Heather Cooper – RDH
I started my career as a dental hygienist shortly after I graduated from secondary school. I always had an affinity for working with people and wanted to focus on health and well being. After discussing options with career counselors, speaking with friends and other hygienists and observing at dental clinics I chose dental hygiene.
I graduated from the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, BC, in 1996 and began my career in Victoria on Vancouver Island. I had completed board examinations for Canada, United States and Australia at the end of training and within a short 10 months I was off to Australia to complete clinical examinations and practice in a small town on the south east coast of New South Wales. Just over a year later I was back in Victoria until moving to Nanaimo in 2000.After attending a dental hygiene convention in Kelowna I came back with the idea and push from fellow colleagues to open a private dental hygiene clinic; Harbour City Dental Hygiene was conceived and we opened our doors in the summer of 2003. The challenge and experience has been incredible and I feel we have added enormous value to the dental community in Nanaimo and even more value to the people living in the community offering more access to preventive dental hygiene services.As Registered Dental Hygienists we are in the perfect position to educate our clients and help everyone reach better overall health. Prevention is the cure and “oral health matters from head to toe”.
In 2009, Heather was recognized for her contribution to advancing and enhancing oral health care within her own community, and was presented the Dental Hygienist Hero from the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association. Heather was nominated and selected by the BCDHA Board of Directors as the 2014 recipient of the Diane Gallagher Inspiration Award. This award recognizes and honours a dental hygienist who has challenged or inspired other dental hygienists to make their personal and/or professional futures better. Most recently, Heather was selected by the BCDHA Board of Directors as the 2017 recipient of the Barbara J. Heisterman Award for Innovation and Commitment to Care. This award was established as a tribute to Barbara J. Heisterman, BC’s first mobile residential care dental hygienist. Heather was given this award as she best exemplifies the outstanding and unique attributes and values that Barbara upheld.
Catherine Watt, RDH
I grew up in a small town in Ontario, but was intrigued by what BC had to offer. I moved to BC in 2004 to start my hygiene career. After working 8 years in offices in North Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Pitt Meadows, I fell in love with the island and made the move over to Nanaimo in 2012. The slower pace of day to day, and what I believe to be a better quality of life has been a welcome change to a busy city lifestyle! I covered a couple of maternity leaves in both Parksville and Nanaimo between having my 2 daughters, now 3 ½ and 11 months. I enjoy spending time with my family and going on walks and hikes with our pug Hank.
I began my career towards dental hygiene after completing the Certified Dental Assistant program at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2002. I enjoyed the dental aspect of the job, and wanted to continue my studies into something further. I went straight into Dental Hygiene after completing the CDA program, and graduated from Algonquin College in 2004.
I look forward to forming new relationships with my patients and being able to be an integral part of their dental care. I strive to provide personalized care for each person I see, and will inform them of different treatments and homecare available to them. I believe that prevention is the best defense, and will work closely with patients to educate them on what can be done to improve their oral health, which can lead to better overall health!