Parkland College Dental Hygiene Celebrates 50 Years
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Parkland College Dental Hygiene Celebrates 50 Years

Celebrate 50 years of excellence on May 3 at the Parkland College Student Union.

Parkland College's Dental Hygiene Program will celebrate 50 years of excellence this spring with its anniversary event, "Dental Hygiene at 50: A Celebration," May 3, at 3:30 p.m. at the Parkland College Student Union.
Parkland's Dental Hygiene Program has provided a highly reputable education for today's dental caregivers as well as five decades of service to district communities. Local oral health providers widely recommend this selective-admissions program, according to former program director Peg Boyce.

"The Dental Hygiene program is rigorous, with a legacy of caring for and supporting our students," said Boyce, herself a 1980 graduate of the program. "I had amazing instructors and mentors, many of whom continue to inspire and encourage me. It's refreshing to know that our grads have positive and proud memories of their time at Parkland."

New program director Laura Hettinger feels confident in the next 50 years of the Dental Hygiene program, thanks to community partnerships.

"One of our goals is to promote beneficence by participation in community health promotion and outreach services. Working alongside community stakeholders such as the Illini Dental Society, CUPHD, Promise Healthcare, and Carle Oral Surgery has been a valued experience for our students and faculty. Parkland Dental Hygiene has a long history of not only educational excellence but community outreach. These collaborations have allowed us to open our clinic for programs like Give Kids Smile Day, Dental Day, and other outreach to underserved populations. This has an impact on our community and hopefully it continues as our graduating students enter the communities that they will end up serving."

The Dental Hygiene Program has had a strong impact on the community, with its dental hygiene clinic offering exams, cleanings, and x-rays to the public for $10 and with programs like Give Kids a Smile Day, which provides free dental services to children ages 1–17, including educational activities. It touts longtime collaborations with SmileHealthy and Ragle Dental Lab for Dental Day, where free dental services amounting to over $500,000 are offered.

"These collaborations not only impact the patients we serve, but also affect us and give us a lifelong perspective on the importance of helping others with our profession," Boyce said.

To attend this event, please RSVP at For more information on the Parkland College Dental Hygiene Program, please visit, email, or call 217/373-3861.

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