Our very own Laura Schmitz Cook, RDH, BSDH was recently honored as the Outstanding Dental Hygienist by the St Paul Dental Society.
Laura has worked as a dental hygienist since 2005 when she received her Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of South Dakota. Laura moved to Minnesota after graduating from USD and began working at Dental Health Care Center in Richfield, MN and is still currently employed there today. Laura has always looked at her role as a dental hygienist to be not just a job in a dental office, but it is her professional career. Because of this she has strived to be well-rounded and very involved in he dental hygiene profession.
Early on in dental hygiene school Laura was encouraged to always be a part of her professional association by her instructors. Taking this to heart, she has continually kept her membership with the ADHA since being a student member at USD. This membership has led to numerous opportunities of involvement at both the state and national levels. Laura currently holds the Vice-President position with the Minnesota Dental Hygienists’ Association. She has also served as Secretary and Members Services Chairperson for MnDHA, along with serving on numerous committees. The most notable achievement in Laura’s professional career this far, would be her role in organizing the Twin Cities Oral Cancer Awareness Walk/Run. For the past two years Laura has worked with the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF), a national non-profit organization, in coordinating this annual event to raise money for the OCF. Her goal was to not only raise awareness of this devastating cancer to the general public,but to give MnDHA members and all dental professionals an opportunity for community involvements. Laura feels it is important to give back to the community,and she has strived to do this by not only organizing this walk/fun run, but also by volunteering at the M.I.P. Community Clinic in Minneapolis, MN for 4 years and volunteering with Give Kids a Smile since 2006.
Laura is recently married and resides in Saint Paul,MN with her husband Dan. Being a former college track athlete, Laura has stayed active by running with the Calhoun Beach Running Club and has completed four marathons. Asie from running, Laura and her husband Dan enjoy traveling and look forward to starting a family soon! Laura is very honored and humbled to be recognized by her peers and the St. Paul District Dental Society, and is thankful for the opportunity to receive this award!
This article was reprinted from the St. Paul District Dental Society