2019 Opening General Session

For the past 11 years, Dimensions of Dental Hygiene has been recognizing “6 Dental Hygienists You Want to Know.” For the first time ever, ADHA and Dimensions are teaming up with the support of 3M to bring you 4 former award winners who will share their stories of success in a ted talk-style format as the featured speakers at the ADHA Annual Conference opening session. You’ll learn of the innovations they brought to their practices and the impact they’ve had on the field of oral health. This group of speakers will represent academia, clinical practice, and public health—you are certain to walk away inspired after hearing these 4 powerful stories! Join us for the Opening General Session on Friday, June 21 at 7:30 a.m. in Ballroom CDE.

Sponsored by:


Christine M. Farrell, RDH, BSDH, MPA

Christine M. Farrell, RDH, BSDH, MPA is the Oral Health Director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  She has been employed by the MDHHS since 1988 and has been the Oral Health Director since June 2010.  She has over 30 years of public service and has a wealth of knowledge on oral health issues, dental public health, Medicaid, and prevention programs that include sealants and community water fluoridation.

Melissa A. Obrotka, RDH, BBAOM

Melissa A Obrotka, BA, RDH, ICP received her AAS in Dental Hygiene from Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ and her Bachelor of Business Administration, Organizational Management from Ashford University, where she graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors.   She holds over 20 years of experience in the dental field as her journey began in dental assisting while attending dental hygiene school. Obrotka with the Hu-Friedy Master Clinician Award for her outstanding clinical expertise in relating interdependence of clinical practice and patient education for the improvement of patient compliance in June 2016, and 2017 was named one of Dimensions of Dental Hygiene “Six Dental Hygienists You Want to Know” in the Clinical Practice Category.

Nancy Kiehl, RDH, MS

Nancy Kiehl, RDH, BSDH, MSEd, is a full time endoscopic dental hygienist working in 2 private periodontal practices in Ohio. She is the 2012 recipient of the ADHA and Hu-Friedy Master Clinician award and the 2010 Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Journal’s “One of 6 Dental Hygienists You Want to Know.”

Rebecca S. Wilder, RDH, MS

Rebecca S. Wilder, RDH, MS is a Professor and Director of Faculty Development and the Director of the Master of Science Degree Program in Dental Hygiene Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dental Hygiene. Rebecca has published over 200 articles and abstracts in professional journals, and she speaks internationally in the areas of periodontics, oral-systemic health, oral health products, risk and practice management.


Kelli Swanson Jaecks, RDH, MA

Kelli Swanson Jaecks, RDH, MA holds a Master’s degree from Oregon State University in Communication and Adult Education, where she taught Leadership and Public Speaking. She received her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Oregon Health Sciences University in 1996. She is a past-president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

2019 Closing General Session and Reception

Join us at the historic Palace Theater in downtown Louisville for our first-ever Closing General Session and Reception on Sunday, June 23 at 12:30 p.m. Enjoy a champagne toast and light snacks during a 30-minute reception, then earn 1 CE credit at our Closing General Session with keynote speaker Dave Coulier!

Sponsored by:

Dave Coulier

We are thrilled to announce this year’s Closing General Session keynote speaker: actor and comedian Dave Coulier! Dave is best known as Uncle Joey from the hit-series Full House and has appeared in various other series and starred in two movies. He continues to sell out stand-up shows across the country at theaters, colleges, corporate events and more. Get ready for lots of laughs with Dave Coulier this June!