UDHA Spotlight Barbara Dixon


Zion - Barb cliff 2Please meet Barbara Leatherman Dixon, RDH, BS, MEd

Barbara has always been a huge support and participating member of UDHA and ADHA.  We love Barbara and want to spotlight her for all she has accomplished.  We asked Barbara a few questions about herself in hygiene.  Read along with what she said.

How long have you been a hygienist?  39 years (I KNOW, right!!! I skipped a year in high school)

Why did you become a hygienist?
I always loved going to the dentist as a kid (the mysterious smells, the elaborate operatory equipment, the giant fish tank in the reception room, our gregarious dentist who talked continuously and gave me old scratched mouth mirrors that were destined for the trash bin – I loved playing “dentist!!”)  and by junior high figured out I wanted the prestigious major of dental hygiene at The Ohio State University, School of Dentistry.

How long have you been an ADHA/UDHA member?
39 years + 2 years SADHA member.  (my program at OSU was 1 + 2 +1 /  prereqs, dental hygiene, health science)

Why are you an AHDA/UDHA member?
Why would I not be?! ADHA is our professional association. I choose to be part of the talented, dedicated group working to ensure dental hygiene is a respected, valued part of health care.

When asked to choose one personal question, Barbara said this “I picked TWO because I am a such an overachiever (aka dental hygienist.)”

What are you naturally good at?
Oh besides dental hygiene you mean. (hehe!) I am a great party planner – birthday, graduation, reunion, whatever. My scientific and creative traits come out when its time to organize a fun, unique event. I am a list-maker extraordinaire and no detail is too small for meticulous follow up.  And even though I’d say I’m more “left-brained” logical, analytical, and objective, my artistic side comes through with theme and design ideas, tasty menus, innovative games etc. For example, when my book club read The Wicked Girls (by Alex Marwood) a book based in England about two girls who are charged with murder as 11-year-olds and then meet up 25 years later, I served English tea, cucumber sandwiches, and pasties. Guests were requested to come attired in their best 80’s styled (messy-haired, smudged-makeup, leather boots, lace dress, fish-net stockings, long scarf, trench coat) anglophile fashion.  It was a blast!

What am I most proud of?
Hands down, my two children – smart, witty, moral, beautiful, fun – Alli and Cole.

Also, I am very proud of my work in licensure. In 2010 I was selected as one of the country’s “Top 25 Women in Dentistry” by Dental Products Report for my contributions in establishing and refining competency assessment standards. During my term on the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (national boards) I was part of  research to set test specifications and the passing standard. This work led to two published articles:  “Constructing Licensure Exams: A Reliability Study of Case-Based Questions on the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination,” in ADEA’s Journal of Dental Education, December 2013 and “Setting and Validating the Pass/Fail Score for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination,” in ADHA’s April 2013 Journal of Dental Hygiene. I have examined for WREB for 27 years, and served as chair of the Local Anesthesia and Dental Hygiene Subcommittees and as Vice President on the Board of Directors.  For the past three years I also examined for NERB.  I authored Chapter 1, “Preparing for National, Regional and State Dental Hygiene Board Exams”  in Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Dental Hygiene, 7th edition and have been asked to be the contributing author in the upcoming 8th edition as well. I believe in and advocate the highest standards of dental hygiene education, licensure and practice .

You are awesome Barbara!  Thank you for being a great Dental Hygienist!!!