Officers & Bios | ADHA - American Dental Hygienists Association

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Officers & Bios

President 2022-2023

Headshot of Dawn Ann Dean
Dawn Ann Dean, RDH, MSDH of Wheeling, West Virginia, is the 2022-2023 President of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA).

Dawn graduated with an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene from West Liberty State College in 1984. She then earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from West Virginia University, Eberly College of Arts & Sciences, in 1986, and subsequently a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Research & Administration from the West Virginia University, School of Dentistry, in 1992. Dawn was awarded the WLSC Golden Scaler Award and the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association Award for Clinical and Academic Excellence and served as a Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association (SADHA) President. Her professional career includes work as a clinical dental hygienist, clinical instructor at West Liberty University, Sarah Whitaker Glass School of Dental Hygiene, and an RDH expert witness and entrepreneur. Dawn has also authored several professional articles for Access Magazine.

Currently, Dawn is an Assistant Professor at the WVU School of Dentistry, Department of Dental Hygiene, in Morgantown, West Virginia, and a Twice Toothpaste Pro Team Ambassador.

Dawn has held numerous leadership positions on the local, state and national levels, including two consecutive terms as TSDHA president and president-elect, as WVDHA president and president-elect, WV IOH Liaison, and WV Delegation Chair. She served as ADHA District III Trustee from 2016-2020 and as the 2020-2021 ADHA Vice President. Dawn has served on the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, IOH Board of Directors, Board Governance Manual Committee as Chair, Nominating Committee as Board Advisor, Student Relations Committee, and Council on Public Relations as Chair. She received the 2017 West Virginia University School of Dentistry Distinguished Alumni Award and was inducted into the Sigma Phi Alpha National Dental Hygiene Honor Society in 2018.

Dawn and her husband, Michael, have three, beautiful adult daughters and now consider themselves official empty nesters. She is a Sigma Phi Alpha National Dental Hygiene Honor Society WVU School of Dentistry Alpha Xi Chapter Member, Alpha Xi Delta Sorority Member, Toastmasters International Member, and WV Oral Health Coalition Member. She is also a certified Sports Yoga instructor and an avid antique collector.

President Elect 2022-2023

Becky Smith, CRDH, EdD, a Miami, Florida native, is the President Elect 2022-2023 of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA).

Becky graduated from Miami Dade College’s Dental Hygiene Program in 1991. She then worked as a public health dental hygienist on a Native American Indian reservation for 10 years before moving to private practice. She earned a Bachelor of Health Services Administration from Florida International University in 1998, a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Miami in 2005, and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Florida in 2011.

Currently, Becky is a professor at Miami Dade College, where she has been teaching since 2005. Her areas of specialty are periodontology, dental materials & specialties, pre-clinical dental hygiene, and clinical dental hygiene. She has also been a co-advisor for SADHA since 2006.

Becky is very active in the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) on a national, state, and local level, having served as a national and state delegate several times. The proud daughter of a Cuban mother and American father, she is fully bilingual in Spanish and English. In her spare time, Becky enjoys all things Disney, reading, movies, the beach, traveling and being a mom to her daughter Arielle and her four-legged family members.

Vice President 2022-2023

Headshot of Erin Haley Hitz
Erin Haley Hitz RDH, BSDH, MS of Lincoln, Nebraska, is the 2022-2023 Vice President of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA).

A Nebraska native, Erin graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Dentistry, in 1995 and later earned a Master of Science in Health Promotion and Human Resource Management from Nebraska Methodist College in 2002. She has completed additional education in myofunctional therapy toward earning a certification in myofunctional therapy and lifestyle medicine at Wellcoaches School of Coaching.

Erin practices in general clinical practice and as a partner in Pearly White Prevention, she also provides consulting services and coaching to empower dental hygiene departments and the dental hygienists therein.

Erin’s membership in ADHA spans her 28 years of practice. During this time, she has held numerous leadership positions within the Nebraska Dental Hygienists’ Association (NDHA), including a term as president and delegate. As ADHA District VIII Trustee served on the Executive Committee, Board Governance Committee, and Board Minutes Review Committee. Erin has been a board advisor on the Return to Work Taskforce and the Awards Committee. She has been recognized with several awards, including the component and constituent awards in Nebraska for Dental Hygienist of the Year.
Erin and her husband Travis of five years and have one adult daughter. In their free time they enjoy the outdoors and spending time with family. Erin also enjoys a deep appreciation for the art of ballet and dance, having pursued it from early childhood through college.

Treasurer 2021-2023

headshot image of Jeanna Secrist, RDH
Jeanna Secrist, RDH of Twin Falls, Idaho is the Treasurer 2021-2023 of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA).

Jeanna graduated with her Associates of Arts Degree from Phoenix College and then went on to earn her Associates of Science in Dental Hygiene from Yakima Valley Community College in 2009. She has held leadership positions on the local, state and national level.

Currently working as a clinician in a periodontal office, she considers herself blessed to have experienced many of the avenues the dental hygiene profession provides.

Jeanna and her husband Greg have three children. In their spare time they enjoy traveling, boating and BBQing with friends and family.

Speaker of the House 2022-2024

Headshot of Valoree Althoff
Valoree Althoff, MHA, BSDH, CPP-T PRP of Farmington, New Mexico, is the 2022-2024 Speaker of the House of Delegates (HOD) for the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA).

Valoree has served in a number of roles for the New Mexico Dental Hygienists’ Association including two terms as president in 2011-2012 and 2020-2021. Valoree served on the ADHA Board of Trustees as the District IX Trustee from 2013-2017 serving the states of New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.
Valoree is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians and earned her Professional Registered Parliamentarian credential in 2015. In 2022, she passed the most rigorous parliamentary exam from the American Institute of Parliamentarians, earning her Certified Professional Parliamentarian-Teacher credential. Valoree works part-time as a professional parliamentarian, serving organizations in a meeting management capacity, including convention parliamentarian, bylaws, educator and scriptwriter.

Recently Valoree was appointed by the New Mexico Governor to serve on the Dental Hygienists Committee of the New Mexico Board of Dental Healthcare. In this role, Valoree will serve as an examiner to CDCA-WREB and CRDTS.

Valoree spends her free time with her husband, Andy and labrador, Ari. She enjoys traveling to watch baseball games and follows the Atlanta Braves devoutly. Valoree and Andy have attended the Hall of Fame induction of Chipper Jones and were blessed to attend game 4 of the 2021 World Series to see the Braves win!

Immediate Past President 2021-2022

Dr. Sharlee Burch of Lexington, Kentucky is the Immediate Past President 2021-2022 of the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA).

Sharlee graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene in 1997 and later earned a Master of Public Health in 2000, both from Western Kentucky University. In 2013, Sharlee received her Doctor of Education from Liberty University.

Currently, Sharlee is a graduate professor and instructional mentor for the School of Health Sciences Master of Public Health Program at Liberty University. She is also an undergraduate faculty member at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences.

Sharlee has held numerous leadership positions within the Kentucky Dental Hygienists’ Association, including two terms as president and several terms as speaker of the Kentucky House of Delegates. She received the 2016 Kentucky Dental Hygienist of the Year and was inducted into Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society in 1997.

Sharlee and her husband Matthew have two children. When she’s not working, Sharlee enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and watching the iconic British television show Doctor Who.