The American Dental Hygienists’ Association Announces 2023 Class of Fellows

The ADHA Professional Fellows Program launches to resounding popularity with 162 ADHA members in the inaugural class

CHICAGO, July 7, 2023 – The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA®) is proud to announce its 2023 Class of Fellows. In this inaugural year of the ADHA Professional Fellows Program, 162 ADHA members representing forty-two states make up the first class with this earned distinction. The distinction honors their ongoing commitment to their education, to the practice of dental hygiene, and to their stellar reputation in the areas of ethics, professional responsibility and professional standards.

“The flood of applications and submissions for our Professional Fellows Program was inspiring,” said JoAnn Gurenlian, RDH, MS, PhD, AAFAAOM, FADHA, ADHA Director of Research and Education. “The huge, immediate response was an indication to us that there was more than just interest in having this type of recognition among our members. They work very hard to excel at our profession, to engage in and contribute to the dental hygiene community, to uphold our standards and move our profession forward. This recognition is important to our members, and the response shows it.”

ADHA Professional Fellow is a lifetime designation and includes the credentials FADHA. It is awarded to ADHA members across all practice and professional settings and at all stages of their careers through a rigorous application and selection process. Qualifying candidates pay a one-time fee and must have or submit:

  • A minimum of five years of ADHA professional membership
  • Accumulated 100 CE credits over a five-year period
  • Actively participated in the dental hygiene profession via practice, scholarship (publications, research, presentations), volunteerism, and/or leadership
  • Two professional reference letters from oral health colleagues who endorse their candidacy
  • A current resume or CV
  • An essay recounting their specific contributions to the dental hygiene profession

“The makeup of this inaugural class represents a continued commitment to elevating the dental hygiene profession. Our new fellows’ expertise and practice settings range from clinical, research and education, to non-profit, advocacy and even some retired members, whose passion for the profession continues to keep them actively engaged,” added Gurenlian, who is also a member of the inaugural class.

Five RDHs standing in a group holding their Fellow certificates

Five ADHA Fellows celebrate their new designation of excellence.

The new class of fellows was honored on Thursday, July 6, and awarded their certificates and pins, in a pre-conference ceremony at the ADHA23 Annual Conference, being held at McCormick Place in Chicago, July 7 – 9.

“As we celebrate ADHA’s 100th Anniversary this year, it is appropriate that we also celebrate the kind of commitment to excellence in our profession that contributes to ADHA’s longevity,” said newly installed ADHA President, Becky Smith, CRDH, EdD, FADHA. “It’s no coincidence that more than half of this inaugural class of fellows have been ADHA members for more than 30 years. They are exceptional professionals.”

The full list of the 2023 class of ADHA Professional Fellows can be found at

The program’s application, review and selection process will run July through May, with designations awarded year-round as they are approved. All fellows are celebrated once a year at the ADHA Annual Conference, but are not required to attend to participate in the program.

Full ADHA Professional Fellows Program details can be found at


About the American Dental Hygienists’ Association
The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is the only organization representing the professional interests of the more than 220,000 dental hygienists in the United States. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. The Journal of Dental Hygiene (JDH), published bi-monthly, is ADHA’s scientific journal and flagship publication. To learn more about the ADHA, dental hygiene or the link between oral health and general health, visit


Bronwyn Barrera
(312) 440-8913
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