A total of 51 Clayton State University Dental Hygiene students participated in the recent fourth year of the Georgia Dental Hygienists' Association (GDHA) Lobby Day at the State Capitol in downtown Atlanta.
Clayton State faculty member Joanna Harris-Worelds coordinated this opportunity for the senior dental hygiene students as a part of her course and this year, invited junior dental hygiene students to attend. Fellow Clayton State dental hygiene faculty member Dr. Gail Barnes also attended. GDHA Lobby Day is held for hygienists and students across Georgia to participate in the legislative process and discuss key issues with their legislators.
Among the Clayton State students attending was senior dental hygiene student Jessica Smiech of Fayetteville, who had her picture taken with her House Representative, Ronnie Mabra (District 63).
This years' GDHA theme was “Georgia, it's time to 'Catch-Up'!" and the focus was expanding the scope of dental hygiene practice to align with 44 other states that allow hygienists to give local anesthesia. Representative Tom Taylor introduced a bill, HB 350, geared toward this practice expansion. All attendees had a photo taken with Governor Nathan Deal, who proclaimed Feb. 12, 2015 as Georgia Dental Hygiene Day.
This years' GDHA Lobby Day had record attendance with approximately 240 hygienists and students from five other dental hygiene programs in addition to Clayton State: Central Georgia Technical College, Fortis College, Georgia Highlands College, Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia Regents University, and Lanier Technical College.