Scholarships Available for Public Health Hygienists

Scholarships Available for Public Health Hygienists

Jul 19, 2023

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — The National Network of Healthcare Hygienists (NNHH) recently received a $10,000 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina to offer 13 full scholarships to the Oral Systemic Educator Certificate Program, a comprehensive medical integration course, created specifically for hygienists by hygienists. 


“Public health hygienists typically receive little or no continuing education stipend, yet they need a higher level of advanced research-based education to keep up with the comorbidities and complexities of their patients,” said Jamie Freitag-Dooley, founder of NNHH. “This grant provides those serving our most vulnerable populations with the unbiased, up-to-date information they need to care for the oral-systemic health of their patients, plus educate the interdisciplinary providers they refer them to.”


The Oral Systemic Educator Certificate Program was created to increase a hygienist's confidence in educating their patients and other healthcare providers on the oral-systemic link to increase collaboration and bi-directional referrals between dental and medical providers. It is instructed by 16 industry leaders, is self-paced and fully online, and offers 34.5 AGD/Pace CE hours. These scholarships award lifetime access to the program, so recipients will be able to access updated versions as research and integration opportunities grow. 


“By becoming part of the women’s health team for my Oral Systemic Educator Certificate Program Capstone Project, I was able to educate pregnant mothers from the start of their pregnancy and explain how oral health affects their entire body and that of their baby,” said Brianne Carter, dental director at Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. “My pilot was so successful that I have moved into a management role and added two more integrated dental hygienists to our team. Our goal is to have an I-RDH in every specialty clinic. We have them all take the Oral Systemic Educator Certificate Program during onboarding. Being able to outsource the education is priceless to our system.”


Registered Dental Hygienists (RDHs) are important members of collaborative care teams, especially for healthcare systems that offer patient-centered care. NNHH helps dental offices and medical systems outsource the education of their RDH workforce at the highest national standard for certificate programs, as the NNHH  is in the process of being accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) as a certificate granting body.


“Education that emphasizes mouth-body connection is key to supporting better oral and overall health,” said Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director of the DDF. “We’re confident that these scholarships will bolster medical-dental integration, enriching the lives of the recipients and their patients.”


Grant funding from the Delta Dental Foundation of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina will support  13 scholarships valued at $1,499 each. Registered dental hygienists with a valid license in one of the four states above, who work in a public health or nonprofit setting, are eligible to apply. NNHH will be accepting applications until all 13 scholarships have been awarded.


Qualified applicants can learn more and apply by filling out the application form.



National Network of Healthcare Hygienists (NNHH) is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 2018 to support registered dental hygienists collaboration with the medical field and integration within healthcare systems via online certificate programs, resources, community and program development. For more information on membership or to view all certificate programs and webinars being offered, visit

The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. The DDF is dedicated to developing and enhancing partnerships and programs to improve oral and overall health and health equity. For more information, visit

Are you an RDH interested in dental/medical integration and collaboration? Distinguish yourself as a specialist in your field while earning AGD/PACE CE. All of our programs are unbiased and evidence-based to focus solely on high-quality continuing education you can use immediately in a clinical, non-clinical or hybrid role.