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Washington State Dental Association

The Leadership Institute — Now it is your turn to guide the direction of dentistry.

In the recent past, WSDA purchased an insurance company and bought a building, creating financial stability and growth for decades to come. Last March, the WSDA’s bill to prohibit insurers from limiting fees on non-covered services was passed, securing you and the profession a major victory against the powerful insurance industry.  None of this would have been possible without experienced and passionate leaders, striving to create the best environment for your profession to prosper.

With challenges ahead like dental workforce issues and access to care, we need individuals who are willing to stand and up and fight for the profession. With that in mind, the WSDA is introducing the Leadership Institute, a one-year program designed to guide and mentor dentists to become leaders within the Association. For WSDA Board of Directors member Dr. Katie Hakes, being active in the WSDA is part of a greater responsibility — “Now more than ever, we need dentists to become involved beyond their office. Many outside forces (foundations, insurances, and government) are attempting to make the decisions for, not just oral health care, but for all of our health care and we need to be visible as advocates for the citizens of Washington State. We need to be the leaders on Oral Health Care so we may protect the safety of the public while being open to new models that may benefit society as a whole.”

Dr. Rod Wentworth, vice president, echoes Hakes, saying, “The transparency and honesty of WSDA leadership creates trust among membership, the public, and communities of interest, creating pillars of credibility and respect that strengthen our voice throughout Washington”. He also recognizes that his experience with WSDA leadership has allowed for opportunities of growth within his own career, “being able to network with leaders throughout the state is of enormous value. It’s a benefit to my patients. They really appreciate the personal recommendation of dentists I know when they move to a new community. They are grateful for the personal interest in the continuity of care. It makes the transition easier with one less worry when they relocate.” 

The program will pair between three and six applicants with WSDA Board members, who will shepherd the participants through six key activities tailored to developing emerging leaders from within our membership. Mentors and participants will be encouraged to meet privately during the year to discuss perspectives, leadership issues and questions, and to further enhance the collaborative nature of the leadership process. The programming goal is intended to educate and illuminate the leadership process, without overwhelming participants with too many activities to add to an already full schedule. During the year, all program costs will be paid by WSDA, including airfare, hotels, meals and transportation. Applications must be received by October 31, 2010 to be considered eligible for the program. While all applicants will be considered, preference will be given to applicants who have demonstrated their commitment at either the component or state level, including component leadership or attendance at WSDA events throughout the year. Questions? Contact Wendy Wilson at (206) 448-1914 or by email at

Download your application here

Calendar of Events

•    November/December
    Association Background
    Participants and mentors will spend a day with the Association’s senior staff and receive complete background on WSDA, WOHF, WDIA and DentPAC. At this session, participants will receive a background notebook that will be used throughout the process.

•    January 28, 2011
    Dental Action Day
    Participants will attend Dental Action Day, including the Committee on Government Affairs and DentPAC meetings the night before. Here, participants and their mentors will meet with legislators and their staff to discuss issues important to organized dentistry. In the past, these meetings have played a vital role in the outcome of important legislation affecting everything from scope of practice to Medicaid.

•    March
    Past President’s Roundtable Discussion
    Meet with selected Past Presidents to discuss how they became involved in WSDA and what they personally gained through the experience. This will include an extensive question and answer period.

•    June 23-24, 2011
    Board of Directors Meeting
 Attend two-day Board of Directors meeting to gain an understanding of how the Board operates, including the Thursday “Vision Day”, where participants will be free to discuss broad-ranging issues affecting organized dentistry, in addition to any formal board business.

•    September 22-24, 2011
    House of Delegates
     Attend House of Delegates as an alternate, if not already a delegate. This will close the circle on the year. Participants should walk away with an understanding of the WSDA’s activities and decision-making process.

•    October
    Dinner meeting involving participants, mentors, and officers, to review the year, discuss improvements and their future interests in leadership.

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