Calif. hygienists' association votes to leave ADHA

By Donna Domino, features editor

June 6, 2016 -- The largest state hygienists' group in the U.S. has overwhelmingly voted to end its 90-year affiliation with the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA).

Lygia Jolley
Lygia Jolley, RDH, immediate past president of the CDHA.

The California Dental Hygienists' Association (CDHA) cited a proposed charter agreement from ADHA as the driving force behind the vote.

The proposed charter agreement from ADHA imposed significant new obligations but no new benefits, the California association said. The ADHA says 47 of its 51 constituent members have agreed to the new charter.

"The House of Delegates voted to terminate any existing charter and removed from our bylaws that we are a chartered constituent of ADHA," Lygia Jolley, RDH, CDHA's immediate past president, told after the June 4 vote. The vote to secede from the ADHA came at the CDHA's House of Delegates meeting in Fresno, CA.

The delegates voted to leave their parent group, 140-14.

Financial issues

The dispute includes issues of incorporating component subgroups and changing logos and websites. But it really comes down to the CDHA trying to maintain local control and independence, Jolley previously told

“The House of Delegates voted to terminate any existing charter and removed from our bylaws that we are a chartered constituent of ADHA.”
— CDHA President Lygia Jolley, RDH

"This whole thing is about being a dictator," Jolley said. "It's not about a logo; it's not about the dues; it's about dictating to us how we're going to run the California Dental Hygienists' Association."

Ann Battrell, RDH, CEO of the ADHA, said her organization tried to convince CDHA members to vote against leaving the parent organization.

"We're disappointed with the vote," Battrell told

Battrell said she accompanied ADHA President Jill Rethman, RDH, on a trip to California to discuss the issues on June 3, the day before the vote was taken.

"We are saddened by this development, and are committed to ensuring California hygienists continue to have a voice and are supported in their professional development," the ADHA said on a Facebook post. "While ADHA explores chartering a new California constituent, know that all active CDHA members remain a member of ADHA national."

CDHA member Beth Kageyama, RDH, thanked the group's leadership for the vote.

"I am sure this decision took countless hours of research and collaboration," she wrote in a Facebook post. "As a member of the CDHA I am proud to be an RDH/RDHAP in California. As a member of the ADHA I will always support the entire dental hygiene profession."

Julie Coan, RDH, was installed as CDHA's new president during the group's meeting.

Copyright © 2016

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