ADEA Mourns the Loss of Friend and Colleague Ann Battrell, CEO of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association

June 12, 2023—The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) joins the dental hygiene community in mourning the loss of pioneer, friend and leader Ann Battrell, M.S.D.H., CEO of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), who died June 7, 2023. ADHA reported that Ms. Battrell had recently extended her medical leave to focus on her health.

Ms. Battrell began her tenure as ADHA CEO in 2016 and was the first hygienist to serve in that role. Soon after, ADEA and ADHA collaborated on an inaugural leadership program for adjunct allied dental faculty called LEAF: Leadership Essentials for Adjunct Faculty, an eight-week virtual curriculum designed by ADEA and ADHA members (now called LEADE: Leadership Essentials for Allied Dental Educators).

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More recently, under Ms. Battrell’s leadership, ADEA and ADHA collaborated on the launch of the Graduate Dental Hygiene Program Aims and Outcomes document, which was approved by the ADEA House of Delegates in March 2021 and is being used by many graduate dental hygiene programs today.

“The oral health community has lost a true pioneer, collaborator and visionary,” said Karen P. West, D.M.D., M.P.H., ADEA President and CEO. “Among her many accomplishments, Ann has been successfully instrumental in elevating the dental hygiene profession and leading the charge of providing care for historically underserved populations. Her drive and impact have helped move the needle on access to oral health care and produced a legacy of leadership that will better our community for years to come.”

ADEA recognizes Ms. Battrell as a passionate leader dedicated to access to dental care for all, as a champion for dental hygienists practicing to their full scope of practice, and as a major cheerleader for the new profession of dental therapy in the United States.

Ms. Battrell and the ADHA team worked collaboratively on federal legislative issues, on the Task Force for the Elimination of Live Patient Exams for licensure, and lately the Dentist and Dental Hygienist State Compacts for dental licensure. ADEA remains committed to its collaboration with ADHA and the critical mutual oral health endeavors, first initiated with Ann Battrell.

About ADEA: The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is The Voice of Dental Education. Our mission is to lead and support the health professions community in preparing future-ready oral health professionals. Our members include all 80 accredited U.S. and Canadian dental schools, more than 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, more than 55 corporations and approximately 15,000 individuals. Our activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings and communications, including the esteemed Journal of Dental Education®, as well as the dental school application services ADEA AADSAS®, ADEA PASS®, ADEA DHCAS® and ADEA CAAPID®. For more information, visit