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