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Washington State Dental Association


 Volunteers like Dr. Jennifer Thornton, shown here volunteering her time and expertise on October 20, are vital to the efforts of the foundationThe Washington Oral Health Foundation has partnered with Medical Teams International (MTI) for a number of years, helping to provide free dental services in their mobile operatories to those in need around the state. However, renting the vans fell mostly outside of WOHF’s operating budget, and they weren’t able to utilize the service as much as they hoped, or wanted. This past October, the Foundation sponsored three events that delivered more than $19,000 in donated services to 37 patients in the van, with an additional 163 seen for x-rays, screenings and cleanings. 

WOHF staff had been seeking ways to fortify the relationship with MTI, and realized their time was best spent identifying areas of need in the state, coordinating volunteer dentists to staff the vans, and serving as a liaison between MTI, community groups, and dentists. Ruth Abate, Director of Operations and Community Outreach, says “We have a direct line to dentists across the state who want to help, and we can utilize that connection to make sure that the underserved are getting proper dental care.”

WOHF staff have been reaching out to area groups like Asian Counseling and Referral Services to determine the need of their constituents, and assist in triage of care. Tom Tidyman, Director of Programming and Development explains, saying, “We have found that WOHF serves as the link between community organizations who wish to provide dental care, and our WSDA member dentists who want opportunities to give back in a meaningful way. There is obviously a need and a demand out in the community for dental care, and WOHF will continue to work with MTI to help as many as they can.”

Get involved! 
If you would be willing to volunteer for a day on an MTI Van, or you are involved with a local organization in your community that has a need for a mobile dental van, please contact Ruth Abate at 800-448-3368 or by email at Most vans are scheduled on Friday. See below for specific dates that the Foundation needs people to staff the van

Can’t volunteer? You can still help! WOHF would like to begin hosting more MTI Vans in communities of need, and have multiple requests for vans. For $1,000 you can sponsor the van and WOHF will find the volunteers. Charitable donations to WOHF are tax deductible and can be earmarked for specific projects. Contact Tom Tidyman at 800-448-3368 or to lend a hand. 


MTI Van · 3639 MLK Jr. Way South, Seattle, WA, 98144

Any time between 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on December 20.
To volunteer please contact Ruth Abate at 800-448-3368 or by email at

Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club Operatory · 520 MLK Jr. Way South, Seattle WA  98108

Any time between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on the following days: December 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 or 22.
To volunteer please contact Ruth Abate at 800-448-3368 or by email at


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