous members, 68 have renewed to date. We are hoping to have more renewals. Renew here! Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns. We cannot do this without our members.

Special shout out to these members Wendi Belrose, Ann Brunick, Raquelle Dana-Strawn, Diane Dekramer-Dawson, Barb Dornbusch, Jeanette Grady, Tracey Halverson, Marcia Jensen, Beverly Kennedy, Mikal Kulesza, Kimberly Lajoie, Suzanne Luken, Paula Markus, Joan Meyer, Lisa Meyer, Jeanette Miranda, Cheryl Moody, Margaret Okerlund, Carol Randall, Amy Ripperda, Debbie Scheier, Dana Spanos, Audrey Ticknor, Joan Vega, and Robin Williams for over 20 years of membership. 

Thank you for over 30 years of membership Pat Aylward and Cloene Schmidt!

Tasha Wendel RDH, MPH

President Elect, SDDHA 2020 - 2021

[email protected]


 Lobby Day 2021

On January 25th, President Carissa Regnerus, Past President Tia Meyer, President Elect Tasha Wendel, Legislative Chair Krysta Novak, Treasurer Abby Schiley, and Secretary Hailey Bruggeman attended Lobby Day in Pierre at the state capital. Sandwiches and cookies were served on both the House and Senate sides. SDDHA also provided goody bags with a variety of donated dental products. Again this year we did not have a bill in session but did get the opportunity to speak with legislators and lobbyists about a bill that had previously been brought forth to add dental hygienists to the list of mandatory reporters. This bill was previously brought forth and did not pass, so it was amended slightly this session. The SDDHA is supportive of this bill. As of 2/5/2021 this bill is still in committee so we will eagerly await word. This year we were also joined by three board members of the USD Chapter of SADHA. This was a great opportunity to allow students to see what our association  does, as well as what our state congress does. We were grateful to have them with us. Lobby Day continues to be an important and enjoyable event to attend. Keeping the association and dental hygienists in the minds of the legislators is important to us. Things were a little different this year as COVID continues to affect us all, but we are grateful for the opportunity to attend this event this year. We are scheduled to attend again next year in January of 2022. If you have any questions about Lobby Day 2021 or have suggestions for upcoming Lobby Day 2022, please reach out to our legislative chair Krysta Novak at [email protected]

SDDHA Board & SADHA Board (left to right): Krysta Novak, Hailey Bruggeman, Kelsey Phelps, Tasha Wendel, Carissa Regnerus, Tia Meyer, Abby Schiley, Mallory Hatzell, Paige Hurlburt

Pictured: Past President Tia Meyer, President Carissa Regnerus, President Elect Tasha Wendel

Pictured: Carrie Sanderson (CPCM Director), Tasha Wendel, Represenative Sydney Davis, Carissa Regnerus, Mallory Hatzell, Kelsey Phelps

Pictured: Legislative Chair Krysta Novak and Secretary Hailey Bruggeman

Pictured: Senator Helene Duhamel, Legislative Chair Krysta Novak, Senator Mike Diedrich 

February is Children's Dental Health Month

We would love to see how dental hygienists across South Dakota are celebrating Children's Dental Health Month! Please submit photos to [email protected] to be featured on our Facebook page and website. 


Do you know someone who:

  • Is an active member of the SDDHA
  • Has contributed to the growth of the dental hygiene profession
  • Has shown a passion for the dental hygiene field
  • Supported the SDDHA at both state and national levels 

Please submit the name of the person you wish to nominate along with a short explanation or memo to President Carissa Regnerus at [email protected]. All nominations are due before May 1st, 2021.

South Dakota Dental Hygienist Association Board Positions

The SDDHA Board would love to have YOU be apart of our team. We currently have one position vacant for the 2020 - 2021 term: Western CE Coordinator. We love providing continuing education across the entire state of South Dakota, and we need someone on the West side of the state to help plan continuing education courses for the SDDHA. If you are interested in helping lead the dental hygiene profession in South Dakota, please reach out to our President Carissa Regnerus at [email protected]

Important Dates to Remember in 2021..

March 2021 FREE Continuing Education Courses - More info & registration here! 

Annual Sessions: May 13th - May 15th 2021 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The 2020 Radiology Continuing Education course is still tentatively being rescheduled to 2021 due to the venue guidelines for COVID. Your place will be held for the event in 2021 if you have already registered for the event. If you would like a refund, please email our Secretary Hailey Bruggeman at [email protected].

Job and Continuing Education Course Postings

SDDHA is now offering a page on our website for job listings to be posted. We will also send out the job listing via email and on Facebook. You can see all job postings here. We will be updating our website calendar with all continuing education courses across the state. If you would like to submit a job posting or continuing education event, please email [email protected].

SDDHA Apparel 

SDDHA apparel is available on our website. Check it out here

Joining SDDHA

Join SDDHA today to receive discounted continuing education courses, network with other hygienists across South Dakota, help make a difference across our state, and more. Join now!

With all the chaos happening in the world, we hope you and your families are safe and healthy. Please reach out to us if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas to help make SDDHA better! 


The South Dakota Dental Hygienist Association