Erin Haley-Hitz, MS, RDH, BSDH - March 28, 2022

Women Who Have Inspired Me

I am Erin Haley-Hitz, a 27-year clinical dental hygienist. My story in dentistry isn’t an extraordinary one, except that I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be in dentistry. I thought I wanted to be a dentist. I was fortunate to have no preconceived fears of dental care or visiting a dental office. Despite many oral surgeries and esthetic dental visits as a young child, I had exceptional providers, and therefore I have good memories of visiting the dentist’s office.

At the time of my high school graduation, I was approached by a classmate's father, who was a dentist in my small town. He asked me to report to his office on Monday morning; I was given a job in his office doing all kinds of small odds and ends, from cleaning, filing charts, and answering the phone. I learned so much from my experience that it gave me a good insider view of dentistry. Eventually, I settled on dental hygiene as my college major. I believe that I would not be where I am today without his mentoring and the opportunities he provided to learn.

This mentoring brought me to find my most profound core value of lifting others. As the famous quote says, “We rise by lifting others” by Robert Ingersoll. I have worked to lift others through leadership in my professional association. I strive to lift others through advanced patient care by constantly learning more and sharing that information with the patients that I may see in the general practice that I work.

My journey sounds easy, but as life can sometimes present, there were some difficult times. As a survivor of domestic violence, I also work to help lift women recovering from the same abuse experiences. I provide mentoring to women struggling to start over after leaving an abusive environment. In this work, I have learned coaching strategies that have helped me coach patients, to achieve optimum oral health. I also coach hygienists to be the best dental hygiene providers they can be as part of Pearly White Prevention, LLC. The best part about my journey is that I thrive when I lift others to be the best version of themselves.

- Erin Haley-Hitz, MS, RDH, BSDH