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Do You Want Delta to Decide?

We wanted to make you aware of some recent actions by Washington Dental Service (commonly known as “Delta Dental”) that circumvent the will of its member dentists.
We wanted to make you aware of some recent actions by Washington Dental Service (commonly known as “Delta Dental”) that circumvent the will of its member dentists. 

Last November, Delta member dentists passed, with 96% approval, a series of bylaw amendments to address the composition and election of dentists on the Delta Board of Directors, including changes to require open nomination and election of member dentists and end the practice of company officials handpicking these Board of Directors members. In January, Delta’s board announced that it had rejected these bylaws amendments.

In February, we joined WSDA and sued Delta for unlawfully rejecting these bylaw amendments. This litigation is active and working its way through King County Superior Court.

Despite a change in executive leadership, Delta is continuing to disregard the will of its members and is taking new actions to maintain tight control over selection of member dentists to serve on the Board of Directors. In recent weeks, Delta leadership has begun recruiting for two member dentist positions on the Board of Directors. Though Delta wants to hold “elections” for these two positions at its annual meeting in November, it appears Delta will limit candidates for these positions to two candidates pre-selected by Delta leadership. 

Delta ​recently sent a survey to solicit input on the slate of board candidates that Delta has identified. This survey is not an election. It certainly is not the open nomination and election process adopted by the members in November.  

Delta must come to understand that nominating and selecting dentist directors in any way without a real vote of the members is not consistent with the process adopted by the members in last year’s special meeting. This matter is a central focus of our litigation.

We are currently working with our attorneys to explore options to prevent Delta from filling any vacancy on its Board of Directors with a member dentist in a manner that is not consistent with its bylaws as amended at the November 15, 2018 special meeting.  

We cannot stand by and allow Delta to continue to ignore its member dentists. Delta should not be allowed to unlawfully handpick its member dentist directors during active litigation directly related to this matter.

Delta’s new leadership has made statements about wanting to take Delta’s relationship with member dentists in a new direction. However, actions speak louder than words. Continuing to handpick member dentist directors in direct contradiction to the will of the members is an action that speaks much louder than empty platitudes written in member emails or spoken at stakeholder meetings.

Now is the time for Delta to implement real change and create a new partnership with member dentists through clear action that is different from the past. Stop the voting charade and let us select our representatives on the Board of Directors as the members have demanded.

We urge everyone to keep this in mind as you consider any communications or surveys from Delta. We encourage you to share this message with your colleagues.

Sincerely,

Dr. Dennis Bradshaw
Dr. Christopher Delecki
Dr. Todd Irwin
Dr. Nathan Russell
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