October 20, 2020

Episode 50: Mr. Immediate Past President Matt Crespin- Comfortable being Uncomfortable.

This week, Irene & Katrina chat with the immediate past President of the ADHA, Matt Crespin, MPH, RDH and kindly sponsored by our friends at Hu-Friedy. Who are celebrating dental hygienists during National dental hygiene month? #showusyourpurple all month and make sure to tag Hu-Friedy in your purple photos to be featured on their page.

Hu-Friedy is also sharing their new Harmony Scaler, Irene got a Harmony H6/H7 the day after this episode was recorded but she is super excited to try it out. The new handle design is a scientifically proven ergonomic hand scaler that reduces pinch force by up to 65% and pressure applied to the tooth by 37%. Increases patient comfort while reducing clinician fatigue.


In this episode, Matt shares his experience in advocacy and project management for community oral health, and how these roles provided opportunities to develop in leadership. Learn how he uses a childhood book to help physicians identify childhood literacy. 


We discussed how he evolved from working at his local component to the state level, then supporting at the national level as a delegate before finally deciding to take the plunge and campaign for President.  Join us as he shares the tipping point that brought him to stepping into ADHA Presidency.  We get a behind-the-scenes look at how Matt ran for President of the ADHA and how serving as President-Elect provided Matt with the coaching he needed to rise as President!


As President of the ADHA during the greatest global pandemic of our lifetime, Matt shares the importance of mentorship programs, vulnerability, learning from past experiences and accepting feedback.  We discuss leadership styles and professional relationships, as well as what Matt’s vision for dental hygiene will mean for us in this post-COVID era.  Finally, Matt reminds us that his growth mindset comes from a place of being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Mic drop!


Stay tuned for our shout outs to some of our favourite ADHA members!




Matt Crespin, MPH, RDH

Associate Director

Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin

Matt received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences/Dental Hygiene from Marquette University in 2002 and his Masters in Public Health from A.T. Still University in 2010. Prior to his promotion to Associate Director with Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin in 2011, Matt served as an oral health project manager at the Alliance from 2006-11. Prior to his work at the Alliance, Matt worked as a clinical dental hygienist in private practice for several years in the Milwaukee suburbs.


As associate director of the Alliance, Matt directs both the oral health and early childhood literacy programs along with providing operational support to the entire organization. The oral health program at the Alliance includes the Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile program, Wisconsin Medical-Dental Integration Project and the Wisconsin Oral Health Coalition. Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile is the state school-based dental sealant program and has grown under his direction to serve more than 80,000 children in 1,050 schools across Wisconsin. Matt has been successful in increasing funding at the Alliance through local, state and federal grants and partnerships. Matt’s advocacy efforts include successfully keeping several major Wisconsin cities fluoridated and leading a coalition of partners to increase settings where dental hygienists can work independently.   


Matt is a member of various local, state and national associations, advisory boards, councils and committees. Matt has been involved in creating, protecting and promoting oral health policy across Wisconsin and nationally through his work at the Alliance. Matt served as chair of the Children’s Dental Health Project’s Sealant Workgroup. Matt also served on the most recent expert panel convened by the American Dental Association to review the clinical guidelines for the placement of dental sealants published in 2016.


Since 2015 Matt has served on the Board of Trustees of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. In 2019-20, Matt served as the first male President of ADHA in the association’s nearly 100-year history and currently still on the board as the Immediate Past President. Matt has served in various other board and committee roles at the state and national level for many years. Matt speaks and has been published nationally on a variety of topics including oral health workforce policy, school-based dental sealants, the use of dental sealants in clinical practice, community water fluoridation and the use of other fluoride-containing therapies.


Matt was featured in Modern Hygienist Magazine in 2007 in a feature on men making their mark in dental hygiene. Matt was named the Young Hispanic Professional of Greater Milwaukee by the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and received the Distinguished Alumnus in Dental Hygiene Award from Marquette University in 2009. In 2016, Matt received the Wisconsin Public Health Association’s Distinguished Service to Public Health Award and the Wisconsin Dental Hygienists’ Association Carol B. Benson Award for Outstanding Service to Dental Hygiene. In 2017 Matt was selected as one of “Six Dental Hygienists You Want to Know” by Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Magazine.  Matt currently lives in New Berlin, Wisconsin with his wife Laura and son Connor and enjoys camping, travelling and cycling.


Twitter: @CrispyRDH

Instagram: @CrispyRDH


More episodes

Load more

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App