Meet Andrea Fulkerson

BCDHA Board of Director Elections (At-Large)

I began my dental career going to MacKay Technical Institute for dental reception and worked as a receptionist for a very short time before a near death car accident changed my life.  After convalescence, I knew that I had to learn and so my life long journey of learning began.  I was passionate about recovery and health and how to change my very poor long term prognosis.

I decided to become a CDA and quickly decided that I wanted to be more hands-on, and from there went to college and dental hygiene school.  I graduated from Vancouver Community College in 1995, receiving the highest academic standing for first year studies.  I inhaled the information.

After graduation, I had 2 children and worked in private practice.  I volunteered with the Community Dental Hygienist, and gave presentations at the Seniors Centre and daycares in our community.  I was the “tooth fairy” equipped with wand and long gown on at least one occasion in those days.   My daughter was born with a sensorial neural hearing impairment and during her young years I studied sign language and advocated for the hard of hearing.

When my children were in high school, the itch to return to school captured me again and I sat at the kitchen table with my children for 4 years completing a degree in health sciences.  More passionate about oral health and its link to overall health, I wrote paper after paper about the benefits of oral hygiene and how it could increase the health of Canadians and decrease the cost of spending in the medical system.  Dental hygienists matter and can impact the health of Canadians. Study after study provided evidence of how client participation and ownership increased health and decreased health costs. Dental hygienists can and do impact the health of Canadians!

 After my BHSc graduation, I began working with the Quality Assurance Program for CDHBC.  First as a content contributor and field tester, and then as a standard setter.  I continue to support the quality of our profession, and dental hygiene excellence, no matter how it unfolds.  I am also the chair of the CDHA healthy workplace advisory committee, advocating for healthy workplaces for dental hygienists and resources to support us.

Aside from my passion for dental hygiene, I have a strong interest in how early childhood trauma, and trauma in general, influences both the mind and the physical body.  I continue to study psychotherapy as well as yogic philosophy to enhance my understanding of the mind’s role in illness.  My goal is to study at the Master’s level trauma informed care and the role of stress hormones in oral health and non inflammatory periodontal destruction.

 If I am elected to the board, I will work to move the boundaries of dental hygiene.  I have always successfully pushed the boundaries of my own prognosis and will continue to act in the best interest of Canadians through the lens of oral health and its relationship to overall health and disease.  I will work on behalf of dental hygienists to move our profession’s image to its rightful place in the arena of “periodontal medicine”.  I will advocate for health promotion through a dental hygienist.  I will stand for our profession and how our expertise can benefit everyone.

 This bio can not describe the passion I feel for this incredible journey of health and life I have been on.  My hope is that my passion can be made manifest into long term action for our profession.