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Winter 2019

How I Learned To Always Invest In Myself Dr. Hazel Glasper

BrownGirl’s Story Martelle Cook

Scarcity: Life's Key To Abundance Vicki McManus Peterson

Spousetales...Because You Can't Make This Stuff Up JoAn Majors

Tooth & Ale April Sluiter


18P0858 (5/18)

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If you are a member of our DeW movement, you hopefully saw my live video detailing the fact that I am a procrastinator when it comes to writing my editorial for DeW Life. I can admit it.

Winter 2019 Editor and Publisher Anne M. Duffy, RDH Assistant Editor

Charter Sponsors A-dec Crest Mary Fisher-Day

Michael Duffy Managing Director Patti D’Agata Assistant Publisher Rebecca Paciorek Creative Consultant Beth Linesch Design and Layout Brian Rummel Production [CURAtive] James B. Kennedy Reilly Williams Winter Contributors Amber Auger Adriana Booth Martelle Coke Dr. Hazel Glasper Shirley Gutkowski Jasmin Haley Joan Majors Vicki McManus Peterson Dr. Emelia Sam April Sluiter Lorie Streeter Cover Photography Greer Marshall Web Design Jameson Management Social Media Rita Zamora Connections

Inspired Hygiene Patterson D5 Patterson Fuse Shofu Advisors to the Board Katherine Eitel-Belt Linda Miles Vicki McManus Peterson Board Kristine A Berry Shannon Pace Brinker Dr. Tanya Brown Jasmin Haley Bonnie Hixson Janice Hurley Suzanne Kump Tonya Lanthier Rachel Mele Anastasia Turchetta Rice Lori Streeter Rachel Wall Rita Zamora Junior Board Dr. Shakila Angadi Jennifer Chevalier Dr. Erinne Kennedy Minal Sampat Dr. Amisha Singh

Editorial Office 12233 Pine Valley Club Dr Charlotte, NC 28277 704-953-0261 Fax 704-847-3315 Send materials to: DeW Life Magazine 8334 Pineville Matthews Rd Ste. 103-201 Charlotte, NC 28226 Guidelines go to


Dental Entrepreneur Woman

It takes me a while to get the right words down on paper because I really want it to be profound and hit a chord with you. For me, getting to that point takes time, and what I realized today is that it is not my voice you want to hear. Rather, it’s the voices of our stellar DeWs that share their stories, their lives, their dreams with you. I never write my editorial until I read the first proof. Wow, I just read it, and I know you will want to read this issue cover to cover. My heart is full of awe and gratitude to know and connect with more and more women in dentistry. What I’ve found is that we all have something special to offer. Don’t let your light shine under that lamp shade. Let it shine bright so the world can see you and hear you, because you have something important to share. You’ll find a lot of light from these women in our pages. We have included several women who are doing great work on the front lines. We start with our cover star, Hazel Glasper. She recounts her unexpected path to dentistry, how she never really considered it as a career until randomly talking about it with a college classmate. That sparked a life of passionately empowering others in the field, especially women and women of color. Her mission of inclusion is a breath of fresh air as we all gain more of a voice in healthcare. I loved the story from Jasmin Haley entitled Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History. In it, she demonstrates a fearlessness in challenging the status quo through her work with people with HIV/AIDS and substance abuse issues. This has not been an easy path for Jasmin. At many conferences, she has been the only dental practitioner in the room, and she had to fight for a seat at the table to advocate for these vulnerable populations. Truly stirring. Vicki McManus Peterson asks us to shift the paradigm in our lives between scarcity and abundance, as in the difference between what we think we need and what we truly need. How can we manifest positivity in our lives to ensure that our real needs are met? Well, as Vicki puts it, a good start is having an open heart that allows gratitude to freely flow. I’ll let her dive into that more in our pages. JoAn Majors offers a great tale of how her podcast, SpouseTales, got started. Many think that being married to a dentist means a life full of bonbons and poolside wine, but as JoAn can attest, it’s hard work! She goes deep into what that life of service is like on her podcast and in this issue, too. You’ll definitely learn what it’s really like, and also how that life can be rewarding, as a spouse can play a critical role in the practice. These are only a few of our contributors to this edition of DeW Life. There are so many more inspiring women amongst the pages of this issue, and we all believe that we can accomplish great things if we empower each other, be fearless and fight for a seat at the table, be generous, and have the tough conversations. I look forward to hearing your stories, too! If you’d like to contribute, please feel free to reach me at I’m honored that you are helping us with the DeW movement! Here’s to a wonderful DeW 2019! Love,

Anne M. Duffy

WINTER 2019 I Learned to 6 How always invest in myself

Dr. Hazel Glasper


story 10 Browngirl's Martelle Coke, RDH heartbreak 18 Human Adriana Booth, RDH, BS

women 22 well-behaved seldom make history

jasmin haley, rdh, msdh, cda

Life's key 26 scarcity: to abundance vicki mcmanus peterson

law of doors 30 the shirley gutkowski, rdh, bsdh

32 spousetales... because you can't

make this stuff up JoAn Majors, RDA, CSP

& ale 36 Tooth April Sluiter, EFDA



Who, Wear, When


DeW Dish




Living Your Strengths


Dental Entrepreneur Woman





eing a woman has been a gift my entire life. As the only girl and the youngest of seven, my parents and brothers doted on me and encouraged me to know my own mind and have a say in the world. For me, it’s been a privilege to live fully aware of my power as both a woman and a leader. For some, it might seem odd to openly applaud feminine strength and presence, but I do it wholeheartedly. I was surrounded and raised by women who were fearless in times of need. I experienced great love, protection and a full awareness of my God-self, and I had the freedom to speak my mind to the listening ears of people who cared. I wasn’t planning to pursue dentistry as a profession, but thanks to a chance conversation, I came to believe it was the path I was meant to follow. I can’t say I fully understood why at that time, but I trusted the process. While I believe most of my classmates seemed certain of their desire to become dentists, I never considered it a career option until a college classmate I admired shared with me her passion for dentistry. At that moment, my life was changed forever. Until then, my view of dentistry was quite limited, but she helped me gain a deeper perspective for what might be possible. I never told my classmate the difference she made for me that day because I held her in such high regard. Her view of dentistry made me think it might be an untapped area of medicine I should explore. Since that day, I’ve never looked back, and every time I’m asked to share about my career and experiences, I’m grateful to that wonderful sister who helped me discover my purpose. Since then, I’ve surrounded myself with women who share my passion for making a difference. These relationships have been especially valuable as I’ve launched a new


Dental Entrepreneur Woman

By Dr. Hazel Glasper

career teaching dental professionals the processes and benefits of comprehensive dentistry. A comprehensive practitioner myself, I am redefining what that means. By my definition, comprehensive dentists diagnose and treat every patient with a consideration for the total health of their patients, the function of the mouth in relationship to the body and the aesthetics of the teeth. They also provide education about the oral and systemic links to disease and are an integral part of their patients’ healthcare team. As opposed to the traditional drill and fill approach, comprehensive dentistry is far more effective and valuable for both patients and practitioners. I think it’s the most ethical way to practice. In my experience, most people don’t understand or appreciate the power of dentistry. It’s a profession that can occur as monotonous, thankless and sometimes frustrating, with its emphasis on mechanical duties, dealing with patients that may not value our services and doctors who don’t consider us colleagues. Fortunately, this hasn’t been my experience. I simply love what I do! Dentistry allows me to be a clinician, engineer and artist every day. It’s a rare and amazing combination. I truly believe that dentists not only change lives, we save lives. In comprehensive practice lies an untapped potential for affecting our patients’ quality of life. But in conversation, I discover that many of us don’t know how powerful we are, especially those of us who are women. One of the main themes of my speeches and workshops is the importance of personal perspective and mindset. The way we see ourselves predicts what we consider to be possible and is critical for creating and maintaining a thriving dental practice. For women entrepreneurs this is doubly important, as we are socialized to question our own value


and are often discouraged from expressing ourselves powerfully. I am honored to be a source of empowerment for women, but we must remember that the potential for empowerment lies within each of us. As women in dentistry, we may feel the need to prove ourselves in our male-dominated profession. It’s not something we readily acknowledge, but it affects us all on some level. Often, it translates into being unduly competitive with one another. Part of my mission is to help women understand that, by nature, we are powerful. Each of us is uniquely gifted with our own value and skill set. I’ve had the privilege of working with women of all backgrounds, and I’m impressed with our commonalities. We are all born leaders, but often second guess ourselves, handing off our power to people who haven’t been proven worthy themselves. In my efforts to reach more dentists, I’m sometimes dismissed even though I’ve been practicing comprehensively my entire career and have experienced the benefits – greater patient retention, increased income and career fulfillment, to name a few. Eventually, I learned that disappointment is part of the growth process and that persistently failing forward guarantees eventual success. Through this process, I’ve learned to push beyond my fear of rejection and focus on the value of my message. The lesson is that we will never be able to please everyone and trying to do so is a waste of our time and energy. I’ve shared offices with male doctors who have treated me unfairly, tried to shake my confidence and limit my professional growth. Rather than get discouraged, I’ve treated each instance as a learning opportunity. I now appreciate the effort it takes to be one of or the sole African American or woman (or both) in a meeting of my peers, the time it takes to fully educate a patient, and the effort it takes to create a peer-to-peer relationship with a physician. When I was preparing to open my first practice, a real estate agent insisted on showing me properties in

areas with predominantly minority populations. Unwilling to be limited by racial stereotypes or socioeconomics, I purposely chose to open my practice where I felt my services would be embraced. Yes, I would say that as an African American, I stood out a bit (smile), but practicing there has been a phenomenal experience, and I have my inner voice to thank. I cannot imagine where I would be without it. Women, especially women of color, often encounter barriers to growth, but we cannot allow them to define us. Neither can we afford to worry about other people’s opinions. Each of us has a unique and invaluable purpose, which demands our attention. We must look beyond disempowering contexts like self-comparison, approval seeking and fear of failure. If we focus on perceived limitations or negativity, that’s what will manifest. We only move forward when we focus on what’s truly important. When conflict and disappointment arise, don’t shy away from it, but don’t give it a lot of energy, either. We might not see it immediately, but there is always another path. Leadership takes courage. Learning to be a leader takes patience. Early in my career, I realized that success for me

Dental Entrepreneur Woman



meant not only being a proficient practitioner, but also being a savvy business owner. Fortunately, my father was an entrepreneur and my mother expertly managed the family finances, so I learned from their example. Over time, I learned to manage money, to make unpopular decisions and lead without fear – all skills women must learn to avoid being taken advantage of. You can be the best clinician in the world, but if you are afraid to lead, your practice won’t survive. We are made to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. The truth is that none of us fulfills our potential without support. Women need each other to succeed. I believe in the power of mentorship and continued growth through education. What you don’t know can hurt you. And always invest in yourself. I am also a big believer in the power of God and the divine spirit. Life is full of blessings and opportunities, but it’s easy to get lost in the bigness of it all. Having a strong spiritual connection is critical, especially when we’re facing fear or disappointment. We mustn’t be afraid to trust ourselves and have faith that things will work out in our favor. I’ve always been driven, but I wouldn’t be nearly as successful without my faith. People ask what it’s like to have been featured in Oprah Magazine. Truthfully, I think that if you do enough good things, people will notice. I’m grateful to them for the opportunity to share my message with a greater audience. For me, this is part of a bigger plan. My intention is to shift public attitudes about dentistry and to impact legislation for addressing the healthcare crisis and expanding access to dental health care. Shifting the mindset of dentists is part of that plan. It’s not easy, but it’s part of my journey. Each of us has a purpose to fulfill and a cause we are passionate about. Whatever your passion, it’s worth pursuing. The truth is that we are only limited by our own beliefs. When you truly follow your heart, success and happiness will naturally follow.


Dental Entrepreneur Woman

About the author: Dr. Hazel Glasper has practiced comprehensive dentistry her entire career and is an emerging thought leader in the field. Committed to advancing the perception of oral health, Dr. Glasper founded Teach Me Dental, a national oral health campaign, and The Comprehensive Dental Continuum (TCDC), a consulting agency that teaches dentists to implement the principles and practices of the comprehensive model, which have allowed her to work 3 days a week and collect millions in practice revenues. Recognized as a trailblazer and a game changer, Dr. Glasper has distinguished herself in the medical community as a physician of the oral cavity. An expert on the links between oral and systemic disease, her groundbreaking conferences have reached over 4 million people globally, connecting and educating dental and non-dental healthcare providers on the significance of oral-systemic links and their impact on the oral healthcare crisis. Dr. Glasper has been featured in numerous dental publications and appeared on multiple nationally syndicated media outlets. Spokesperson on Oral Health for the American Heart Association in Maryland, she is a lead member of the Legislative Committee at Maryland Dental Action Coalition and a panelist at a Senate Hearing to address oral health issues in Maryland. Dr. Glasper is redefining comprehensive dentistry. Her company slogan Sell More Dentistry Save More Lives encourages dentists to understand their vital role in medicine and establish themselves as critical members of their patients’ healthcare team. For more information visit

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was one of 10 children, and as the eldest girl in my family, I had to take on a lot of responsibility at a young age. My mother would take me out with her to sell drugs or make me stay at home and be the caretaker for my siblings. I was cooking for the entire family at 10 years old, braiding hair for money and often knocking on the neighbor’s doors for food. I remember my mother being pregnant and literally crying because I knew I was going to be a new mother. I was in the 7th grade when my youngest sister was born, and when my mom returned from the hospital, she was brought directly into my bedroom I shared with three other siblings. I was up at 3 a.m. on a school night, making a bottle for a newborn baby that was not mine. I pushed her around the house in a stroller trying desperately to get her to stop crying so I could go to sleep for school that morning while my mom and her husband slept in the other room. School for me was an escape, because it was there where I could be normal and didn’t have any responsibility other than learning. Going to college was never discussed growing up. None of my family members attended college. They were either criminals or on welfare. Statistically, I should be too. I had four different fathers and no future. I was simply expected to get a job and help pay bills. I was told by my mother and stepdad that if I was going to be living in “their” house, I needed to be paying bills. I graduated high school and a few months after graduation, first semester of college, I ended up pregnant. I hid my pregnancy for the longest time because I knew I would get kicked out of the house once my mother and stepdad found out. They would always say, “Don’t bring no babies in here.” I was in my first trimester of pregnancy working full time at Best Buy and pursuing dental hygiene at the local


Dental Entrepreneur Woman

community college. I remember being endlessly tired and literally drained. One afternoon while taking a nap in my bedroom I was woken up by my stepdad and told to get up go outside and help do “yard work.” I had absolutely no energy, so I refused. My body would not let me, even if I wanted to. Shortly after, he told my mother I refused to help and came back to tell me to get the f*** out of his house. The entire time my mother sat at the kitchen table and said nothing. I gathered my belongings, clothes, shoes and high-school yearbook, brought my mother the house key, placed it on the table and left. I had nowhere to go. I was 18 pregnant and homeless. I lived out of my car and stayed in my boyfriend’s dorm until the summer when he dropped out, got a job and moved us to new York to live with his family. During my entire pregnancy, I was alone had no family support, not even a baby shower. Two days


after my 19th birthday, I gave birth to a 7-pound baby girl named London, and shortly thereafter, I had two seizures (I had never experienced that prior). With no family support and being so young, I was treated for epilepsy long-term. I was prescribed Dilantin, a medication for seizures, for the rest of my life and told not to drive, cook, be alone with my baby or anything that could result in injury. I was a zombie, and I was trapped dark place I wanted to escape. I knew I didn’t have anyone to take care of me or my newborn, so one day, I decided take my life back, stop taking the seizure medication and finish pursing dental hygiene school. Once I got back to being myself, I called the local dental hygiene school in New York, explaining that I had a baby. Because I did, I was told that I should try a dental assisting program. I applied and successfully completed the one-year certificate program. The dentist I worked for was mean to me, but he treated the hygienist better. I would always ask the hygienist about the program and inquire about what I needed to do to be get to the point of RDH. They would always say it was difficult and the talk about a waitlist, etc. It was not very encouraging, but then again, I never had that support. “What the heck,” I thought. “I’ll apply anyway.” I actually got in and received my acceptance letter without being waitlisted. Once I received the letter, the contents were yet another roadblock. I needed an instrument kit, which was $1,000, and uniforms that cost $300. That’s not to mention that the letter said I couldn’t work while attending the program. I decided I couldn’t afford it. Without support, I simply couldn’t attend. But one day, I mentioned it to my friend, and they insisted I could get student loans to help pay for the equipment and living expenses. Being a firstgeneration college student, I had no idea about student loans. Needless to say, I took her advice regarding the student loans and completed the program, attaining my degree as a registered dental hygienist. I was officially the only one out of my entire family to go to college! Ten years later, I decided to pursue dental school, even though I was juggling my three kids, work and school. Until my past caught up with me.

On Nov. 19, 2018, my 23-year-old brother’s son, my nephew, Rafeek (meaning good friend, was killed. He was five-months old, and the State took my brother’s remaining two children away from him. They were 2 and 3 years old. I was the first person he called, and instead of letting the children go to foster care, I felt like it was my responsibility to take them in. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, and I found myself struggling with five kids and no support from my family. My nieces and nephew were placed with me, and the State only funded day care while I was working and in school. But working full-time going to school and caring for three toddlers and two elementary-school children was becoming too much. With nowhere to turn and no one to help me, I went into a depression and felt just as I did many times before in life. I quit my job, dropped out of school and did a lot of reflecting about who I am and why . Here I am successful in my career, and I still have no support. Most importantly, thee was no one to relate to what I went through, so I decided start the organization, BrownGirl, RDH. It is a non-profit organization representing the underrepresented dental hygienist, all while promoting cultural diversity. We serve as an advocate for Registered Dental Hygienists (RDH) and students, working for a healthier diverse climate. We also help hygiene students by mentoring and providing financial support outside of tuition cost, covering clinical supplies, equipment and board fees. The mission is to shift the mindset about who can work in the dental hygiene field, remove cultural and economic barriers to joining the dental hygiene workforce, and establish and promote pathways to dental careers. We always need support, even if there is nothing else. See, the friend that gave me advice on student loans and pushed me to accept my offer letter was my BrownGirl, RDH. I am my niece and nephew’s BrownGirl, RDH. We want to celebrate diversity in the dental hygiene work force and provide social support for dental hygienist and dental hygiene students that come from backgrounds such as my own. We achieve this by building a community with relationships, because I am Rafeek, a “good friend.” I am BrownGirl, RDH! About the author: Martelle Twitty has been practicing as a registered dental hygienist since 2009. She founded BrownGirl,RDH in 2018 a non-profit organization representing  underrepresented dental hygienists, while promoting cultural diversity.  She also mentors, and provides financial support for dental hygiene students outside of tuition costs; covering clinical supplies, equipment, and board fees

Dental Entrepreneur Woman


who, wear, when.

KOL DeWs Growing in numbers

Celebrating TA-DAH with Judy Kay at GNY

Fashion Show

Kristine Berry, Beth Gaddis, Anne Duffy, Tonya Lanthier

GNY Fashion Show

Lipstick, Loupes and Cupcakes

AAOSH Charter Fellows

Laura Hatch and Rita Zamora

Dana, Tija, Emme, Deana, Hannah Shelley Renee & Sarah Whiteman

Future DeWs


Dental Entrepreneur Woman

DeW Power

Identity Marketing Retreat

DeW night out

Kay Huff and Amber Del Pozo

Dr. Rebekkah Merrell at Fast Track

Rachel Wall, Anne Duffy and Dr.Elizbeth Flemming

Upcoming Events Chicago Midwinter Meeting McCormick Center February 21 -23, 2019 Chicago, IL

The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting March 21-23, 2019 Georgia World Congress Center Atlanta, GA

Liz Graham, Connie Dugan, Kristine Berry and Trisha O'Hehir

Kristine Berry, Mary Day, Vanessa Suker

Front Office Rocks San Diego Marriott Mission Valley March 29,2019 San Diego, CA Speakers Consulting Network June 7 – 9, 2019 Kansas City, KS

Divas in Dentistry

Dental Entrepreneur Woman



W e D

h s i D


What do you do to turn around a bad day? It may be a quick meditation or a solo dance party. Sometimes, I just need to shut it down and find refuge in sleep. It varies.

What “DeW” leaders do? DeW leaders inspire while they aspire. They are focused on contribution while attuned to ongoing personal evolution.

What is your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? I love to revel in beauty. It may be a sunset, a flower or a face. I find peace in appreciating creation in various forms.

What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have lunch with and what would you ask them? All roads lead to Oprah! I’ll say, “What took you so long to find me? Let’s do this!!!”

How do you measure your success? In Manuscript Found in Accra, Paulo Coelho writes, “What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.” That feels right to me.

What obstacles have you overcome in your career? The biggest obstacle has been my mindset. After 13 years of training, including a surgery residency, professional paths were clearly laid out. Yet, I never felt aligned with the traditional routes that were presented; I couldn’t honor my whole self. Now, it’s not only OK, but mandatory that I do things in a way that feels true to who I am. I’m forging a unique path within healthcare making the best use of my gifts.

What obstacles have you overcome in your life? Undoubtedly, my insecurity has been my largest hindrance. The persistent belief of “not being enough” is a challenging one to remove. Finding my voice and believing in what I have to offer has been an area requiring constant vigilance.

What movie always makes you laugh? Pretty Woman. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it over 50 times by now …

What is the best gift you ever received? A few years ago, my then 78-year-old father gave me his autobiography. Over the course of a year, he typed out (finger by finger) several chapters, compiled pictures and presented them in a huge three-ring binder. It gave me incredible insight into his upbringing and the rich heritage of my ancestors.

What is the best gift you ever gave? Three years later, I presented my father with his autobiography in the form of a book. Though his ultimate wish was for his work to be formally published, he stated he never thought he would see it during his lifetime. The look on his face was priceless.

What scares you the most? Unfulfilled potential. To borrow from Wayne Dyer’s teachings, I don’t want to die with my music still inside of me.


What obstacles have you overcome in your life? I was diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2008. Someday I WILL write that book. I am 100 percent in remission, but the lessons from that trial will stay with me forever.

What do you do to turn around a bad day? Ha – I SING of course! Nothing makes me feel better than breaking state, cranking up some music and singing.

What is your guilty pleasure? Peanut butter … daily.

What advice do you have for the new person in your office? Bring your creativity, bring your thick skin and get ready to change lives.

What is the best part of your job?

What “DeW” leaders do?

Empowering practice leaders across the country to develop themselves and their relationships with each other. It’s been LIFE CHANGING to watch!

Listen, respond, create, forgive, learn, implement, affirm – repeat!

Who has been the most influential woman in your life? My Grammie Dorothy, who passed away many years ago. She taught me that when you do good things, good things happen! She was a piano teacher, and in spite of having MS, she managed to help hundreds of young people discover their love of music in a fun way!

How do you measure your success? I’m very driven by tangible outcomes. I like to see BIG wins and grand success. Resting my head on my pillow at night feeling proud of what I have done, who I have helped or what I have built is super success to me!

What obstacles have you overcome in your career? DEF not obtaining my college degree. I fought hard and had to stand out and around those who had major marketing and communication degrees. When I landed in corporate dentistry in early 2001, I really had a chance to show my stuff. It was a life changing experience.

What is your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? I’m new to camping in a travel trailer which is AWESOME. I also like to watch my son run track.

What famous person, living or dead, would you like to have lunch with and what would you ask them? I would like to sit with Louise Hay. She was a pioneer in the mind-body connection. I would like to ask her what someone like me could do to carry on her good works.

They are playing your theme song as you walk on stage. Name that tune! Easy, “THUNDERSTRUCK!”

What is your dream vacation? Mountains or beach with no phones and NOTHING to do.


wrist, my scaler hand, during senior year of high school. I knew I was meant to be a dental hygienist, and therefore I fought through the pain and made it to the first year of clinic. From the moment I started dental hygiene, I knew it would never be a full-time job for 60 years due to my physical limitations. Currently, I can practice two 12-hour days, without pain, with the help of the technologies I have personally invested in.

What obstacles have you overcome in your life?

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is that I have variety! I work clinically two days a week, consult for RDH Magazine, and provide in office coaching to dental teams around the country. It is an honor to be able to inspire clinicians around the world and provide solutions for their clinical challenges.

How do you measure your success? I measure success based on the impact that I am making on those around me-- am I allowing them to grow or am I depleting them. I believe every interaction that you have with another person has the ability to uplift and encourage or discourage them. I strive to focus on the positive and aim to inspire others to overcome their obstacles. I believe I was given my journey to show others they can change the trajectory of their life whenever they choose to.

There are many obstacles that I had to overcome to get where I am today. Physical limitations such as the carpal tunnel syndrome, financial limitations (I did not have a co-signer for school loans and was solely responsible for my college career), and being diagnosed with a learning disability my Junior year of college. I struggled to comprehend information, specially what written questions were asking on tests. I needed to ask many questions to be able to properly provide the answer on the written test. After my diagnosis, I was able to receive the help and resources I needed to be successful in school. This allowed me to continue my education and get a Masters in Public Health.

What is your guilty pleasure? Sweets! I love anything with dark chocolate!

What advice do you have for the new person in your office? The advice I give is don’t be afraid to ask questions – no question is stupid. Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

What “DeW” leaders do? DeW leaders allow push and inspire others to grow even if that means they grow higher-- it's about our own callings in the world- we all have a different place and enough room to thrive!

What obstacles have you overcome in your career? What is your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? I started my dental hygiene career with carpal tunnel syndrome. I grew up with a single mom and paid for everything by the time I was 12. To pay for my living costs, I became a waitress and worked long hours each week. Often, I would place as many items as I could on one tray to allow the food to be delivered to the tables all at once. The weight of the tray and repetitive motions injured my wrist. I had my first cortisone shot in my right

I am a spin instructor, so I love indoor and outdoor cycling!



By Adriana Booth


odern day slavery. Prostitution. Pornography. Women, men and children being sold and traded for money or goods. These powerful words first introduced me to the dark and disturbing world of human trafficking. Human trafficking is defined as the business of stealing freedom for profit. Now that I have your attention, thank you for allowing me to share my story on how I became an advocate for those that have had their freedom and life stolen by this epidemic. I was attending Sunday morning service at One Church in Gahanna, Ohio, enjoying a beautiful vocal performance by the worship team followed by an empowering and uplifting message by Pastor Greg. At the end of service, he announced that we had a special group joining us for the day. Jamie, Tiffany and Brandy from Out of Darkness’s Ohio Chapter stood on stage to talk about their event that evening in the annex building. Snacks, fellowship and a volunteer opportunity? Where do I sign up? I still wondered what Out of Darkness was and what did human trafficking mean? They explained that Out of Darkness is the anti-trafficking ministry of the Atlanta Dream Center whose vision is to see every life restored and free. My interest was piqued at hearing those two words. Restored and Free. They informed us that Ohio, the state in which I’ve lived in for over 15 years, is the sixth busiest in the nation for human trafficking activity. I almost couldn’t believe it! Sixth in the nation? The information session went on for two hours, and I could have sat there for four more. Two hours of heart-wrenching and eye-opening insight to a world I had no idea was all around me. I sat with tears in my eyes listening to Jamie dissect the facts and statistics on how this epidemic is tearing lives apart in our own backyard. Children being sold by their parents. Women being drugged and coerced into a “you can never


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leave me” mindset. I was on the verge of getting physically ill. This was not a third-world country’s problem, this was America’s problem, yet I’ve never heard anyone speak one word about it. How is this possible? Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself with an amazing group of smart, educated and well-rounded women. But none of our conversations had ever touched the topic of human trafficking. That all changed this evening. Out of Darkness not only educated me on human trafficking, but they also armed me with several ways that I can lend my sword to the fight.


This was not a third-world country’s problem, this was America’s problem, yet I’ve never heard anyone speak one word about it. How is this possible? For as long as I can remember, I have been called to serve, and to listen to this type of information and not be moved to action is simply not in my DNA. I was raised in a missionary based Christian church with an extended family of selfless individuals who gave to anyone in need, no matter their circumstance. Even with this background, I felt intimidated stepping into such a foreign arena, considering my previous volunteer experience referenced my known skillset. I am a dental hygienist by education and have practiced for over 20 years. As a clinical hygienist, I was fortunate to go on international dental mission trips and volunteer locally and regionally to facilitate dental care and education to those in need. We have all heard the saying, “Out of our biggest challenges come our biggest successes,” over and over, and I’ve learned (the hard way) to listen to my gut and always tap into my intuition. Well this time, I didn’t need to – the strong pull was too much to resist. If I was going to step into action around a topic that was out of my wheel house, it was going to require more than just my current package of skills and education. This was going to require reaching in deep and trusting in God to gain the knowledge and have the strength to give a voice to a chilling epidemic. I started my journey by attending a few more information sessions with the Out of Darkness team and quickly realized that human trafficking was BIG. Bigger, darker and heavier than I could’ve imagined. Listening to victims be brave enough to share their stories in a room full of strangers only added fuel to the fire. As a society, how could we let this happen? What are we doing to protect and support those who have been victimized? The answer was disheartening. As a whole, we do very little. But we can change that by educating and spreading the message. For OOD, I have jumped in with both feet to support the group. I regularly donate clothing and household items for the safe house, purchase and sell t-shirts and candles, act as a spokesperson/ representative/educator at OOD vendor tables at Columbus street fairs and markets to spread awareness, and even make meals for the OOD drop-in house for women who are still “in the life” of prostitution. No act is too small in the fight for justice for these victims, and the OOD safe house (when it opens next month) is my next stop in the process locally. This will be the first

human trafficking safe house in central Ohio, and I feel humbled to be a part of it. Learning the basics and rethinking our social norms is the key in moving toward a culture that is intolerant of these behaviors. These are some facts that I found useful in wrapping my head around human trafficking victims and facilitators. In some cases, traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. In others, victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions. It is a multi-billiondollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 24.9 million people around the world1. But WHO would do this? There is no profile of a trafficker. Essentially, human traffickers can be anyone who is willing to exploit another human being for profit2. For as many of us browsing social media to connect with friends, there are traffickers doing the same, trolling online as they search for potential victims. The internet has become the most popular method of recruiting and connecting with vulnerable individuals through social media accounts. The traffickers reach out with ideas of love, money, gifts and hope. Hope that someone cares about them and wants to give them attention. Realizing that we live in a disconnected from real human connection society, the traffickers prey on the need for feeling love and inclusion from our youth. Once they gain the trust of one they then use that one to reel in another by force or coercion. • The sale of humans is 3rd on the list of “The World’s Largest Illegal Trade Commodities,” but it is growing faster than both drugs and weapons combined. • It is a faceless and nameless epidemic, yet over 300,000 U.S teens become victims every year. • 4 out of 5 victims are female and half of all are children under the age of 14.


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Dew-ers • 1 in 20 men have bought sex online and nearly 73 percent of sex traffic survivors were advertised on sites like Craigslist and Backpage.

you to dig deep, push yourself outside of your comfy reality and be the change. Be the person who is kind, gracious and willing to lend a hand to help someone who may not be strong enough to help themselves.

• Globally there are 25 distinct business models that operate within human trafficking. • Pornography is being viewed by children as a common behavior as young as grade school ages. This is a voluntary and “internet searched” practice not encouraged by an abuser. • Countless women have been kidnapped, abused, drugged, threatened and coerced into doing porn; this is, by definition, sex trafficking/slavery. Now that I’ve opened your eyes and your mind to this epidemic, what’s next? What will you do to be a change agent in the fight against human trafficking? Educate yourself, volunteer, donate money or simply start a conversation with someone who isn’t aware. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” said Neale Donald Walsch, and he couldn’t be more right. I have found a passion for a cause that I never would have recognized had I not gone to church that day. So I encourage each of

About the author Adriana Booth is a dental practice management consultant, speaker, coach, dental hygienist, travel addict, jumbo sized dog lover, dreams of retiring to be missionary and friend to anyone who stops by with wine and wants to chat. Connecting is her jam! Being part of the team at ACT Dental fills her love of friendships with clients, vendors and her girl tribe proudly known as the DS’s. You can connect with her on IG, FB or by reaching out at Adriana@




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his famed quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich was first written in a 1976 scholarly article discussing Puritan female funeral services (Ulrich, 1976).. It was a sentence taken out of context to demonstrate how these Puritan women were not remembered because they were “well-behaved.” This quote took a life on its own and has since been shared all over the world by women who seek to make a difference and do so unrestricted. As dental women entrepreneurs, it is essential that you are prepared to take yourself out of your comfort zone if you want to make a lasting impact in this industry. Nothing can prepare you for the decisions, challenges and uncertainty that comes when you seek to make your own mark in the world. As Ulrich’s quote demonstrates, many of those decisions will be seen as risks, unfavorable or downright crazy! As women who have chosen to make a lasting impact, we have to stay committed to our vision and mission. Often, these decisions may put us in a lonely place. As history has shown, trailblazers never asked to be remembered. They focused on the need for change. They worked against cultural, gender and societal norms to create the change necessary to benefit humanity. I personally have made it my mission to advocate for the most vulnerable populations in our country, such as persons living with HIV/AIDS and persons living with substance use disorder. Is it easy? No. Does it present with challenges? Yes. Does it require that I navigate a territory unknown for most dental hygienists? Yes. When I graduated dental hygiene school, I was prepared to start my clinical career while pursuing my bachelor’s degree. What I didn’t anticipate was finding out devastating news about people I loved that would change the trajectory of my professional career. I dedicated my entire year of completing my bachelor’s degree to the study of HIV/AIDS. I mentored with an HIV/AIDS expert, Dr. Valli Meeks, DDS, MS, RDH, and created curriculum


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for the student dental hygienist. It was an amazing year that immediately led to a part-time job in a public health setting exclusively treating patients living with HIV/AIDS. That experience shaped everything that I do today. Every new experience at this public health setting demonstrated deficiencies in the educational curriculum for the dental hygienist in treating advanced medically compromised patients, working with the transgender community, understanding trauma and its implications on negative health behaviors, and providing treatment to persons living or have formerly lived with substance use disorder. After 11 years of dedicating my career to this vulnerable

population, I have the opportunity to nationally speak on this topic and work in an interprofessional faculty team tasked with educating future healthcare professionals. How was I granted the opportunity to make an impact, despite the inadequate resources I began with? I made the choice to take my career in my own hands and to immerse myself in all aspects of research that often includes attending conferences outside of dentistry and dental hygiene. It requires you to not be well-behaved. To custom-create your own path based on your higher purpose. What else did it require? It required me to take a risk. To dig deep and reintroduce myself to the passionate person I had once lost because of a negative mindset. To release my fears, self-doubt and toxic relationships from my life. To take my career in my own hands and share the message about HIV/AIDS and substance use disorder from the dental professionals’ point of view. To make an impact and create the platform for dental hygienists to have a stronger voice in the HIV/AIDS and opioid epidemic. I often inserted myself at conferences where I may have been the only dental professional present or dental hygienist in the room. As healthcare professionals, we must recognize that we deserve a seat at the table of the epidemics that affect the most vulnerable populations. At many of these substance use disorder, interprofessional or harm-reduction conferences, I have found that some professionals are at a loss on how dentistry and dental hygiene can make an impact. I am bewildered of the lack of collaboration with dentistry and dental hygiene during these discussions. We are professionals that often see our patients regularly, are extremely compassionate and are prevention focused. We are champions waiting to make a difference in improving the public’s total health. I am often moved by the testimonies of dental professionals who approach me after my continuingeducation courses. Many are shedding tears because they themselves have previously dealt with substance use disorder or they have children, cousins, siblings or spouses/partners currently using. I recall one hygienist who revealed that she used opiates during her two years of dental hygiene school. Her faculty or classmates didn’t notice or provide assistance to her during that time period. She successfully completed the program but had to hit rock bottom to make a change in her life. If the faculty were equipped with the training necessary to identify signs of substance use disorder, could there have been an earlier intervention? If all dental professionals were equipped to recognize the signs and provide intervention, could we have prevented the introduction of opiates and potentially saved more lives? The answer is emphatically, “Yes!” With the current epidemic in our nation, we as dental professionals have an ethical duty to respond.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an average of 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (2017). The use of illicit drugs is highest among people in their late teens and early twenties and has increased in the older population (SAMSHA, 2014). In 2016, an estimated 7.4 million people aged 12 or older have lived with an illicit drug use disorder (SAMSHA, 2017). With the rates of illicit drug use, HIV and Hepatitis C infection, and overdose deaths continually rising, we need to take action now. Recently, my mission provided me the honor of educating news officers for the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). I had the privilege of training physicians, pharmacists, dentists and researchers stationed with the CDC, National Institute of Health, Indian Health Service and other public sectors of our country. It was inspiring to work with a group of health professionals who have dedicated their career to protect the entire nation’s health. As a dental hygienist, my decision to not be well-behaved and forge my own path has led me to be a respected educator in an interprofessional setting. My interprofessional collaboration has also granted me the opportunity to become a champion faculty consultant where I can prepare the future of medicine, dentistry, social work, nursing, law and dental hygiene on the HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C epidemic at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Each opportunity presented itself because I sought a higher purpose than the limited options presented to me. Often when I present my continuing-education courses, they reach the hearts of my audience, invoke tears and deliver a call to action for professionals to start making a difference. As a professional representing dentistry or dental hygiene, you deserve a seat at that table too. We can only shape the future of the world if we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and shake things up. When it comes to saving lives, the only permission we should seek is our own. I encourage all of my colleagues to identify

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Success your “why,” serve the greater good through your humanity and not forget the most vulnerable in our nation. Whether you have decided your impact is through education like myself or through clinical care, consulting, research or entrepreneurship, make it your resolve to never settle for mediocrity. Be willing to be a woman not well behaved.

Citation: Center for Disease Control. 2017. Wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research (WONDER). Atlanta, GA: National Center for Health Statistics; 2017. Available at Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2014). Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. Rockville, MD. Retrieved from data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/ Web/NSDUHresults2013.htm#3.1.2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2017). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 17-5044, NSDUH Series H-52). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa. gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2016/NSDUHFFR1-2016.pdf About the author Jasmin is the Founder of Beyond the Prophy® and Cofounder of MOMgienist®. She has over 16 years of experience as a dental hygienist, educator, and dental assistant. She is an expert on HIV/AIDS, an advocate for the opioid epidemic, and crusader for cultural sensitivity in the dental industry. She is the executive producer/cocreator of the MOMgienists Podcast and the executive producer/creator of the Beyond the Prophy Podcast. She is an adjunct faculty in a dental hygiene program and educational consultant for an HIV/AIDS interprofessional program at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology, JACQUES Initiative. She is a proud member of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, National Dental Hygiene Association, American Dental Hygienists Association, and the American Dental Education Association. Jasmin was recently nationally recognized as a 2018 Sunstar/RDH award recipient.


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ancy car, nice home, healthy kids, security in our income, savings for retirement; these seem to be the common goals for professionals across America. But what if there is more? What if the material goods we “possess” actually possess us? What if the glory we seek on the outside (praise from others, acceptance, prestige, love) can only be found on the inside? How in the world do we unlock the door and find the keys to true success?

as our standard of living improves. You’ll also find an interesting correlation with the increase use of the word “entitlement!” This word barely existed in the 1800s and only began to rise in popularity in the 1960s. Clearly, there is opportunity to better understand the power of these concepts. Here’s how scarcity and entitlement are linked. The

For me, the journey began in exploration of the concepts of manifestation, the laws of attraction, scarcity and abundance. In this article, we will explore two fundamental concepts that must be embraced in order to become a powerful co-creator in our lives. The art of manifestation is not about magically materializing something physical in our lives; it’s more of a science of understanding our inner workings, and then having our inner world “appear” in the outer realm. But before we get into all of that, let’s take a close look at the concepts of scarcity and abundance in our lives.

Scarcity Embracing scarcity is counterintuitive to our culture. We equate scarcity with poverty, failure and a host of doom and gloom emotions. Not so! Each word, each emotion, each concept carries its own emotional vibration. Scarcity is defined as the state of being scarce or in short supply. Or more simply, shortage. Doesn’t this definition just smack you upside the head with “duh!” But what is it really in energetic terms? How do I use scarcity in a positive way in my life? As you can see from this graph, the use of the word has been steadily declining over the past two hundred years,


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downside of misunderstanding scarcity and rebelling against it is that we set ourselves up for a Deprivation Cycle. It goes something like this: I work hard (too hard) and feel tired at the end of the day and need a bit of a pick me up. There is no end to the rationalization I can create to treat myself to: beer with the buddies, a glass or two or 10 with my girlfriends, the impulsive spending at the mall, or heaven forbid I have an Amazon Prime account! Deprivation cycle robs us of time, money and energy.



Work Hard

Spend Money

Feel Tired - Deprived


To break this cycle, set a timer for about 20 minutes and contemplate these questions: •Where have I been jealous of others’ success and compared (unfairly) my own talents or abilities to others? •Where have I felt deprived or denied something in my life? •Where have I been unreasonably scarce (stingy) with myself, placing artificial limits when there need be none?

Shifting our Paradigm What if scarcity played a positive role in our lives? Can we return to a state of consciousness that allows for limitations as a good thing, instead of rebelling against limits, demanding what we are entitled to? Could this type of thinking lead to abundance? I believe so! Let’s explore a new definition: Scarcity represents an energetic vibration closely aligned with the concepts of “Untapped Potential and Valuable Limitations.” Play along with me … imagine the page of this magazine (or kindle reader, smartphone) growing in size. It doubles, then doubles again. Also imagine there are no limits to the type of fonts one can use.

Ridiculous right? Actually, this is a great example of scarcity at work. The author accepting the font of Calibri 12 creates consistency, a “valuable limitation” if you will, which facilitates flow for the reader. Rather than take away from creativity, it allows the author to concentrate on tapping into the potential of her creativity rather than flustering over the precise font or size to use for each word or paragraph. Scarcity, when used properly, allows us the space to explore the untapped potential of an object or situation. If you have children, or can think back that far, you easily see how a cardboard box and paper towel roll becomes a pirate ship and battle cannon. Have you ever been caught searching the cupboards for dinner in a snowstorm or inclement weather? This happened to our family on more than one occasion. We coined the phrase “must go” and began cooking up really creative meals. We now do this once a week, even without the bad weather limiting our mobility. Scarcity is truly the mother of invention! Pause for a few moments and contemplate these questions: •When has scarcity supported a more creative solution in my life? •How could I simplify my life so I’m not constantly working to pay for my possessions or indulgences? •What brings me joy? What doesn’t? Can I eliminate obligations that do not bring me joy? Now to link the positive aspects of scarcity: the vibration of valuable limits and creativity with abundance.

Abundance Oftentimes, we hear people say things like, “No wonder she’s broke. She has such a scarcity mentality. If only they had a positive outlook and focused on abundance!” To be honest, I’ve said this on more than one occasion. Last year, I did a hard stop on this concept and began teasing it apart. Going back to our word/font analogy earlier, imagine you were not only able to read this article, but every book, article, or pamphlet ever written! It was all at your fingertips, an abundance of information. How does that make you feel? Actually, you likely experience this feeling on a daily basis. Most of us have resigned ourselves to storing less in our memory banks and more in “the Google” as my friend, Penny Reed, says.

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success Unlike scarcity, we falsely equate abundance with happiness, contentment and plenty. Again, each word has its own meaning and vibration. Having everything or an abundance of any one thing is not necessarily a good thing. For me, living an abundant life has come to mean that I have what I need, when I need it. I trust that life is working in cooperation with me to help me take the next steps and ensure that I’ll have the proper resources. The key word in all of this is “cooperation.” We co-create our world with our higher source, with each other and in alignment with the laws of nature. I have to do my part! Manifestation often gets sidelined into the mystical or into fortune cookie pop-psychology that relegates manifestation to a series of positive affirmations. Have you ever been silly like me? When I first learned of these metaphysical concepts I would sit around daydreaming of things – a bunk bed for my son, perhaps. I would call it to mind, affirm that one day a bunk bed would magically appear in his room. We attended a garden show, and wouldn’t you know it, there was a raffle for a bunk bed. I entered my one ticket, and (haha) did not win! What the heck! I’d visualized it, cut out pictures of it and had been affirming for weeks that one would magically appear. Surely, I was meant to win the drawing! Disappointed and a bit angry with life, I took a step back and thought about my intentions. In my heart, I knew my son had no desire for a bunk bed. That was me. I also knew he was years away from needing more space, as he was still in a crib. I also realized I had put my faith in “magic” and was attempting to manipulate spiritual laws of abundance for a short-term gain. I forgot to be in the moment enjoying my children and grateful for what we already had. I went back to the fundamentals of life and began to give thanks for the beautiful home just as it was, for the sturdy crib for my son, and forgot about the bunk bed. As life would have it, when my son turned4, a sum of money came into my life that was exactly what I needed to buy a bunk bed, which he was now asking for on his own! Funny how life manifests exactly what you need when you need it.

Pulling it All Together Wayne Dyer said it best: “We are eternal beings having a human experience.” Our very physical nature provides valuable limits which facilitate our growth. The first key in living an abundant life is to accept these limits and ask the question, “How can I be grateful in this moment AND maximize all I’ve been given?” This shift in thinking sets into motion the laws of attraction to bring even more resources towards your efforts. With an open heart of gratitude flowing, it is easier to view


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scarcity as the spiritual element of grace. Haven’t we all looked back on our lives and said, “Thank goodness I didn’t receive ______ (that relationship, that promotion, etc.), because if I had, life would have not taken me to where I am now. That is grace at work. To keep the flow of abundance at work, the last key is generosity. Be generous in your relationships, bring the spirit of kindness, offer financial assistance to those in need. Whether we think of abundance in terms of money, freedom, lifestyle or influence, we are called to be good stewards of these gifts. Use them wisely. Let us pause for now with the words of John Lennon: “Imagine no possessions / I wonder if you can / No need for greed or hunger / A brotherhood of man / Imagine all the people, sharing all the world / You may say that I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one / I hope someday you’ll join us / And the world will be as one.”

About the author: Vicki McManus Peterson, Co-Founder & CEO of Productive Dentist Academy, is a twice published author, celebrated public speaker, and has owned and operated several successful dental practices over the span of her 30-year career in dentistry. In 2013 she was honored with the Silver Stevie Award in 2013 as Female Entrepreneur of the Year. Productive Dentist Academy has been on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2018. In 2018, Vicki earned her doctorate in Spiritual Studies from Emerson Theological Institute. Vicki uses her own life experiences to coach others in highly interactive programs that incorporate expertise in emotional intelligence, practical business solutions, and energy healing.


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MacPractice Simplicity in practice



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THE LAW OF DOORS By Shirley Gutkowski

“When one door closes, another opens.”


ou’ve heard the phrase a dozen times, or maybe you’ve said it yourself. Perhaps you hear about a window opening instead of a door. But either way, that statement refers to the Law of Doors. Do you understand it? For starters, it’s a metaphor for opportunity, as the Law of Doors simply states, “There’s always another door.” Doors have many more parallels to opportunities than just being open or closed. For instance, when a door is stuck in the jamb, an opportunity may stall. A person not chosen for a job, for instance, can assume the attitude that the opportunity was not open to them. Too simple. Luckily, when you find a door that won’t open or is locked, you can go on to the next or apply a little fix to the one that doesn’t open. A little salespersonship may help remove the stickiness from an opportunity that seems impossible at first. This happens to a great many dental hygienists who, with an Associate’s degree, sell their way into a position requiring a baccalaureate degree. They tightened the hinges of that door, allowing the door to swing open easily to take advantage of the opportunity that appealed to them. Basic questions about doors may be: What if you don’t recognize doors? How can you tell if a door will open or if it’s stuck or locked? Who has access to the doors? Where should one look for doors? These basic questions become


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obsolete when you know the big secret behind the Law of Doors - people can cultivate doors. It’s true that a person can happen across a door. Happenstance is a poor way to grow a business. If you’re not good at identifying doors, growing them on your own is a great way to learn to spot them. The cultivation process starts with networking … sowing the seeds, as it were. Getting to know people, finding out how you can help them, is like creating a door from fresh lumber. The way to get in front of a bunch of doors is to network a bunch. Join a networking group. You may be surprised to learn that typing “find me a networking group” into the search bar will get thousands of hits. Keep looking for networks in and out of your area of expertise. If you’re still chairside, enter into different conversations with patients. Center them on new research or ideas even if you get them from the newspapers. Keep an eye out for innovative ideas to investigate. Find out how to use to keep your game sharp. Patients want to know that their clinician is on top of new and exciting developments. Spend only 10 percent of your conversation time on friendly banter. They don’t really need friends at the dental office. They may turn into a door or have your long-anticipated key. If you find a door that’s sticky or feels locked, determine if it’s worth your time to give it a little shove or a little soap rubbed where the door wedges to the jamb. An important subset of the law is that a locked door doesn’t stay locked. Check back after checking a few other doors, because the first one may suddenly fly open for you. Some call this pivoting. At the very least, there’s always another door.


Although a network is a way to build your own doors from wood planks, networks can also provide keys to doors that were locked. They may not look like a traditional key, so be open to a combination lock, a key card or biometrics that read the iris or fingerprints. The metaphor continues with the expression “Opportunity knocks.” Participating in a network may cause the knocking to be overwhelming, and you’ll turn into a crazy person trying to answer every one! The more you practice, the better you’ll be at recognizing the difference between real and fake doors. A fake door is a real thing; a common architectural element in the tombs of Ancient Egypt and Pre-Nuragic Sardinia. Experience will help you recognize these false starts. Sometimes, even if you’re not listening, you’ll hear a cacophony of knocking. Which door, which door! Giving the knob a jiggle to see if it’s real is a great idea. Just because there’s knocking on a door doesn’t mean that’s the right one. And with the framework of networking, handing off doors to your network can be a great answer to the problem of too much knocking. People in the network have screwdrivers, planes and lubricants that may make a poor door for you a great door for them. If the door you’re expecting isn’t forthcoming heed the advice of Alexander Graham Bell: “When one door closes another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” The sound you hear may be tinnitus, or an opportunity to grow your business, extoll your passion and pay

Basic questions about doors may be: What if you don’t recognize doors? How can you tell if a door will open or if it’s stuck or locked? Who has access to the doors? Where should one look for doors? the mortgage. Learning the Law of Doors can even make sleeping easier and lower anxiety. Like the Law of Attraction, the Law of Doors can improve your life. Free yourself, cultivate your doors and enjoy all the knocking. About the author: Shirley Gutkowski is owner of Primal Air, LLC OMT and Breathing Retraining in Sun Prairie, WI and is the Primary Practitioner there. Her practice is exclusively dedicated to orofacial myofunctional therapy. Her dedication to primary prevention is evident in the number of articles, chapters, and books she’s written over the last two decades. She’s spoken to dental and dental hygiene audiences 608-213-5865 Primal Air, OMT and Breathing Retraining

Dental Entrepreneur Woman




nce upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a dental spouse. She lived a life of luxury being pampered from sun up to sun down. She made tough decisions, like what Jimmy Choo shoes to wear with her new Gucci suit and Prada bag to the luncheon with the town socialites, all while having the difficult task of also deciding where to dine that evening. As she walked to her mailbox in the sunshine, little birds would fly around her head signing songs of joy. All this just like a scene from a fairy tale. NOT! Pump the breaks, folks, this is an abrupt stop. Despite popular belief by many, it’s likely the hardest role I have ever had in dentistry. There is a tale to be told, but it likely won’t be what you’re thinking. Settle in with your coffee, hot tea or a stiff drink and prepare for what some might compare to the Twilight Zone!

Anne’s magazine, DeW Life, we were thrilled. SpouseTales, just resonated with so many of the spouses and doctors we spoke to and many others who just “got it.” Then, as it does all too often for a dental spouse with skills (the backup plan) in the practice, it came to an abrupt STOP. HOLD, please! You hear that little voice and no one waits for you to say, “Yes, I’ll hold.” As spouses (and leaders) many times unbeknownst to anyone else, we put what we “want” on hold because tough decisions must be made for the health of the practice or perhaps yourself. Understanding that the patient experience could be compromised in any way if the spouse doesn’t show up is daunting. The very thing that keeps it real for me and my audiences (real-life experience in our practice) can also cause great heartache for me.

HOLD, Please!

Humor and Humility are Healthy

This article has changed and morphed a couple of times since asked to write it. I not only believe the Stop, Start, Change management theory, I’m a lifetime member! Originally, the core was around the them: Care enough to share or sometimes dare enough to share. Share an idea, story or something others wouldn’t necessarily share. And, of course business ideas, best practices, systems and services that make life better for the spouse, manager, doctor, team or patient. As a professional speaker and published author, I truly believe transparency is beautiful. I’ll admit, I’m just not quite ready to put it on social media. Sharing in the written word or a story in a seminar has always been easier and more intimate. This story became like many others in my world an opportunity to be transparent. This is not always popular but we learn from experiences and stories are the next best thing. So here is mine. Take the makeup off and let the scars that made me who I am shine!

I’ve learned to laugh at myself and my situations over the years. Some days you have to laugh to keep from crying, other days it’s a blurry mix. It’s also a lifetime of free entertainment! On the other hand, humility is an indispensable trait for a dental spouse. Not needing to be “seen” as an individual and sometimes even heard is part of understanding the role of a “team-oriented” spouse. A spouse friend of mine often says, “It’s funny, if it’s wrong, I get the blame. If it’s good, I never get the credit.” Listen, I’d love to say it’s different, but the truth is, it’s the opposite of what many people think when they conjure up an image of “the doctor’s wife.” BTW, there are no birds singing in my ears when I go to the mailbox and pull out that stack of bills just like everyone else!

When my friend, Kathy Cigno, and I decided to dive into the podcast world and I would write the small snippets for


By JoAn Majors

Dental Entrepreneur Woman

You’d be surprised what some will say to a spouse. It’s as if someone threw up and they can’t even smell it because it came out of their own mouth. “Well, you should be the president of the PTO this year, you’re married to a dentist and don’t really have to work.” Well, OK. I remember a young man wanting his implant crown placed, his front

living your strengths Blessed to work in multiple types of practices initially, I would later sell dental supplies, co-own and sell a dental software company and even become VP of development in one of the industry’s first DSOs. I enjoyed the team-training faculty position at one of the world’s most well-known implant continuums.

tooth for Christmas, seriously. Mom was appreciative we would work with them on payments because dad had lost his job. Visiting with her in the reception room, she thanked me for Chuck’s kind actions. “After all he’s a young man and was so worried he couldn’t smile on our trip to Breckenridge over the holidays.” Mind-blown, I said nothing. Now, I had undergone a major surgery, multiple medical bills were coming in and some misguided business choices had produced a true cause and effect. Let’s be honest, do you think any of those people really cares if the “fat cat” doctor or his wife might actually be hurt?

Life Before Wife In a small community like the ones where we have lived, it is a phenomenon. You can often become known by only the spouses’ name. I often get the comment, “… Oh, you must be Dr. Majors wife …” with a look that’s as if I either have a disease or won the lottery. Early in our marriage, we were driving from my hometown to Chuck’s, where his daddy was a practicing dentist for 39 years. He actually earned himself two speeding tickets that night (I honestly don’t remember another ticket in his life …), both by highway patrol in two different counties separated by another. The next day to my surprise a sweet little senior patient showed up to the office asking for him. Instead it’s me, he was with a patient. She came to offer her homemade, warm coconut cream pie as an apology for the tickets he had received the evening before. She wanted to let “Dr. Majors” know her son, John (also a highway patrolman) had taken care of them. This was the beginning of the Twilight Zone. I truly couldn’t begin to make up the things said and unorthodox behavior some people exhibit around a dental spouse. No one warned me. It’s the truth … I honestly had a real life before I became a wife. It was in dentistry, and I chose it!

Nevertheless, speaking was always my true love, mentored by one of the top case-acceptance speakers and gurus in our industry. Walter Hailey would ultimately introduce me to true thought leaders like Zig Zigler and Bill Gove. Both very well-known, even iconic, in the National Speakers Association, where I would go and learn to master my craft. Following in the footsteps of my dental speaking mentors and true opinion leaders, Linda Miles, Naomi Rhode and Joy Millis to eventually earn a CSP. Last year, it happened after eight years of intention, being turned down once, I earned my CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) from the National Speakers Association. Less than 12 percent of speakers worldwide (just over 5000) earn this. It’s like hiring a speaker that has been vetted by other top vetted speakers. I can assure you that once I was turned down, I wanted to shut down. Truth is, it’s never a mistake unless you refuse to learn from it. Back to the topic, do you actually know anyone who set out to become a dental spouse? Most especially someone with skills in dentistry who has worked to become a master at her craft. If so, I’d like to counsel them on the complications it can cause. Dentistry became my love long before I fell in love with my wonderful partner, greatest champion and best friend, Chuck, a.k.a. Dr. Chuck Majors.

Give Back More Than You Take Open Arms and a Spirit of Curiosity My mother was an amazing woman who suffered a massive stroke at the young age of 29. She was told she would never walk, talk or write again. She was an amazing strong and beautiful Hispanic woman who spoke in broken English but clearly was not broken or defined by her diagnosis. As the youngest of seven children, I was born after this. I learned to communicate with fewer words and more “intention.” This would prove to be one of my greatest gifts both chairside and at the podium. As a female in dentistry and, yes, a spouse, it occurred to me that I could use my voice in our industry to give back and inspire others. From a team member understanding their value to the care provided to encouraging someone to share her/his not so “perfect” story. She always told us to give back more than we took. In the practice, I function as comprehensive care

Dental Entrepreneur Woman


living your strengths coordinator, helping with weekly team meetings, trainings, consults or whatever is most profitable (even finding and baiting a skunkinator – story for another day). I don’t take a paycheck from the practice; I earn my living on the road. Yet, I often feel I’ll work harder to earn my place on the team than others. It would be a luxury if I didn’t care or understand the impact when a new team member can’t start when they said they would because they want to go to their child’s play or wait until after the new year to “get ready” to come back to work. Or someone can’t work due to the schedule for the county fair. If you are a skilled spouse; HOLD please, TAG YOU’RE IT! I pray I can continue to do it ,because it makes what I share from the podium more authentic, more realistic and it’s not “what I do,” it’s “who I am.” More than a spouse, I wanted to use my voice the way my mom never really could. My most popular courses inspire, offer hope and share how asking questions is the greatest way to connect with the person attached to the tooth, the referral or the next agreement, whatever that may be. The soft skills, if you will. My mother asked questions because it was hard to articulate what she would have loved to share. Instead, she would ask questions and allow you to discover your own answers. She always had her arms open, taught us to have a spirit of curiosity and work hard never to judge. Being curious keeps you from the bad habit of thinking it’s even about you. Likely, there is something else going on, and it’s very rarely about you. In Texas, we smile and say, “Bless your heart!” Meanwhile, as we are sorting through the changes in our practice and in life. As far as SpouseTales the podcast, we heard, “HOLD, please!” So for now, we wait for His timing to be right. Today, I’ll keep on writing, speaking and connecting others for the greater good! See you on the road, JoAn


Dental Entrepreneur Woman

About the author: JoAn Majors is a Certified Speaking Professional, published author and registered dental assistant. She is a member of  the National Speakers Association  and the Global Speakers Network. She holds the designation of CSP held by less than 12% of 5,000+ speakers worldwide with less than a dozen directly in dentistry. It is the highest earned international measure of professional platform competence. In addition, she is a member of the AADOM, ADIA and many other professional organizations. JoAn is the founder and content creation specialist of The Soft Skills Institute, an AGD PACE National provider.  She (and Dr. Josh Packard when requested) deliver 3 and 6 hour presentations as well as a 2-day deep dive experience in developing and applying the soft skills. Creating Value with Soft Skills and Science. All seminars can be supported by a high value after care program for implementation content online on any device. Perfect to augment any coaching or consulting program, not replace it. She is also the creator and co-host of SpouseTales podcast on itunes, SoundCloud and online at, www. As a recurring author, SpouseTales in short story form are available exclusively through DeW Life magazine. New this year, Significant Spouse, a 2 day workshop style learning opportunity will provide greater acuity of common stresses as a spouse, the dental team, community impact with cause marketing and the everchanging role of the spouse. Oh, and you can bring the doctor! This two time author with a third on the way is happily married to her greatest champion and partner for life, a practicing second generation dentist, Dr. Chuck Majors. When not on the road she functions as the Comprehensive Care Coordinator in their fourth and final practice, MajorSmiles in Bryan, Texas. JoAn’s happy place is at the front of the room inspiring audiences to greatness with her signature “Open Arms” communication and soft skills. Her platform voice and her writing voice are the same. Positive and passionate but not too preachy. To learn more or see her in action, visit:


TOOTH AND ALE By April Sluiter


t all began fifteen years ago with a vision.

My husband always had a wide spectrum of ideas, and I have always been the realist, the practical one. We purchased a home about 15 years ago, and this was the impetus for a future project that, unbeknownst to us, would eventually take us to other side of the world. You see, this home was in need of love. As I mentioned, my husband was always full of ideas, and I was the realist. While he envisioned turning an ugly duckling into a swan, I envisioned a lot of work ahead of us. Over the course of eight years, we tore down cabinets and installed new ones, added new countertops and built handmade bathroom vanities, and turned an overgrown field of a yard into an outdoor oasis, just to mention a few projects. After literal blood, sweat and tears, that ugly duckling slowly blossomed into a swan. And though this house was realized through patience and tenacity, it was time for our next chapter. We sold our beautiful swan. But before I move on, what’s this have to do with dentistry? I have been a dental assistant for over 20 years, with side jobs as an educator, speaker and writer for the industry. I also was an entrepreneur of sorts with my own temp agency for four years as a contract dental assistant to fill in at practices in the metro area. I managed to build a regular clientele and saw a wide variety of management styles, systems and personality types. It was a great gig that gave me flexibility and the ability to be autonomous, while at the same time providing a learning experience. So what was this next big idea? Considering the fact that my husband had been brewing professionally for someone else for years, what about our own brewery? I think my


Dental Entrepreneur Woman

eye started to twitch at the thought of this venture, but concurrently, I was excited at the prospect of seeing my husband’s vision become a reality. I thought, with this business venture, how could I merge teeth with beer? The only commonality is that they both have two e’s when you spell them. Then it hit me; all my years of patient care (a.k.a. customer care), multi- tasking and getting systems into place as a dental assistant would be beneficial in a business. Dentistry appealed to my practical nature, but this woman in dentistry was going to be a brewery owner. As someone who hasn’t had kids, I can imagine that before you have your firstborn, you try to get any major projects completed, as your time is going to be limited as soon as that baby arrives. Well before our “baby” was going to be

living your strengths

"…all my years of patient care (a.k.a. customer care), multi- tasking and getting systems into place as a dental assistant would be beneficial in a business." “conceived,” we set out to Europe, because we knew we wouldn’t get that opportunity again anytime soon once we started the first page of our business plan. Not only did this excursion open our eyes to a different beer culture, it introduced us to a world of fabulous people, scenery and food. This trip was part of the inspiration for our current beer and food menus, and along the way, we made lifelong friends. We came home, and it was time to get serious about creating a business. It was also time for more blood, sweat, tears, tenacity and patience. Months turned into years of finding investors, acquiring loans, finding the right building to lease in a booming real estate market – and when that building was found, doing it all over again. Another ugly duckling was about to turn beautiful. And all this time, I was still running my temp business. Business owners are not joking when they say you’ll be working 80-hour work weeks. It isn’t for the faint hearted. I watched as my husband would come home exhausted from his DIY work at the building. Believe me, this project was on another level compared to a house. We had to open, but the powers that be had other ideas. Time was

slipping by, permits took longer than promised and unexpected costs put us over budget. It looked like the light at the end of the tunnel was never going to illuminate. Finally, however, the light shone through, with the grand opening of Culmination Brewing three years after pen hit paper and twelve years after the vision was created. My experience in assisting and getting systems in place helped get the taproom up and running, and I started serving beer behind the bar. Three beers on tap slowly became 20, our brand was gaining some traction and recognition, and we were voted Oregon’s Best New Brewery of 2015. And remember when I said our adventure would eventually take us to the other side of the world? Our beer is now distributed in Japan. We had the honor of meeting our Japanese fans and see our bottles on shelves in Tokyo and taps filling glasses with our product. It has been a long, arduous, fulfilling journey. As I take another sip of beer, I raise my glass to all my fellow women in dentistry. We are educators, caregivers, leaders and healthcare advocates. We are also capable seeing our visions becoming fulfilled. So, cheers to you my friends! May your entrepreneurial dreams come true!

About the author April Sluiter has been in the dental industry for over 22 years as a dental assistant, and has also been an instructor, writer, and speaker for the dental assisting community. Her vision for the dental industry is to have a diverse array of educational opportunities to allow personal and professional growth, particularly for dental assistants.  In her spare time, she cofounded a brewery with her husband in Portland, Oregon; this experience has given her new insights from the business perspective. Her goal is to continue to be an advocate and mentor for her peers!

Dental Entrepreneur Woman


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