No Kidding! The Children's Alliance blog
The Dental Access Bill, Senate Bill 5465, had a public hearing in the Senate Health Care Committee on Monday, January 25, with members of the Washington Dental Access Campaign (WDAC)—representing the interests of children, elders, rural constituents, dental professionals and advocates for low-income people and communities of color—signing in PRO. Here are a few highlights from the testimony:
Dr. Kevin Nakagaki, DDS, has worked with dental therapists since they were first licensed to practice in Minnesota in 2011.
“Patients are very accepting of the Dental Therapist, as they are very familiar with the medical model of physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
“In my clinic, after hiring dental therapists, access for my population has increased, and the wait time to be seen has decreased by half. As I have shifted the straightforward dental restorations to the dental therapist, it has freed up my time to concentrate on more complex procedures.
“The dental therapists are very well trained to manage the pediatric population, and the patients (and parents) have been very satisfied-extremely satisfied with their care.
“As the dentists have had the opportunity to work with the therapists, they have found the concept safe, workable, desirable, and have begun requesting new hires for their offices.”
—Dr. Kevin Nakagaki, DDS, Minneapolis
Dental therapists provide safe, quality care. A review of more than 1,100 studies and reports found that dental therapists provide high-quality care. There have been zero adverse patient incidents in 10 years in Alaska and Minnesota. Dental therapists would provide routine and preventive care to Washingtonians who can’t currently get it. Approximately 5 out of 6 services provided by dental therapists are routine and preventive, like fillings. Dental therapists can work in schools, nursing homes, and community-based health centers—bringing care within reach of those who are currently shut out of a dental care system that isn’t working for everyone.
Lawmakers took a big step forward for kids last year with the passage and funding of the Early Start Act. This year, we can’t afford to let them take a big step backward.
Legislators are opening the first week of the 2016 session with a close look at Governor Inslee’s proposed supplemental budget. Here’s one item that kids, working parents and employers need them to pay attention to.
Today the Swinomish Tribe in Washington state is taking the historic step of hiring an Alaska-trained dental therapist to bring preventive and routine dental care to its members.
In doing so, the Swinomish are taking the lead in providing preventive and routine care that’s been blocked for too many years.
The Children’s Alliance enthusiastically supports this action by the Swinomish to improve oral health. As the Tribe has noted, its dental professionals see twice as many patients as average oral health care providers. Hiring a dental therapist is an affordable way to meet the clinic’s demand for routine, preventive care.
The voting public solidly backs babies, toddlers and preschool-age children.
“I am so pleased the Children’s Alliance has endorsed King County Proposition 1: Best Starts for Kids. The moms, dads, and advocates for kids who make up the Children’s Alliance know what is good for kids and our communities – and know that when we speak up, we can get results. The Children’s Alliance knows that when we invest in opportunity for children in low income families and children of color, we improve our communities for everyone.
“I am delighted that the Children’s Alliance, which usually focuses on state and federal policy, has chosen to put their stamp of approval on an initiative that’s vital to the kids in Martin Luther King Jr. County. Together, we can ensure that all our children have a clear path toward a healthy future full of opportunity.
A Children's Alliance analysis of new government figures shows that hungry families are not experiencing an economic recovery.
According to the most recent report on food insecurity and hunger in America released September 9th by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the national rate of hunger in 2014 did not improve over 2013’s rate of 5.6 percent.
Parents, elected officials, community-based leaders and other advocates for kids gathered in Auburn on Saturday to celebrate a significant victory in the 2015 legislature: the full restoration of food assistance for migrant families. As the photos show, it was a proud moment.
Here’s how our executive director, Paola Maranan, greeted the partygoers:
“I am proud and humbled to be here with you today to celebrate a victory that was only made possible by you. Five years ago we came together to organize and advocate to save State Food Assistance. Through those years you—parents, grandparents and youth who courageously spoke the truth about your own experiences; grassroots organizations that stood in solidarity with families; service providers and food banks that spoke up for equity; legislators who advocated among your own colleagues to right this wrong—you have given your hearts, your time and your voice to this campaign.
“At Children’s Alliance we believe in every child’s potential, and we know that good public policies advance equity and help all kids reach that vast potential. State Food Assistance is one of those good policies.
This past legislative session, Washingtonians spoke up for better access to dental health care for children and families. While the Dental Access Bill was blocked by narrow special interests, advocacy and progress are marching forward outside the legislature.
Passage of the Early Start Act is great news for parents, children, and all Washingtonians who share in the vision of every child succeeding in school and in life.
We applaud the legislative leaders for early learning in all four caucuses—Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle), Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island), Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) and Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane)—and the many legislators who supported the Early Start Act. They have acted on the years of research showing that high quality early learning builds stronger families, better schools, more self-reliant adults and safer communities. Early learning is a necessary part of any strategy to close the opportunity gap facing too many of Washington’s children in low-income families and children of color.
Click here for photos of advocates and kids celebrating as Gov. Jay Inslee signs the Act.
Children's Alliance deputy director Jon Gould with early learning leaders Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla, left) and Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-Seattle, right) after the passage of the Early Start Act in the House of Representatives on Sunday, June 28.
Combined with a historic $158 million investment in early learning in the 2015-17 budget, passage of the Early Start Act marks a new level of commitment to early learning in Washington.