Lynn Ann (Bethel) Short, RDH, MPH


Lynn Bethel Short
• AS Dental Hygiene — Cape Cod Community College (Massachusetts)
• BS Dental Hygiene and Sociology — Old Dominion University (Virginia)
• MPH Behavioral Sciences — Boston University (Massachusetts)

For 35 years Lynn Ann Short has worked in health and human services, and for 22 years in public health as a clinician, administrator, and educator. For almost a decade, she worked in a leadership role as the Massachusetts State Dental Director, having statewide responsibilities with high-risk population such as the low income, developmentally disabled, minorities and seniors, as well as collaborating with local, state and national organizations, agencies and institutions. She also helped create policies and regulations to expand access to health care for all residents of the Commonwealth.

Lynn has expertise in promoting community-based prevention programs for rural and urban settings and earlier this year, she was involved in a campaign to change Nevada state law to fluoridate Washoe County (population 450,000). Lynn has been involved in workforce development in Massachusetts and Nevada, and has spoken nationally and internationally on innovatively using the dental hygiene workforce. For the past 17 years she has worked in higher education teaching public health, research, policy and global health care courses.

American Public Health Association: Since 2006, Lynn has actively served APHA, first as an Oral Health Section Councilor and then as a member of the Action Board, becoming chair in 2011. She was also co-chair of the Joint Policy Committee. After a one-year term as an ex officio member on the Executive Board, Lynn was elected to serve a four-year term. During that time she led the Committee on Social Responsibility and completed her service as chair of the Executive Board in 2016.

State and National Leadership: In addition, to being a member of the Nevada Public Health Association and working to establish Nevada’s oral health coalition, Lynn is a former member of the Massachusetts and both California Public Health Associations. Since 2011, she has served as Editor of Oral Health Matters, a publication of the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, and also manages their social media. She is the only dental hygienist on the Executive Group of the Oral Health Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations. She has held several leadership roles on coalitions and professional organizations including past president of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association and volunteer coordinator for Massachusetts Special Olympics Special Smiles. Lynn is a Master Gardner and currently president of the May Arboretum Society.

Candidate Statement

As our country’s health concerns and the global health crisis becomes more politicized, more visible, complex and costly, the American Public Health Association is in a unique position to create and promote a relevant scientific base and model initiatives and policies, while establishing diverse collaborations and coalitions to address these challenges.

The new Administration and Congress provides APHA with unique challenges to respond to these public health needs, especially for the underserved. APHA must respond to the evolving needs of our membership to help them promote and protect the public’s health.

Public health is about knowledge, creativity and the passion to improve the health of communities locally, nationally and/or internationally. This passion has driven me for 35 years. Having served in many APHA leadership roles, most recently as Chair of the Executive Board, I have seen first-hand the impact that APHA’s members, Sections, Caucuses, Affiliates and SPIGS have by their action oriented policies and initiatives. These efforts must be strengthened so APHA becomes more influential.

Serving as President-elect and then President, I will work to assure that APHA utilizes its scientific, professional and political expertise to:

  • Strengthen, expand and leverage its resources to promote sound policy and effective actions to respond to the public health needs of ALL Americans.
  • Utilize diverse and effective communication strategies and technology, including social media, to strengthen APHA’s impact on its members, stakeholders and our country’s decision-makers from coast-to-coast.
  • Develop initiatives to inspire our members and attract new members and students from diverse backgrounds to ensure the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of APHA.

Thank You.

Curriculum Vitae