College of Alberta Dental Assistants


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Award Recipients


2018 Awards

Our Awards Program recognizes commitment to excellence that benefits the profession of dental assisting. We are proud to have presented the following awards:

Award of Excellence

Our Award of Excellence is all about celebrating excellence in dental assisting, whether in a clinical, educational, administrative, institutional or volunteer setting of the profession and the contributions members make to the profession and to the public through any of the following:

  • excellence in delivery of care
  • leader/mentor/preceptor within the profession
  • advancement of the profession
  • community involvement that has a positive impact on the oral health of Albertans

Congratulations to this year's recipient:

Darlene Elanik

Darlene ElanikIt looks like most of Darlene's co-workers wrote letters of support for her nomination. We heard from assistants, dentists, hygienists and administrative staff and they all spoke highly of her many strengths and skills.

According to her nominators, Darlene's having reached 35 years of practicing dental assisting spurred them on to nominate her for an award. Of course, longevity is admirable. But the reason she is being presented with an Award of Excellence is how she practices her profession. Her nominators all highlight her commitment, her high standard of care, skill and expertise, and her diligent work ethic.

Darlene is a team player. She completes the work that needs to be done, never passing off mundane tasks to someone else. In addition to her own assisting responsibilities, she helps when and wherever needed even if she is busy. Never one to take credit for her own hard work, she says, "it's a team effort."

Darlene is a problem-solver. She looks for ways to make things easier for everyone like more efficient organizing of materials, simplifying procedures and keeping everyone on the same page.

Darlene is a leader and mentor. One of her nominators tells us that she met Darlene years before in a different dental office where she was joining the staff as a hygienist. Darlene welcomed her, helped her learn the office routine and taught her valuable skills that this nominator continues to use in her current role as dentist. Her other nominators, whether new or experienced in their roles, also say that they have watched, listened, learned and been inspired by Darlene.

Darlene is a caregiver. She has positive energy and a great rapport with patients. She has a way to make every patient feel important. She is calm and reassuring, making them feel at ease. She can explain treatment to patients so that they truly understand and even the most nervous patient feels comfortable. And, throughout all of this, she always stresses the importance of maintaining oral health.

Darlene is a contributor. She volunteered for the College in the early days of the Competence Program, helping to develop the Competency Profile, and has served on the Hearing Tribunal and Complaint Review Committee roster. In the words of one of her nominators, receiving this prestigious honour is formal recognition of how admirably she has conducted herself for the past three and a half decades while representing her profession.

President's Commendation

Our President's Commendation allows us to recognize a contribution to or support of our College and/or the profession of dental assisting made by individuals, business and organizations. We know that many factors contribute to our success and we believe in acknowledging those who help us reach our goals.

Congratulations to this year's recipient:

Soles & Company

Katie SolesStrategic planning has been a challenge for our College over the last several years. For our 2018-23 Strategic Plan, we decided to try a whole new approach. We engaged Soles and Company to guide Council through the process.

Soles and Company has worked with several regulatory bodies, governments and other planners across the country. Katie Soles is well known and highly respected for her innovative approaches to strategic planning. Through her energy and insight - and with the help of her awesome team - Katie engaged Council, members and stakeholders to truly understand our organization and the challenges we face as well as the opportunities we have to grow and excel.

Katie has a way of unlocking the best strategic thinking in individuals and groups. Soles and Company customized their approach to ensure engagement at all levels. They listened carefully and provided honest feedback to Council about what they heard from members and stakeholders. Katie helped us to find strategies to include the feedback in healthy and productive ways.

With Katie's guidance, Council reached a new and exciting level in planning, creating high-reaching, visionary goals and strategies that will carry the College forward, strong in leadership, regulation and member engagement.

Working with Soles and Company has been inspiring.