Posted: Sun, 01/15/2012 - 1:38pm in Alumni
Dental Hygiene alumna Kelly Meyer was one of the nation’s first seven students to graduate with a Master of Science in Oral Health Care Practitioner. Her pioneering degree from Metropolitan State University enables her to serve as a mid-level dental provider, a position health experts say increases access to health care.
“I think all seven of us are excited to put the degree into action,” said Meyer, who was also selected outstanding graduate student in the university’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “Access to dental care has always been an issue, especially for the underserved population, whom we are intended to serve.”
Meyer has been working since September as a dental therapist at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). She previously worked at HCMC as a dental hygienist and a dental assistant.
She graduated from St. Cloud Technical and Community College in 2002 with an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. She received her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from the University of Minnesota in 2005. Meyer, a member of the American and Minnesota Dental Hygiene Associations, has licenses in both dental hygiene and dental therapy.
During her graduate work, Meyer completed a capstone project on dental care and pregnant women. Ironically, she was pregnant with her second child when she completed the project. “I feel strongly about pregnant women being able to access dental care during pregnancy,” said Meyer. “There are a lot of things that go on hormonally with pregnant women that can significantly impact their oral health care.”
Meyer was raised in Eau Claire, Wis., where she graduated from North Senior High School. Married with two children, she plans to eventually work as an advanced dental therapist.