For far too many Washingtonians, regular and preventive oral health care is out of reach and unaffordable. Improving access to care is vital to eliminating health disparities and preventing the serious health conditions that can stem from poor oral health.
As a means to enhance oral health access and the workforce, Washington State is considering adoption of a new evidence-based practitioner. This practitioner will work as part of the dental care team to expand high-quality dental care and preventive services to underserved communities. While a new idea for many people, dental therapists have practiced in Alaska since 2005 and in 50 other countries for over 90 years. Similar dental practitioners were recently authorized in Minnesota and are currently being considered in at least ten states across the country.
Join us to learn how an innovative workforce solution can improve oral health care access for communities across our state.
Caswell A. Evans, Jr., D.D.S., M.P.H.
Dr. Evans earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) from Columbia University’s School of Dental and Oral Surgery and earned his Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Michigan. He is currently the Associate Dean of Prevention and Public Health Sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago College of Dentistry; he is also a faculty member in the UIC School of Public Health. He has been appointed to the Chicago Board of Health. Previously he had served as the Executive Editor and Project Director of Oral Health in America: A Report of the U.S. Surgeon General. For 12 years, Dr. Evans was Director of Public Health Programs and Services, for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. He also served as director of the County Division of the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and was a member of IOM Committee on Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations; the report of that committee was released in July 2011. Dr. Evans is a Past President of the American Public Health Association, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and the American Board of Dental Public Health. He was the first recipient of the Beverlee A. Myers Award for Excellence in Public Health, conferred by the California State Department of Health Services. He was also honored with the Champion of Prevention Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, Dr. Evans was recognized with John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health by the Oral Health Section of the American Public Health Association. In 2011, he was recognized with the Gies Award for excellence in dental education by the American Dental Education Association Gies Foundation. Dr. Evans serves on the boards of the Children’s Dental Health Project, the DentaQuest Foundation, and Oral Health America.
Terry Batliner D.M.D.
Terry is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and spent the first eight years of his career in the Indian Health Service. From there, he went to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston, where he managed seven large group practices as well as the optical program. He returned to Denver in 1995 to run the VA Hospitals in the Rocky Mountain area. Terry has a Doctorate in Dental Medicine (DMD), and while serving in leadership positions he has always practiced dentistry one or two days per week. In fact, he practiced dentistry in Cherry Creek with his brother Don for nearly 10 years. Since 2006, Terry has served as the Associate Dean for Clinic Operations at the School of Dental Medicine and as a faculty member in the American Indian Alaska Native Programs in the School of Medicine. He practices one day per week in the Faculty Practice. Terry is an experienced dentist and performs all aspects of restorative dentistry and endodontics. He is especially interested in the use of implants to replace lost teeth.
Stephanie Woods is a certified Dental Health Aide Therapist (DHAT) who trained in New Zealand in 2003-2004. She has worked for the Maniilaq Association since January of 2005. After doing a six month preceptorship in Kotzebue, Stephanie moved to the village of Shungnak, where her husband is from, and practiced dentistry in the local clinic while traveling frequently to see patients in villages on either side of Shungnak. In January 2009, Stephanie was offered the position of dental operations manager and the opportunity to manage the entire dental department. She accepted the challenge and has been living back in Kotzebue since that time with her husband and son. Stephanie currently works in the clinic one or two days a week and travels to one of the outlying villages for one week every other month to work as a full time DHAT. Although she really misses being a full time DHAT, she feels as though she can do even more for her community be getting to oversee the department goals and ensuring that other DHATs are trained to work in the region.
John is the Programs Administrator for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in northwest Washington. For 31 years, he has overseen Health, Education, Social Services and Self Governance for the Swinomish Indian Senate, including the Medical and Dental Clinics. In that capacity, he is responsible for Program Planning, Budgeting, Personnel Management and Policy Development. He has a B.S. in Public Policy/Administration from Western Washington University, and a graduate certificate from the University of Washington's Community Health Leadership Institute. He has received the Indian Health Service (IHS) National Directors Award as well as the IHS Area Directors Award of Excellence. His background includes: Administrator-Northwest Washington Indian Health Board, National IHS User Population workgroup, Portland Area IHS Fund Distribution Committee, Washington State DSHS Indian Policy Advisory Committee, Treasurer for Skagit County Community Action Agency, Board membership on the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and Washington State American Indian Health Commission. He is current Co-Chair of the Portland Area IHS Facilities Advisory Committee and current member of the Board of Trustees for Skagit Valley College.