The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) recently named Albuquerque dental hygienist Barbara Posler, as the recipient of the ADHA Award for Excellence sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. She was honored during the ADHA President’s Luncheon at ADHA’s 88th Annual Session in Nashville in June.
With this award, ADHA and Johnson & Johnson recognize individual dental hygienists who have made “outstanding accomplishments that have a significant impact on the practice and future of the dental hygiene profession.” The recipients have at least 10 years of membership in ADHA, demonstrate an active involvement in the association, and were nominated by a colleague for their outstanding accomplishments.
On receiving the award Posler said, “I know that the practice of dental hygiene will continue to evolve. It has been my personal experience that dental hygienists can effect positive change for the profession and for the public we serve.”
“Barbara [Posler] is such an important part of our association at the local, state and national level,” said colleague Glenelle G. Butler, RDH. “She has given so much energy, time, and commitment to the issues of standard of care and education of New Mexico hygienists. She is an admirable advocate for the citizens of New Mexico because of her working for the best care as well as adequate access to care for our population. I am proud to call her a friend and so happy that she has been recognized at a national level for her commitment as a professional.”
In 2004, Posler received the ADHA Distinguished Service Award for her community as well as legislative work. She helped to organize and participated in the annual Healthy Smiles clinic, sponsored by the New Mexico Dental Hygienists’ Association, which offered an average of 130 children oral health exams, treatments, sealants and instruction. Along with other hygienists, she has also contributed to the Special Olympics program by helping create mouth-guards for the athletes and providing oral health education. On several occasions, Posler has worked with Senator Bingaman and his staff, giving input on federal legislation affecting oral health and the role of dental hygienists. She has been involved in state legislation to improve access to dental hygiene services to the underserved, and in advancing the profession of dental hygiene.
Posler earned her certificate in dental hygiene from the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, Mich. in 1970. She has been a member of ADHA for 40 years, and served as state president of the New Mexico Dental Hygienists’ Association (NMDHA). She is currently serving as the NMDHA legislative committee chair.