President's Report

Wow what a year! We have had quite a roller coaster in many respects. Our multidecade fight to have a dental assistant on the Board of Dentistry hit a road block when the sponsor of the bill pulled it right before it was going for the final vote. We were devastated and discouraged. The Board of Dentistry felt that the requirements for the position should be the same for all Board Members. Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin and Assemblyman Tom Giblin sponsored an updated bill, NJA2790. It has the same requirements as the rest of the board members. The bill is now with the Regulated Professions Committee. We are very grateful for the support from NJDHA and their lobbyist, Paul Bent, for allowing us to not only consult with him, but also for his diligence in monitoring our bill. I know many of you have heard why bother being a member of ADAA – what does it do for me??? This is only one of the many reasons being a member of ADAA is so important and for the professional recognition as well as the strength in numbers.

In light of the recent unprecedented infection control challenges with COVID-19, ADAA has been an incredible resource siting credible information on their webpage and by being available to our members. NJDAA held an open forum to give dental assistants a voice to their concerns and has acted as a place where assistants can go to get factual information. In April, ADAA issued a statement on Infection Control. I was a part of an incredible group of members on the Legislative Committee who have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the seriousness of no national standards for Infection Control. Our call to action was made and DANB, The Dale Foundation, ADEA and many other respected Dental Assistant organizations have supported our position. As of June 1, ADAA issued a sample letter to Legislators about the need of standardized Infection Control. If any of you have been reading Facebook posts on dental assisting websites, the misinformation that is out there is shocking and could be putting dental assistants at significant risk. Yet another reason your membership matters.

As an organization, NJDAA has taken some very significant steps in reaching our members. The creation and use of the online platform for meetings and education is just one way we are reaching our members. A huge thank you has to go out to members, Tara Fleming and Libby Becker on starting our own NJDAA Facebook page. Their work on this project has been amazing. Thank you for the opportunity to be your President this past year. Please spread the word that ADAA is an important aspect of your profession and by being a member you add to the voice of dental assistants not only here in NJ but throughout the country.

Sarah Siroka, CDA, RDA
NJDAA President