The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) recently installed former Douglas resident Matt Crespin, MPH, RDH, of New Berlin, Wisconsin, as the organization’s 2019-20 president.
Crespin, the first male president of ADHA in the association’s nearly 100-year history, is the son of Sandy and the late Ray Crespin and a 1997 Douglas High School graduate.
He currently serves as associate director of Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, which is affiliated with the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where he directs both the oral health and early childhood literacy programs along with providing operational support to the entire organization. The oral health program at the Alliance includes the Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile program, Healthy Smiles for Mom and Baby, the Wisconsin Oral Health Coalition.
Matt says he got his interest in dentistry after working one summer as a dental assistant for local (and now retired dentist) Dr. Ed Gomez.
“It peaked my interested and was the reason I went to Marquette University.” Crespin said. “(It) was my intent was to go to dental school there. I ended up going into their dental hygiene program and fell in love with the preventive nature of this field and never ended up going to dental school. I worked in a private practice in a suburb of Milwaukee for four years and have been in my role at Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin since 2006.”
Crespin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health sciences/dental hygiene from Marquette University and received his Community Dental Health certificate from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in 2007. He received his Master of Science degree in public health from A.T. Still University in 2010.
An ADHA member since his graduation in 2002, Crespin has served the association in a wide range of positions, including most recently as president-elect and previously as vice president; District VII trustee; member of the executive and finance committees, committee on minutes review and board policy and procedures committee; and board coach. He also served his constituent and component in numerous leadership roles that include Wisconsin delegate, vice president and speaker of the House. The Wisconsin Dental Hygienists’ Association honored him with the Carol Benson Award for Distinguished Service to Dental Hygiene in 2016.
“It is time that we take the necessary steps to address how our organization is governed to ensure that we appropriately represent the profession,” Crespin said. “I want to continue to see an even higher level of engagement of our membership beyond our elected leaders, delegates and committee members. People want to be a part of something bigger, and being involved and engaging is one way to gain that feeling.”
When asked about his memories of Douglas, Matt said he has a lot of good memories but some that stick out are spending many hours and days with his dad at the golf course and with his mom, sister and family friends at the pool there.
“I also have many fond memories of the many sporting events and teams I participated on during my time at DHS including golf, soccer and tennis,” he said.
According to information Crespin provided to The Dispatch, Matt was featured in Modern Hygienist Magazine in 2007 in an article on men making their mark in dental hygiene. He was also named the Young Hispanic Professional of Greater Milwaukee by the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and received the Distinguished Alumnus in Dental Hygiene Award from Marquette University in 2009. In 2016 Crespin received the Wisconsin Public Health Association’s Distinguished Service to Public Health Award and the Wisconsin Dental Hygienists’ Association Carol B. Benson Award for Outstanding Service to Dental Hygiene. In 2017 he was selected as one of “Six Dental Hygienist’s You Want to Know” by Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Magazine.
Matt currently lives in Milwaukee with his wife Laura and son Connor and says he enjoys camping, traveling, and cycling.
His father Ray was a longtime educator in Cochise County and served as principal at both Stevenson Elementary and Douglas Junior High before becoming assistant superintendent for DUSD from July 1994 to June 1998 when he left to become superintendent of Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools.
His mom currently lives in Glenview, IL., a suburb of Chicago with his sister Tiffany, her husband David and their two daughters.