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WOHF's Adopt-A-School program: Eradicating pain, one child at a time

Washington Oral Health Foundation’s Adopt-A-School program in action: 

On February 26, Jodi Pennington received a call from Christi Malsam, Spokane District School Nurse Supervisor — the kind that every parent worries about — her 10 year old son Gauge was in pain with a sore, swollen face from a loose tooth. Pennington was at a loss – she no longer had dental insurance and without it, she simply didn’t have the means to take her son to the dentist.

Malsam knew exactly what to do: contact staff at the Washington Oral Health Foundation’s Adopt-A-School program to see who had “adopted” Seth Woodard Elementary School and was available to see Gauge. Dr. Susan Weishaar, former WSDA Board member, was happy to see the young boy in her practice. Within two hours of seeing the school nurse, Gauge was in the dentist chair, and was out of pain shortly after!

His grateful mother sent Dr. Weishaar a letter of thanks after the experience, saying, “Dr. Weishaar and her assistant were so amazing and distracting that before Gauge knew it the bad tooth was out and we were on our way. He was really thankful for their kindness and generosity.”

If you would like to adopt a school in your community, or if you are a school nurse and would like to find out more about this innovative program, please contact Aisha at (206) 973-5240 or email her at

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