JoAnn R. Gurenlian, RDH, PhD, Entrepreneur
A dental hygienist for more than 30 years, Dr. Gurenlian has worked in private practice and education, run for political office, is very involved with the ADHA, and is a textbook author and speaker. She served as ADHA president from 1990 to 1991. With a few runs for New Jersey State Assembly under her belt, we may see her again on the political stage.
How did you get into politics?
I started getting involved in politics after I served as ADHA president in 1990. I was so revved up about the things we were able to accomplish that I knew I had to continue as an advocate for change. As ADHA president I testified in front of the Senate in Washington, DC. I thought if I can do this, I can certainly do something on a local level.
I was selected as the Republican candidate for state assembly. It’s very intimidating as it’s a whole new world. I knew dental hygiene well but not the world of politics! I participated in debates, did interviews, and campaigned but I lost. So I tried again in 2005 and in 2007 without success. I can’t even describe how exciting it is to look at an issue, figure out how to resolve it, and then try to act on the public to Circle 8 on card persuade them to consider your issue.