Western Mass Symposium 2024

7.5 CEUs

Member: $119 Non-Member: $149



Join MDHA for a day of 7.5 CEs, vendors, giveaways, raffle baskets and networking at our Western MA Symposium. Read about the course descriptions below and click the link to register on CEZoom. The symposium will be held at Carriage House at the Barney Estate in Forest Park, Springfield, MA.

8-8:30 –  Registration with Light Breakfast
8:30-9:00 – MDHA Update with Amanda Berthiaume, MsDH, CDA, RDH and MDHA’s Immediate Past President. Amanda will discuss legislative initiatives, current association activities and opportunities, and the state of dental hygiene in Massachusetts
9:00-10:30 – “Maximize Your Potential: Practical Ergonomic and Wellness Strategies for Dental Professionals” with Caitlin Parsons
10:30-10:50 – Break
10:50-12:20 – “Breath LIFE back into your Dental Hygiene Appointment with Guided Biofilm Therapy” with Sarah Crow
12:20 -1:10 – Lunch
1:10-2:40 – “Speak Spanglish? Caring for the Latin Community” with Amber Lovatos
2:40-2:55 – Break
2:55-4:25 – “Disarming Disability Misconceptions” with Amber Lovatos
4:25-4:30 – Raffles/Giveaways



Course ONE – Maximize Your Potential: Practical Ergonomic and Wellness Strategies for Dental Professionals
Speaker: Caitlin Parsons, RDH, C-IAYT, CEAS
Description:This course teaches dental professionals strategies to prevent injury, reduce pain, and optimize their well-being. This course will review common issues that lead to musculoskeletal pain, stress, and burnout among dental professionals and desk workers. You\’ll learn ergonomic tools and tips and how to incorporate therapeutic yoga and other wellness tools to maximize your health. We’ll review ergonomic instruments and equipment that reduce strain on the body. This course incorporates different chair-side stretches, giving you new tools to use immediately.


  • Identify musculoskeletal disorders prevalent among dental professionals and desk workers
  • Review ergonomic tools to improve physical health for dental clinicians and desk workers
  • Explore proven yoga practices, exercises, and wellness tips for dental clinicians and desk workers


Course TWO – Breath LIFE back into your Dental Hygiene Appointment with Guided Biofilm Therapy
Sarah Crow, RDH
Description: Have you ever thought that there may be a better way to provide dental hygiene care to our patients? Have you ever asked yourself why we are suffering from an oral health crisis in America in the year 2024? This course will help to provide a comprehensive approach to elevating the dental hygiene appointment for both the patient and the clinician using Guided Biofilm Therapy. This course will discuss utilizing the GBT protocol with your patients as a treatment for oral and systemic health. Sarah discusses the disconnect between dentistry and medicine as she helps to align the goals of the Dental Hygiene appointment and discussing the importance of effectively removing biofilm as the culprit that induces an inflammatory burden on the body. Sit back and listen as Sarah explains how to integrate the eight steps of Guided Biofilm Therapy into the Dental Hygiene appointment. Sarah has been using the guided biofilm therapy from EMS with exceptional results. Listen as she shares her tips and tricks on what to say to the patient and brings her expertise and knowledge on what we can do to enlighten our patients on the connection of oral health and systemic health.

  • Recognize the importance of the Dental Hygienist in caries management and periodontal protocols
  • Identify the goals of the Dental Hygiene appointment utilizing the guided biofilm therapy compass
  • Reflect on oral health/systemic health improving strategies by utilizing disclosing agents and erythritol during the dental hygiene appointment
  • Revise the dental hygiene appointment and empower hygienists to practice at the top of their scope
  • Illustrate the eight steps of Guided Biofilm Therapy
Course THREE – Speak Spanglish? Caring for the Latin Community
Speaker: Amber Lovatos, RDH, BSDH
Description: Have you ever wished you could do more for your patient but found that culture has been a barrier? I think we have all noticed there is certain misinformation passed along in different cultures. Even as healthcare workers, we often experience this with our own families. As a Mexican American myself, I know a great deal of the different “medical tips” that are passed along from our favorite “tia” (aunt) or the overly helpful “vecino” (neighbor). These behaviors are far too common in the Hispanic and Latin community. They are also behaviors I try to understand and empathize with so that I can better care for my minority patients. In this course you will learn the “why” behind some of the behaviors in the Hispanic and Latin communities. You will become familiar with the nuances of dealing with Latins, environmental factors that contribute to their decision making, and learn how to leverage our similarities. The “meta” or goal of this course is to equip dental professionals to better understand the cultural factors affecting our patients’ behaviors so that we can increase equity in the minority community.
  • The learner will be able to identify barriers to dental care in the Hispanic and Latin community
  • The learner will be able to modify their care to increase comfortability among Hispanic and Latin patients
  • The learner will be able to differentiate between Latin and Hispanic patients
  • The learner will be able to incorporate culturally appropriate language into their care


Course FOUR – Disarming Disability Misconceptions
Speaker: Amber Lovatos, RDH, BSDH
Description: This course aims to broaden the dental professionals’ understanding of people with disabilities. The attendees will be equipped with proper communication etiquette and techniques. This course looks at modifications of care for people with disabilities in the dental setting. Furthermore, the course identifies barriers people with disabilities face when seeking dental care. This course will take a general look at disabilities.
  • The learner will be able to modify care to meet their patient’s needs
  • The learner will be able to incorporate appropriate language into their vocabulary
  • The learner will be able to distinguish between disabilities

The Speakers

Caitlin Parsons, RDH, C-IAYT, CEAS

Caitlin Parsons is a Registered Dental Hygienist of 15 years and chronic pain survivor turned Certified Yoga Therapist and Ergonomic Consultant for dental professionals. Caitlin helps dental professionals prevent, reduce, and overcome workplace pain, manage stress, and optimize their health so they can thrive in and out of the office. Caitlin is passionate about practitioner & team wellness to support better patient care, team cohesiveness, and practice growth through her in-person & online programs, speaking events, writing, team experiences, and her podcast, The Aligned Hygienist.

Sarah Crow, RDH

Sarah Crow started in the dental industry in 2004. She has earned numerous awards throughout her education and career as a Dental Hygienist. To name a few, in 2018 Sarah was named “Component Hygienist of the Year” by her colleagues and was most recently voted the 2021 “Massachusetts Dental Society, Hygienist of the Year.”

Sarah currently serves as the Immediate Past-President, for The Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association. She is also a Senior Executive Consultant for Cellerant Consulting Group and a USA Trainer for The Swiss Dental Academy, in the field of Guided Biofilm Therapy with EMS Dental. She presents educational content both virtually and in-person, to dental professionals across the country.

Sarah enjoys working chairside with patients in Salem, MA where she is given the opportunity to exhibit her passion for helping others to improve their oral and overall health.

Amber Lovatos, RDH, BSDH

Amber has been compassionately blazing trails personally and professionally for more than 10 years. As a clinician, educator, author, podcaster, content creator and champion for public health issues, she inspires industry colleagues with unique stories that include triumph over abuse and discovering her identity as “The Latina RDH.” Celebrated as her family\’s first college graduate, Amber holds a bachelors degree in dental hygiene from The University of Texas School of Dentistry. Amber is the recipient of numerous national and state awards and academic scholarships, including being named ADEA\’s 2018 Dental Hygienists Pursuing Academic Careers, 2021’s Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Six Dental Hygienists You Want to Know & one of the 2022\’s Sunstar Award of Distinction recipients. Amber has dedicated her dental hygiene career to organizing community outreach events throughout the United States. Amber has organized over 50 events, including sealant days, dental care days, and oral screening events. Amber currently works for a nonprofit dental clinic providing care to survivors of abuse and human trafficking. Before working there, she volunteered at the clinic, caring for survivors, implementing teledentistry, and using portable equipment to provide care to patients in rural parts of Texas. Amber also brought free dental care to children in title-one schools. Amber currently works with Crest Oral-B on their Closing Americas Gap campaign.