Meet Lorraine! A Speaker, Writer & PBMT Practitioner from OntarioJun 01, 2023
Meet Lorraine Gambacourt, RDH, a Healthcare Hygienist with Heart from Waterford, Ontario in Canada. She is a proud member of National Network of Healthcare Hygienists (NNHH), speaker, writer and owner of LifeForce Light Therapy, which offers photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), often referred to as “red light therapy.”
Lorraine retired from clinical practice in December 2021. Prior to that she had a leadership role in her hygiene department and was actively involved in implementing protocols for medical/dental collaboration. Her team regularly informed physicians about blood pressure screening or requested bloodwork to assess for inflammatory markers or conditions. In 2017, in an effort to create more awareness about the effects of bacteremia on systemic health and the importance of dental and medical professionals working more closely together for the overall health of patients, she sent letters to about 30 local MD’s and included the Bale/Doneen/Vigerust publication, “High-risk periodontal pathogens contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis”.
She currently presents a couple of courses that she developed, and has published articles and co-authored the book, “Get Your Spit Together.” Lorraine said,
“I started a business a year ago providing PhotoBioModulation/Red Light Therapy treatments. It has been a perfect transition from clinical hygiene, as I can continue to help people reduce systemic inflammation. The effect of chronic inflammation on whole body health is such a critical topic and one that has captured my attention, especially in the last several years. I am a strong believer that continuous learning and evolving is essential in order to become the best version of ourselves both personally and professionally and the certificate programs offered by NNHH can really enhance that! I also strongly feel that we must all make more of an effort to collaborate with other health professionals in order for our patients to achieve the best outcomes. I plan to explore the network more to expand my awareness of the various ways we can collaborate.”
During her 36 years as a clinical hygienist, two individuals (that she knows of) passed away from a heart attack within 2 weeks of their hygiene therapy appointment. What they had in common was their periodontal disease level, which really stirred Lorraine emotionally and changed her professional path. She attended her first AAOSH event in 2016, then traveled to Ohio to attend a course by Drs. Bradley Bale and Amy Doneen which was held in honor of the opening of a Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Centre that had an entire dental team on site. After hearing their message and learning more about the BaleDoneen Method, she made it her mission to organize an event to bring them to Canada for the first time, which took place in June 2019. The title of the event was the “Critical Role of Oral Health in Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention.” It was a huge success with over 200 (primarily) dental and some medical professionals in attendance.
Lorraine encourages all dental professionals to put in more effort to share the oral-systemic message and collaborate. When we asked her what type of role she dreams of, she said,
“This is more of a wish list for our evolving profession. I would love to see:
- Pathogen testing more frequently utilized to assess for high-risk pathogens
- Simple chairside testing made available and permissible for all RDH’s in North America to assess their patients’ CRP levels
- That CIMT ultrasound tests are accessible and affordable for any individual who would like to screen for soft plaques in their carotid artery (Ideally privatized and available in clinic settings in Canada)
- Regular collaboration between dental and medical professionals
- At least one physician per city in Canada and the U.S who gets educated about the available programs such as the BaleDoneen MethodTM, or RECODE, so we can work together more effectively with physicians who understand what we wish to collaborate about and why!
- Finally, I would love to see a Heart Attack and Stroke/Vascular Health Prevention Centre in every state and every province, that includes dental teams and other professionals on site”
Lorraine wants people to know that Registered Dental Hygienists are so much more than tooth cleaners! They are passionate educators whose roles and responsibilities have increased significantly over the years, and now more than ever their care and influence is saving countless lives.
In closing of her interview, she states, “There is incredible value in becoming an NNHH member, especially with respect to the Oral Systemic Educator Certificate Program. If I had access to programs like this 20 years ago to increase my knowledge, I would have been able to positively impact more lives. But as they say, there is no time like the present, especially if you are early on in your dental hygiene career! Be inspired and make a difference!”
Connect with Lorraine at [email protected]