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President's Message

Thank you for visiting our website!

WDHS is proud to celebrate almost 50 years as a professional minority dental hygiene organization, and as a component of the National Dental Dental Hygienists' Association (NDHA) since our inception in the fall of 1972. 


We hope you find our website insightful, informative and enlightening.  This is a very challenging, yet exciting time for this great organization. As we continue to grow professionally and expand our footprint in the dental community, we are always looking for new and returning members to support the organization in leadership and committee positions. 

WDHS members and supporters with computer/web, communications and organization skills, public health education and PA161 experience, we need you!  

Please consider becoming active, as together we will raise awareness of the dental hygiene profession, make a difference within our respective communities and leave a legacy of excellence.


Debra Ann Smith, RDH, MS, 


About Us

WOLVERINE DENTAL HYGIENISTS' SOCIETY (WDHS) began as the ‘Ebony Dental Hygienists’ in the Fall of 1972 in the living room of Albreta Merritt with Deborah Leitner Carter and Sandra Gresham Scott.

The goal was to identify and locate other minority dental hygienists in Detroit and surrounding areas to collaborate and develop an official, professional organization.

Initial recruitment of professional hygienists included Mary Hawkins, Louise Eagan, Gloria Page and Janice Selman Counts. Informal meetings began with discussions on job opportunities, working conditions, and went on to strategize on how to increase the number of minority dental hygienists to serve and meet the needs of our communities.

Albreta, Sandy and Deborah attended a Detroit District Dental Society meeting that year and met Dr. Fred Cuthrell who suggested that the organization be renamed as the Wolverine Dental Hygienists' Society to align with the Wolverine Dental Society.

And, the rest is history!

Many of the members who took on leaderships positions within WDHS, such as Albreta Merritt, Mary Hawkins, Barbara Purifoy Seldon, Darchelle Strickland Love, Diane Lane Scott, Juana Gissendanner, Gail Woodson Stamps and Barbara Beaty Thompson, went on to become leaders and committee participants within NDHA.

Our Mission has changed over the years to meet the profession and dental healthcare needs, but we are dedicated to the mission of seeking and earnestly encouraging minority persons to enter the profession and give positive support to their endeavors.

It is my honor to be a member of the dental hygiene profession and this organization!

Debra Ann, RDH, MS


2021 Officers

Our Hygienists are among the most talented in the industry. It is our pleasure to put our extensive experience to work for you.  Thinking about becoming a member, becoming active? 

Join us the 2nd Sunday, each month, from March thru November

Debra Smith, RDH, MS


Emma Bryant, RDH


Keisha Parks, RDH 


Barbara Thompson, RDH, BS 

Secretary & Past-President

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