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30 November 2007

PA Dental Hygienists thank Sen. Pat Vance for law advancing oral health care
Presentation made at HACC, where Vance is a member of the board of trustees

State Sen. Pat Vance, R-31, has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association as a “diligent advocate for total body care, particularly oral health care” on behalf of the state’s residents.

Vance, who was primary sponsor of Senate Bill 455 that was signed into law by the governor last summer, received the award Thursday, Nov. 29, during a presentation ceremony at the college’s Select Medical Health Education Pavilion on the Harrisburg Campus. Vance also is a member of HACC’s Board of Trustees.

Vance, a professional nurse and the only member of the House and Senate with a medical background, said she sponsored the measure for two reasons: one, the PDHA asked for it, and two, her office has received lots of calls from her constituents on Medicaid who could not find a dentist that would accept the federal insurance plan.

SB 455 amends the state’s dental law to allow public health dental hygiene practitioners to provide preventive health care to individuals in a variety of public health settings such as schools, nursing, homes and hospitals without the need for an authorizing dentist present.

Vance also praised the HACC dental hygiene students for making their voices heard at the State Capitol. Vance said that it pays to advocate for issues, noting that it took two tries to get the measure to the governor’s office.

The PDHA commends the hard work of Senator Vance and expresses appreciation on behalf of the thousands of Pennsylvanians who will have greater access to developing and maintaining a healthy mouth, said Megan Brightbill, PDHA vice president who presented the award.

David Morrison, executive assistant to HACC President Edna Baehre; Sandy Zagar, director of HACC’s Dental Hygiene Program; Kathy Schlotthauer, the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association adviser at HACC; Morgan Plant, PDHA lobbyist, and a number of HACC dental hygiene students also attended the presentation ceremony.

Vance’s 31st District covers Cumberland County and the northern York County communities of Carroll, Fairview, Franklin, Monaghan, Warrington and Washington townships and Dillsburg, Franklintown and Wellsville boroughs in York County. She has been a member of the Senate since 2005, previously serving 14 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

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