How Can You Participate
in Legislation Today?

Making at Impact at the Capitol

What role can you play
in the advocacy process?

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WI-DHA at the State Capitol

Learn more about the recent legislative activities of WI-DHA at the Wisconsin State Capitol as we advocate for the WI-DHA Direct Access Bill (settings in which dental hygienists may practice) SB114/AB146

“Join us for the next WI-DHA lobby day and you can make a difference too!”
Linda S. RDH• WI-DHA MEMBER
“Love this! It’s definitely an amazing feeling being able to make a difference in the decisions the legislature makes for our profession!”
Melissa H. • WI-DHA MEMBER

“[I’m] Advocating for our dental hygiene profession.”

Carol N. • WI-DHA MEMBER
“Unleash the potential so we can help even more people in Wisconsin!”
Linda J. • WI-DHA MEMBER

Advocacy is Necessary to Achieve Legislative Success

Understanding the purpose of and need for a strong professional advocacy program is the first step in achieving legislative success.  It is important to know what role the WI-DHA plays in these efforts and, more importantly, what role you play in this process.

WI-DHA Members Making an Impact at the Capitol

WI-DHA Members Making an
Impact at the Capitol

You, as a member of WI-DHA, are an advocate for dental hygienists and for the patients you serve.  Advocacy can be separated into two important functions:

The Legislative Process:  This is simply the process by which laws are made.  This is critical for Dental Hygiene as you are a legislated profession which means your scope of practice is determined and defined by legislators and regulators.  

The Political Process:  Participating in the political process is key to achieving legislative success.  To be active politically is to be an advocate for yourself and any organization to which you belong. Advocacy is itself a major function of the WI-DHA and, therefore must be a priority for the association and its members.  By being politically active, WI-DHA members demonstrate to their legislators that they are committed to advancing their profession to better serve their patients.

There are three factors needed to move legislative action in Wisconsin:

  1. Merit (legitimacy of your issue)  You must explain clearly to legislators what problem exists, who is impacted by it, why it must be fixed and how to fix it.
  2. Money (WI-HYPAC) This is a reality of politics as it is required to fund the growing cost of running a political campaign.  (See below for further information about WI-HYPAC)
  3. Membership can be the most effective way to achieve success in the legislature.  As a constituent (voter), you have the power to influence your legislator more effectively than anyone else. WI-DHA can achieve the level of success it needs with an active, well organized membership.

Conclusion:
Understanding what actions are needed for legislative success and embracing the role of politics in government will elevate the WI-DHA to the next level of influence in the State Legislature.  Don’t forget, you are the advocates for your profession and serve as the political arm of the WI-DHA.  You must become and remain active in both the legislative and political process to keep dental hygiene moving forward.

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What is WI-HYPAC?

You may have noticed that the landscape is changing for oral health in Wisconsin.  We hope you have also noticed that WI-DHA is at the table when it comes to debates and decisions that affect you and your patients. Our goals include improving access to preventive oral health services, bringing down barriers, decreasing disparities and advancing the profession of dental hygiene. Much of this is accomplished through legislative action, and that takes money!

One way we are able to achieve our goals is by identifying and supporting political candidates who are interested in what hygienists have to say and are willing to help us shape policies affecting oral health. We do that through your donations to the Wisconsin HYPAC. WI-HYPAC is non-partisan – meaning it
provides financial support to campaigns in cases where the candidate(s) indicate their alignment with the goals and objectives of WI-DHA. The political party is not considered when making this decision.

Please join your colleagues as DONOR / MEMBERS of HYPAC in Wisconsin – together we can make a difference!

This is an invitation for you to participate in the political process by contributing to WI-HYPAC. The work we do is vital to dental hygiene and donations of ANY SIZE are welcome!

2017 HYPAC Donation Form

Do You Know Your
State Senator and Representative?

Your personal involvement in the legislative process can affect the quality of care you can provide for your patients and the future of your profession.   Use this tool to enter your address or search the map to learn who the current government leaders are for your location.

Find your Wisconsin State Legislator

Meet Our WI-DHA
Advocacy Chair

Linda M. Jorgenson, RDH, BS, RF
Linda M. Jorgenson, RDH, BS, RFAdvocacy Chair of the Wisconsin Dental Hygienists’ Association

Linda is a dental hygienist whose work experience includes clinical practice in pediatric specialty and general dentistry offices as well as a fourteen year career in dental hygiene education at Century College in White Bear Lake, MN.

Retired from teaching now, she stays involved in her profession by being on-call for clinical practice when her hygienist-colleagues need a day off. She currently serves as Advocacy Chair of the Wisconsin Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Other professional activities include:

  • Teaching N2/O2 certification courses
  • Community Water Fluoridation Specialist
  • President of WI-DHA
  • Treasurer of WI-DHA
  • Secretary of WI-DHA
  • ADHA delegate from Wisconsin
  • ADHA District 7 Trustee
  • ADHA Ethics Committee chair
  • ADHA Council on Public Health

Linda earned her Graduate Dental Hygienist (GDH) degree from the University of Minnesota in 1969; a baccalaureate degree (BS) in psychology from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls in 1989; and certification in Restorative Functions (RF) in Minnesota in 2008.

Meet Our WI-DHA
State Lobbyist

Peter Theo
Peter TheoWisconsin Dental Hygienists' Association Lobbyist

Peter Theo has been a licensed lobbyist in Wisconsin for 30 years and has represented several health care professions, including the Wisconsin Dental Hygienists Association for the last ten years.

Prior to entering the world of lobbying, Peter worked as a legislative aid and committee clerk for the Assembly Health Committee chair. In 1997 after working at Quarles and Brady Law Firm as part of their newly formed Government Affairs section, Peter opened his own consulting firm, Theo Consulting & Management and began representing clients in both a legislative and management capacity. He has earned a solid reputation over his three decades as a lobbyist with numerous Governors, lawmakers, regulators, and his fellow lobbyists. As legislative counsel for the WI-DHA, Peter has worked to increase the legislative and regulatory effectiveness of WI-DHA members and has helped organize the profession’s political activities.

Born in Madison, Peter grew up within one mile of the State Capitol which he partially credits for his love of the legislative process and interest in politics. He attended the University of Wisconsin Madison where he degreed in Business and Political Science.