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As the state’s Health Care Authority chief prepares to leave his position, covering all kids and Washington’s health insurance exchange will remain a priority. Sea Mar Community Health Centers will open a dental clinic in Monroe for 1,500 underserved children and adults. In national news, a study finds that poor access to dental care can lead to lower school performance. Another report shows how midlevel licensed dental practitioners can help extend dental care to 6.7 million kids through school-based programs.
Health Care Authority chief takes new job | The Bellingham Herald | 08-10-2012
Doug Porter is leaving the state Health Care Authority to take a job in the private sector. … Porter said that, during his tenure, the agency boosted enrollment in the state children’s health insurance program; made efforts to redesign health care purchasing, targeted waste and medical inflation; and began implementing federal health care reform. (MaryAnne) Lindeblad, who has a master’s degree in public health, is taking over at a time when the Health Care Authority is leading the effort to build the state’s health insurance exchange where people will be able to comparison shop for plans and obtain federal subsidies to help pay for the policies.
About 40 percent of preschool children in Head Start programs have cavities. By the time kids reach third grade, 58 percent have cavities, according to the state Department of Health. In east Snohomish County, low-income families will soon get some help. The nonprofit Sea Mar Community Health Centers plans to open a new dental center in Monroe early next year, with the capacity to serve up to 1,500 patients a year. … The clinic will be open to anyone but targets low-income and Medicaid patients, who have trouble getting dental care.
A benefit to farmers, needy | The Olympian | 08-14-2012
Did you also know that the Olympia market was one of the first in the nation to accept payments from customers using the Electronic Benefits Transfer system? It allows people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, to make purchases using their EBT cards. Customers at the Olympia market take their EBT cards to the market office and receive tokens to spend with vendors. Ashley Powell, assistant manager of the market, says the system has been working well, and she’s happy that other markets have adopted it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to make it even easier for small markets to use EBT technology.
The couple set their wedding date when the Legislature legalized same-sex marriage earlier this year. They continued with their plans even with legalization on hold pending the outcome of Referendum 74 on the November ballot.
After his son was accepted into the Head Start program, (Robb Atherton) was invited to a parent-teacher meeting. He knew nothing about the program and had lots of questions. But by the end of that night's meeting, Atherton, who is covered in tattoos, was asked to be the group's president. … “I realized I could be whatever I wanted." … The Cowlitz County man began volunteering with the program and at the end of the year was named Head Start parent of the year for the state. He was asked to join other programs that help parents advocate for their children; he traveled to Olympia to testify. Recognizing how few resources there were for fathers, Atherton began a support group to help fathers navigate the system and bring their children back into their lives.
Under such a plan, we would fail to provide families with affordable health care during times of job loss and backslide on our commitment to cover all kids. The health and well-being of Washingtonians is something we all value. Balancing the budget by sacrificing the health of families and children is not a plan for prosperity.
Advocates for early-childhood and childcare programs say there are only ominous scenarios for some of the most stalwart government programs for children.
[C]hildren who reported recent tooth pain were four times more likely to have a lower grade point average, compared to others. … Not only is poor oral health linked to lower grades, but also dental problems leads to a higher percentage of absences. "On average, elementary children missed a total of 6 days per year, and high school children missed 2.6 days. For elementary students, 2.1 days of missed school were due to dental problems, and high school students missed 2.3 days due to dental issues," Mulligan said. … “Also, parents missed an average of 2.5 days of work per year to care for children with dental problems." A main factor for children who were forced to miss school due to oral health was the accessibility of dental care.
Just as the civil rights and women’s movements shifted the foundations of our society against entrenched institutions, so can a movement against hunger and poverty create a more just nation in which poverty is not endemic.
Pew Report: Dental therapists a plus for FQHCs | Bicuspid.com | 08-07-2012
Dental therapists could dramatically improve access to care via school-based programs run by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), according to a new report. … The researchers estimate that using dental therapists and allied providers in school programs could make dental care available to 6.7 million additional Medicaid-eligible children at significantly reduced costs.