WSDA Members Honored with Senate Resolution
On March 31, Dr. Amy Cook and Dr. John Gibbons stood before the Washington State Senate representing all WSDA member dentists to accept a Senate resolution honoring the work WSDA members have done throughout the state. The resolution honors the work of members on behalf of the underserved: Medicaid/Apple Care patients; the uninsured; and those with special needs. The Senate resolution specifically mentions WSDA members’ work at the King County Clinic, Cook’s bill at last year’s House of Delegates encouraging all WSDA members to “Take 5” new Medicaid patients, Gibbons’ work to extend the state’s ABCD Program (Access to Baby and Child Dentistry) to children with disabilities, and the personal efforts of Dr. Cook to continue accepting Medicaid patients despite the state’s low reimbursement rate. The resolution was sponsored by Senators Keiser, Fain, Liias, Wellman, Kuderer, Hunt, Hasegawa, and Rolfes, and was a result of Dr. Cook reaching out to Sen. Keiser as part of her grass roots advocacy efforts.
Bracken Killpack, executive director of the WSDA, said, “It was exciting to hear the Washington State Senate recognize our members for the work they do in communities across the state. We’ve said it all along: Our members work tirelessly on behalf of Washingtonians who would otherwise not have access to proper dental care. I’m so proud of Drs. Cook and Gibbons, and all WSDA members who give back with their time, talents, and expertise. They truly represent organized dentistry.”
Dr. Cook said, “This recognition is important to all Washington State dentists. There is so much buzz and disagreement about access issues, but people outside of dentistry are not aware that so many of us provide complimentary care in our private offices outside the Medicaid system. Becoming a Medicaid provider and committing to maintain five Medicaid patients can go a long way to establish a dental home for those in need across our state. It is clear that the Key Arena event, though well-meaning, has not been successful in getting those patients to follow through with consistent care in an appropriate setting. I am proud of the Washington State Dental Association dentists who overwhelmingly voted to increase Medicaid with the Take 5 Program, Dr. John Gibbons’ expansion of access for children with disabilities within the ABCD Program, and our own opioid awareness commitment.”
For video footage of the resolution, click here and skip forward to the 8:10 mark.