Sandie Ferguson has a unique perspective on dental hygiene because of where she lives and the work she does. She lives in New Hazelton, has had opportunity to work at Ridge Memorial Hospital in their dental clinic, and is the owner of an independent dental hygiene practice.
Ridge Memorial is a unique hospital in that it is a not-for-profit merger between the United Church and the Northern Health Authority. The dental clinic, while not totally non-profit, has a mandate to accept the First Nations health insurance provided through the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) and not charge any extra cost to patients. Generally speaking DIA insurance is not widely accepted due to a variety of explicit and cumbersome records keeping requirements and other regulations. For example, independent dental hygienists are unable to accept this insurance at all. The fact that the dental clinic at Ridge Memorial accepts patients with DIA insurance is a coup for the community the clinic serves.