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We are proud to represent California's dental hygiene profession and to comprise the state's leading network of professionals committed to the highest standards of oral health.

Our promise is to provide the most current tools and resources to help hygienists all across California achieve personal success in the local communities they serve.

Engaging with CDHA can help you advance your skills, knowledge, and career.


Heidi Coggan

Heidi Coggan, RDHAP, BS


Heidi has been a practicing dental hygienist since 1997. She moved to California in 2003 and met her husband on the first day of her first job in the state. She currently works in private practice and as an adjunct faculty member at Southwestern College. She is also a practicing RDHAP and has her own business, Hygiene in Motion. Heidi has held several positions in her local San Diego component, as well as at the state level, and has volunteered in many capacities.

Kathy Kane, BSRDH, RDHAP


Kathy has spent 36 years in the dental health field as a dental hygienist, speaker, consultant, author and business owner. She has served as a mentor and professional expert in her field and has contributed to the professional growth of the dental hygiene profession through her advocacy and work in dental public health. She continues to work in the non-profit and corporate dental world as well as consulting as a subject matter expert for the Dental Hygiene Board of CA.

Darla Dale

Darla Dale, BSDH, RDHAP

Immediate Past President

Darla received her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of Southern California in 1985 and her RDHAP Certification from University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in 2004. Darla owns her own dental hygiene practice in Eureka, California, primarily treating patients with developmental disabilities. She has been on staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital since 1996 where she coordinates a hospital-based dentistry program for special needs adults and children. Darla has been an active member of CDHA for over 28 years



Melissa Massetti, RDH


Melissa has served multiple positions within her local CDHA component and credits her involvement with CDHA for much of her success in her career. She is a proud native of Clovis, California and received her Dental Hygiene Degree from Fresno City College, graduating with highest honors in 2012. Dental hygiene is her passion so she recently completed the RDHAP program at University of the Pacific and is currently awaiting for her licensure. When she isn’t working she loves being happily married to her husband and a mom to her two young children.

Helen Smart, RDH, BS

VP of Membership & Professional Development

Helen began her second career as a dental hygienist in 1998. Previously, she worked in Hospital Food and Nutrition Department after earning her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science from the University of California, Davis. Since obtaining her RDH, she has worked exclusively in private practice and has been active with her local component. She grew up in San Gabriel Valley, Southern California, and met her husband Steve while at UC Davis. They share two grown children, Ryan and Valorie.

Dalia Lai

Dalia Lai, RDH, BS

VP of Administration & Public Relations

Dalia Lai, RDH BS is a practicing clinician in Sacramento, California who is passionate about teaching, writing and advocating for interdisciplinary oral healthcare. When she isn’t working on behalf of dental hygienists in California she can be found outdoors, hiking and gardening with her husband Sonny and dog Cosmo.



One of my favorite sayings is “we find purpose where we find service”. From the very first House of Delegates, I recognized I had attended something special. I knew I wanted to be a part of the organization. Fast forward twenty-five years and I am honored to serve as the current President of the California Dental Hygienists’ Association. CDHA.

My theme for this upcoming year is “Emerging Stronger Together”. The inspiration came after a challenging unpredictable year of rethinking how we would remain relevant in a Covid dominant world. While we all had to navigate a different communication style, I believe CDHA rose to the challenge, and we have evolved into a better and stronger organization.

I currently still work in private practice, I am an RDHAP and the sole proprietor my own business, and I am a clinical instructor at Southwestern College. I recognize the impact CDHA has had on my life because I couldn’t be this diversified without a professional organization to represent all of these roles.

We are one of the few remaining professional organizations that is run by the members. We actually have meaningful dialogue about where our profession should be heading and then the California Dental Hygienists’ Association moves these resolutions forward into policy. This is huge!

Looking to the future, CDHA will continue to evaluate our direction as a profession and our structure as an organization. As the weight of this pandemic subsides, the need for a more integrated and inclusive healthcare model is more indisputable than ever. This provides us the best opportunity yet to widen our scope of practice. Consequently, CDHA will continue to investigate the possibilities of how hygienists can be incorporated into healthcare models that have a more profound impact on access to care and underserved communities.

My name is Heidi Coggan. I look forward to serving you as we Emerge Stronger Together.



Heidi Coggan, RDHAP, BS

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