A dental therapy task force has been created and authorized in the state of New Mexico, charged with developing legislation for a mid-level oral health practitioner for the 2016 legislative session. ADHA’s Director of Governmental Affairs Ann Lynch visited the state of New Mexico throughout the legislative session to assist the New Mexico Dental Hygienists' Association (NMDHA) in their efforts to increase oral health access. Lynch and members of the NMDHA offered testimony in both House and Senate Committees. The bill, which was introduced by Representative Dennis Roch (REP-NM) and Senator Benny Shendo, Jr. (DEM-NM), creates a dental hygiene-based, mid-level oral health practitioner in the state of New Mexico.
Lynch worked with leaders from the NMDHA and other allies to advocate the importance this provider can play in improving the public’s oral and overall health. The bill passed the House with a bi-partisan vote of 34-25. In the final hours of the New Mexico 2015 Legislative Session, a Senate "Memorial" passed, which created a dental therapy task force. The task force will meet monthly beginning June 2015 and is charged with developing legislation to be introduced in 2016 to create a mid-level oral health practitioner.
The ADHA remains steadfast in its commitment to engage dental hygienists in the advancement of innovative workforce models, and leading the transformation of the dental hygiene profession to improve the public's oral and overall health. For more information on the legislation happening in your own state, visit the ADHA’s Advocacy page.