|by Christine Nathe, RDH, MScnathe@salud.unm.edu
The spotlight this month focuses on LCDR Nicole Glines, who had the tremendous opportunity to serve on the USNS Comfort, the ship highlighted in last month's column. “Strength in diversity,” the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) motto, held true for Nicole, as she was one of 16 dental hygienists in the USPHS Commissioned Corps who had the opportunity to serve aboard the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, during its four–month deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean. The deployment was labeled “Partnership for the Americas: USNS Comfort offers Humanitarian Assistance to countries in South and Central America.” I had the opportunity to ask Nicole a few questions.
Why did you decide to go into dental hygiene?
I was a nontraditional student, having just completed my military obligation in the Navy, when I started the dental hygiene program at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. At that time I held a certification as a medical laboratory technician, and although I enjoyed the scientific aspect and pathology of the lab, I wanted my future to include patient interaction. Dental hygiene satisfied both those interests.
How did you get into dental public health?
When I graduated from dental hygiene, I chose to work in private practice and was recruited to take an active part in the South Dakota Dental Hygienists' Association. This was an eye opening opportunity for me as it allowed me to further my views on the roles of a dental hygienist, and exposed me to other professional issues associated with our profession. During this time I was mentored in many diverse aspects, including legislative activity and community outreach. I attended an ADHA annual session where the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps had an exhibit and recruitment booth. I contacted a USD alumnus who served as a community and clinical dental hygienist with Indian Health Services. My professional course changed directions when I submitted my application to be commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. Education always opens doors for opportunities, and it's no different in public health. There are programs that currently recognize all levels of dental hygiene degrees within the Commissioned Corps for job placement. One thing is certain — once an officer is in the field, he or she will benefit from gaining further education.
|Term #||Rank||Name||Begin||End||Total Time||Years||Months||Days|
|11||RADM||Steinfeld||12/18/69||06/30/73||3 years, 6 months, 12 days||3||6||12|
|12||VADM||Richmond||07/13/77||05/14/81||3 years, 10 months, 1 days||3||10||1|
|13||VADM||Koop||01/21/82||10/01/89||7 years, 8 months, 10 days||7||8||10|
|14||VADM||Novello||03/09/90||06/30/93||3 years, 3 months, 21 days||3||3||21|
|15||VADM||Elders||09/08/93||12/31/94||1 years, 3 months, 23 days||1||3||23|
|16||ADM||Satcher||02/13/98||02/12/02||3 years, 11 months, 30 days||3||11||30|
|17||VADM||Carmona||08/05/02||07/31/06||3 years, 11 months, 26 days||3||11||26|
|(acting)||RADM||Ehrlich||07/01/73||07/13/77||4 years, 0 months, 12 days||4||0||12|
|(acting)||Brandt||05/14/81||01/21/82||0 years, 8 months, 7 days||0||8||7|
|(acting)||ADM||Mason||10/01/89||03/09/90||0 years, 5 months, 8 days||0||5||8|
|(acting)||RADM||Whitney||07/01/93||09/08/93||0 years, 2 months, 7 days||0||2||7|
|(acting)||RADM||Manley||01/01/95||07/01/97||2 years, 6 months, 0 days||2||6||0|
|(acting)||RADM||Moritsugu||02/13/02||08/04/02||0 years, 5 months, 22 days||0||5||22|
|(acting)||RADM||Moritsugu||08/01/06||09/30/07||1 years, 1 months, 29 days||1||1||29|
|(acting)||RADM||Galson||10/01/07||10/01/09||2 years, 0 months, 0 days||2||0||0|
|(acting)||RADM||Weaver||10/01/09||11/02/09||0 years, 1 months, 1 days||0||1||1|
|Since 12/18/1969 to 3/9/1990,||20 years, 2 months, 19 days|
|Confirmed S.G. years||15.1||2.9 Confirmed SG years to Acting Years|
|Since 3/9/1990 to 11/2/2009,||19 years, 7 months, 24 days|
|Confirmed S.G. years||12.6||1.7 Confirmed SG years to Acting Years|