July 13, 2020, KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Krista Beaty, assistant professor of Dental Hygiene at Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech), has been selected as recipient of the Sigma Phi Alpha Excellence in Journalism award, a national recognition from the Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society and supported by Johnson & Johnson©. The award is presented annually at the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) Annual Conference.

This award recognizes an outstanding manuscript submitted by a graduate student at a school with an active chapter of the Sigma Phi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society. Since being nominated, professor Beaty received her graduate degree from Idaho State University. Professor Beaty’s manuscript is titled, “The Oral Health Experiences of the Limited Scleroderma Patient: A Mixed Method Study,” and represents original research on this topic. The manuscript will be published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene.

Beaty became interested in the topic of limited scleroderma (previously referred to as CREST syndrome) while working in general dentistry when a patient with limited scleroderma came in for routine preventive care. “I had never heard of this autoimmune condition before and asked the patient many questions,” said Beaty. “She was very patient and informative. Her symptoms included tightening of the skin of the face, microstomia, and a lack of dexterity due to sclerodactyly. I immediately thought that this would impact not only my treatment plan, but also her own oral care abilities. This began my interest in serving this patient population to improve their oral health related quality of life and to provide resources for oral healthcare professionals.”

Winners of the award are typically honored on stage at the ADHA Conference, but as the event was held virtually June 26-28, professor Beaty will have the opportunity to be recognized at the 2021 conference.

“I am humbled and honored to have received the 2020 Sigma Phi Alpha Excellence in Journalism award,” said Beaty. “Research in dental hygiene is essential to inform evidence-based practice and practice guidelines. I have long admired the research contributions of dental hygienists and am amazed to count myself among them.”

Working at Oregon Tech’s Klamath Falls campus since 2017, Beaty is the restorative lead instructor and coordinates continuing education and certification courses for this area as well. Her other teaching commitments are as the lead instructor for junior clinic, dental materials, and dental anatomy. She has been working in the field of dentistry for more than 20 years, first as a certified dental assistant, then as a registered dental hygienist, which involved clinical practice in restorative, periodontics, and general dentistry in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. She received her dental hygiene degree from Clark College in Vancouver, WA, and her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from Eastern Washington University. She completed her master’s thesis on the general and oral health experiences of patients with limited scleroderma through Idaho State University.