2024 Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction

The Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction program has been a recognized pinnacle of the profession since 2002. To date, 143 registered dental hygienists have been honored for their achievements in their communities and within their personal platforms.

In 2024 the award will be presented to six recipients.  One recipient will be selected for each category. (Public Health, Full-Time Clinician, Academia, Entrepreneur, New Graduate, and Research)  Applicants will select the category they wish to apply for.  

Join the distinguished past award recipients by applying for the 23rd annual Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction. Awardees will be recognized at the upcoming 24th annual RDH Under One Roof conference in Denver, CO.

Apply or nominate a colleague here! Nominations will close at midnight central standard time on March 31, 2024.

Many thanks to Sunstar for its longtime support of the dental hygiene community through these awards.

Who is eligible?

The Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction application is open only to licensed dental hygienists. To be eligible the entrant must have an active dental hygiene license in the United States or Canada.

The entrant cannot be a full-time employee of a dental products distributor that markets products competing with the Sunstar product line. Each applicant will also be required to complete full disclosure of Conflict of Interest.

Each recipient will be required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement and Release Form, prior to any photo session or participation in dental-focused discussion groups. 

What is the selection process?

  • Questions 7 thru 10, on application, will require answers of 150 words minimum to 350 words maximum. Applicants that do not meet these guidelines will NOT qualify.
  • All INCOMPLETE submissions will be deleted.
  • Applicants must select one of the six categories.

  1. Public Health
    • Preventing and controlling dental disease while promoting dental health through organized community programs.
  2. Full-Time Clinician
    • Providing direct patient care 32+ hours per week. Full-time position providing care in general practice, periodontal practice, geriatric patients, intellectual disabilities, specialty needs, and mobile dentistry.
  3. Academia
    • Full time position with dental hygiene program educating and mentoring the dental hygienist of the future.
  4. Entrepreneur
    • Organizing and promoting a personal business to benefit the dental professional or dental patients.
  5. New RDH (graduated 5 years ago or less)
    • Recognizing those RDH who graduated in 2019, or after, focusing on making a difference in their community, with their patients, or in an entrepreneurial program.
  6. Research
    • Authored a peer-reviewed research paper within the past 3 years. Content cannot be focused on a sponsored product. (Award in this category will be limited to only the lead author if multiple research authors. Only one author will be covered for hotel and travel expenses.)
  • The first two submissions for one name will be reviewed. All additional submissions will be deleted.
  • Judging will be conducted using a rubric system. A new panel of judges are randomly selected each year.
  • Nominations will close at midnight central standard time on March 31, 2024.

What do the recipients receive?

The six selected recipients will be recognized on numerous platforms. The recipients’ selection will be announced on the RDH Facebook page and the RDH website. Finalists will be honored on stage at RDH Under One Roof, and featured on the cover of RDH magazine with a four-page article sharing their achievements. In addition, excerpts from the award ceremony will be printed in RDH eVillage.

All six recipients will receive complimentary registration to RDH Under One Roof, travel, and hotel accommodations.