Kelly Schroeder, research dental hygienist for the Center for Oral and Systemic Health at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, was recently elected as the president of the Wisconsin Dental Hygienists' Association.

As a research dental hygienist, Schroeder performs oral exams to see if participants qualify for studies and helps the Center with literature reviews, manuscripts and study design. Outside of her research role, she also is a clinical dental hygienist who provides care to dental patients.

“In my work with the Center for Oral and Systemic Health and providing direct patient care, I recognize the important role dental hygienists play in improving oral health for patients," Schroeder said. “There is a lot of great work going on at the state level trying to improve access to oral health care. I am excited to help lead this effort with the Association."

The Wisconsin Dental Hygienists' Association serves to help dental hygienists ensure access to quality oral health care by promoting dental hygiene education, licensure, practice and research.

One hot topic Schroeder will be working on with the Association is dental therapy. A bill is being discussed in legislation that would allow dental therapists to practice in Wisconsin. Dental therapists are mid-level dental providers that can do some of the same things as a dentist and would work under dental supervision. While not everyone agrees on the proposal, Schroeder will be helping key stakeholders to find common ground. ​