For this installment of Think Beyond the Prophy, we are highlighting Jill Meyer-Lippert, RDH. Jill is a RDH passionate about supporting patients undergoing treatment for Cancer. She has been dedicated to our profession for 25 years. Initially trained on the job for dental assisting and administrative duties, she earned her degree in dental hygiene in 1994. Due to her mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer in 1992, she took a special interest in the oral care and concerns of cancer survivors early in her career.
Jill earned a certificate in Oncology Management from the University of Southern Indiana, and is a 2014 recipient of the Sunstar Americas/RDH Award of Distinction. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Oral Cancer Foundation, and is a regular contributor for the Anti-Cancer Club.
In 2013, Jill launched her business, Side Effect Support LLC, which is dedicated to helping cancer survivors to manage or prevent short-term oral side effects and long-term damage to oral health associated with chemotherapy, radiation to the head and neck, and some targeted therapies.
Side Effect Support (SES) provides a multifaceted approach to assist dental and medical professionals to learn more about the unique challenges faced by our patients during and after treatments for cancer. It is an easy-to-use resource for patient education, as well as affordable OTC oral care products to help alleviate discomfort and risks for infection while protecting oral health.
Let's hear more about how she thinks beyond the prophy.
Haley: What are you currently up to?
Meyer-Lippert: I continue to work clinically 4 days a week while building SES. I also enjoy volunteering for various cancer-related organizations.
Haley: Why did you become a dental hygienist?
Meyer-Lippert: I think I was destined to work in dentistry. From little on I talked about wanting to be a dentist and I have an odd amount of childhood photos of me brushing my teeth. I apparently thought it was something very fun to do! As I grew older, I struggled with deciding If I would rather work in dentistry or nursing or possibly athletic training, but something kept leading back to the dental field.
Haley: How have you kept your momentum to reach your goals?
Meyer-Lippert: I would say this is a combination of stubbornness and continuing to see such a vast need that is not being met. The lack of help available to cancer survivors in regard to oral health and side effects is much more than a local or regional problem, it is a world-wide issue that has become even more evident as the reach of SES expands online.
Haley: What mentoring moment help shape you to think beyond the prophy?
Meyer-Lippert: It would be difficult to narrow this down to one moment. I’ve been very fortunate to work for and with people who were open to letting me develop and broaden my skills within the dental practice that would eventually transfer into starting a business. Now this applies both ways, as I can take new skills that I’ve learned as a business owner and use those within the dental practice where I work to help their success.
Haley: What tips do you have for other dental professionals who want to be entrepreneurs?
Meyer-Lippert: I think the main thing I’ve learned is to stay true to your vision. Although things may lead in unexpected directions, don’t be discouraged or swayed by others who may not see your goal as fitting the cookie cutter standard. When starting SES, it was such a foreign concept to most people, even those in the medical and dental fields. It’s exciting to see that changing as time goes on.
Haley: How do you maintain the joy in your life?
Meyer-Lippert: I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with balancing my time and focus between my professional goals and time with family and friends. I’m very fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life that accept and encourage my path.
There is a saying I really love:
Many of my friends are very driven and goal orientated. We tend to have a great “give and take” of helping and supporting each other to achieve our goals, whatever those may be. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing those I love succeeding.
Haley: Anything else you would like to add?
Meyer-Lippert: Side Effect Support LLC can be found at www.sideeffectsupport.com . I invite you to sign up for article updates on our website and reach out to me with any questions. Jill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (920)629-1263.
Click HERE to listen to her podcast episode on Beyond the Prophy.
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