Dental Hygienist: Tammi Byrd, RDH
Cathy Sivak, DentalSchools.com Contributing Writer
Tammi Byrd, RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist) has some valuable advice for those seeking to embark on training and a career in dental hygiene: Don’t ever settle for average. Anyone can reach that goal. Ms. Byrd has certainly followed her own wisdom. She has extensive clinical experience with dental hygienist experience in periodontics, family practice and pediatric dentistry, and is currently the CEO/clinical director of Health Promotion Specialists Inc., a group that administers school-based oral health programs. In addition, Byrd is an adjunct clinical course instructor at Midland Technical College in Columbia, S.C., where she previously received an associate of science degree in dental hygiene.
Ms. Byrd, an active member of the Chicago-based American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) since 1977, has served nationally as president, vice president and district trustee, and has held numerous positions as council, committee chair and member.
She was president of the South Carolina Dental Hygienists’ Association (SCDHA), as well as an ADHA delegate and the chair of numerous committees. At the local level she has served as both president and vice president of the Greater Columbia Dental Hygiene Association. “I truly believe that upon graduation, each individual has a choice of pursuing a job or a profession. If you want to be a professional you must be involved with your professional association,” she notes.
Byrd is likewise actively involved with the South Carolina Healthy Schools Oral Health Coalition, the South Carolina Tobacco Free Coalition, the South Carolina, Robert Wood Johnson, Smiling Faces Grant Steering Committee and the Maternal Child Health Education Task Force. “When I am no longer in this world, I want to know that I made a difference in the lives of others through improved quality of life. I believe involvement in these initiatives creates change for the better,” Ms. Byrd says.
Her professional efforts have not gone unnoticed. She is the recipient of the ADHA Distinguished Service Award, a two-time recipient of the SC Dental Hygienist of the Year Award and recipient of the SC American Association of University Women, Women of Distinction Award.