Dr. Stephen Hansen(Ed. Note - Each year, we ask your component Presidents to write a little bit about themselves so that colleagues from around the state can have the opportunity to get to know all the leaders in organized dentistry, not just the ones close to home. Today, we present part one of a two-part series on Component Presidents.)
Dr. Stephen Hansen
Benton-Franklin Counties Dental Society
It’s a privilege to serve as president of the Benton-Franklin Counties Dental society. There are many dentists in our community who give selflessly of their time, expertise, and means to benefit our profession and to help care for the underserved, and I truly look up to such great mentors.
I’m originally from Las Vegas, but completed most of my dental training in the great Northwest, attending OHSU in Portland for dental school, Idaho State U. AEGD program, and finally returning to OHSU to specialize in Endo. My wife, Christina, and I have four children, ages eight to one year. We enjoy staying active, traveling, and doing outdoor family activities.
Dr. Kristine Aadland
Clark County Dental Society
I can hardly believe three years have gone by since I got a phone call asking if I wanted to be more involved in our local dental society. At the time, I had just opened my practice and time alone seemed to be this imaginary dream, but I was raised with the belief that you had to get involved with organizations that affect who you are, what you do, and who you would like to become. I truly love dentistry, and it is changing every day. I want to make sure it doesn’t shift in a direction that will stop me from waking up every day and wanting to go to work.
My family has been in the construction industry for my entire life and more, and I was so fortunate to watch my father become involved from being the local President to the national President of AGC- the fourth largest association in our nation. I was in awe as I watched him give speeches to rooms of thousands of people and believed every word he said about being active in your PAC groups. The changes he made in his industry felt tangible. He lived by the rule that if you want change, be the change, so when Dr. Katy Wright asked if I would be involved, I felt I couldn’t say no. Even though my father was in construction, all of his messages apply to our world of dentistry. We are a changing business, in technology, politics, and even the perceptions of health care.
We need to all work together to help determine the course of our industry.
Dr. Dino Cacchiotti
Grant County Dental Society
Hi, I’m Dino Cacchiotti, and this year I’ll have been practicing orthodontics in Moses Lake and Quincy for 20 years! This is my second term as Grant County Dental Society President, and I enjoy the camaraderie and cohesiveness of our group very much. My wife, Rhonda, and I spend most of our “off time” traveling. Together we have three children: Max, Dominico, and Damiano.
Dr. Stephen Rupert
Grays Harbor District Dental Society
Let me start out with a thank you to the WSDA and all that is organized dentistry. In these challenging times, we are fortunate to have a great ally providing us with wonderful resources and support — sign up for the WSDA blog to stay informed, peruse the award-winning online tool, The Source, take advantage of NORDIC’s incredible customer service, and don’t forget to stay involved at Dental Action Day, the House of Delegates, or the PNDC. Organized dentistry needs to champion the advantages that its members are privy to, and entice more young dentists to enroll. Don’t forget to invite the new dentist in town to your next component meeting — as well as helping the WSDA and the ADA, it is a great opportunity for learning, networking and fun!
Improving access to care, especially for children, in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties is one of my main professional goals. I was fortunate enough to join my father’s practice after graduating from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 2011. This privilege has helped me continue to treat the many underserved in our region as he has for almost 40 years. It is wonderful to be involved in such a dynamic practice of young and old, insured/uninsured/Medicaid patients and all disciplines of dentistry. Each day brings successes and challenges.
In addition to GHDDS president, I am the current co-champion of the ABCD program for Grays Harbor. 68 percent of all children in Grays Harbor are Medicaid eligible- making the burden huge for those of us who choose to accept DSHS patients. I believe that all dentists have an obligation to treat the underserved, and I look forward to many more years of doing so. In my spare time I enjoy traveling to the far reaches of the planet.
Dr. Frank “Drew” Lasley
Lewis County Dental Society
It has been my honor to serve the Lewis County Dental Society over the past year both as president and alternate delegate in Chelan. As a fourth generation dentist, our family has provided care to patients for over a hundred years. I grew up in the dental office, learning that caring and compassion for others is what life is about. For me, dentistry is both a passion and a profession. During my career, I look forward to serving our community and the people of Washington by providing the highest quality affordable care possible. We, as a dental society, represent a group of truly dedicated individuals supporting and caring for our community. I believe that our challenge as providers is to continue to innovate and to push as an organized group in order to collectively solve the challenges facing our patients, our colleagues and our society in order to improve the lives of those around us through optimized oral health. I appreciate all of the help, support and structure that the WSDA provides in helping members to achieve these goals.
Dr. Steven H. Pond II
Lower Columbia District Dental Society
Having grown up in southwest Washington, I was excited to come home after finishing my dental education. After graduating from Castle Rock High School, I pursued my undergraduate education at BYU in Utah. I graduated from Oregon Health Sciences School of Dentistry in 1996, and then completed a two-year general practice residency in Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. I have since been in private practice in Kelso, Wash. for the last 14 years. I love dentistry and have a passion for helping the underserved get access to dental care. I am privileged to serve as the President of the Lower Columbia District Dental Society which has active and engaged members who work for the benefit of organized dentistry in our community. My wife Tracy and I have been married for over 20 years and have five children who keep us busy with all of their activities.
We particularly enjoy sports of all kinds.
Dr. Ryan Wynne
Mount Baker District Dental Society
Greetings from the North! After graduating from the UW Endodontic residency program in 2003, my wife and I moved to Bellingham to begin private practice. We were drawn to the area for the many recreational opportunities and a slower pace of life. Ten years later, we have four children ages 3 to 9 that add even more to the adventure. We enjoy backpacking (yes, as a family), snow skiing (my 7 year old is faster than I am) and playing the Wii (everyone needs some screen time). I also enjoy playing piano at our church.
This is a vital time to be involved with organized dentistry. Our profession faces many challenges in the coming year. As a society, we continue to fight against the midlevel provider legislation, wrestle with insurance reimbursement, and adapt to rising PPO plans. The Affordable Care Act will likely impact our profession as well. New graduates are faced with large student loans and high interest rates. We need continued strong leadership at the state and local level to address these issues. At the local level, my goal is to try and recruit new young society members and encourage them into leadership positions. I think our profession will have a bright future as long as we stay unified.
Dr. Heather Ronngren
North Central District Dental Society
It is with great honor that I represent the doctors of the North Central District Dental Society this year. This is a diverse group of talented dentists who share a commonality of compassion and leadership in their community, and I recognize that my participation amongst them has allowed me to grow from their insights and experiences. My aspirations for this year are to promote the relationship between oral health and overall health while strengthening the bond between the medical and dental communities through a series of continuing education courses. Our dental society is encouraging the participation of everyone from student dentists to those retired, increasing the camaraderie and opportunity for mentorship.
My formal education includes a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene from Eastern Washington University, whereby I practiced clinically and as an educator prior to my admittance to the inaugural class of Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health. Since then I have participated in dental admissions, education, grant coordination and publications, while also practicing in private and public dentistry. Most recently, I have focused my attention on organized dentistry, recognizing the importance of being involved and maintaining the integrity of our profession.
I couldn’t be more blessed to come home to my husband of 17 years, Daric, and words can’t describe the joy when I hear the laughter of our children Ethan and Olivia. We stay active in our church and enjoy cheering for the Eastern Eagles as they play football on the red turf!