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  WDA Healthy Choices E-Lert  
February 2011 | Legislative E-Newsletter

'Healthy Choices' for a healthier Wisconsin

Mara BrooksEnsuring residents have good oral health care saves patients from dental pain and infection and is economically and socially important to our state. The Wisconsin Dental Association believes barriers to dental care can be reduced when policymakers and dentists work together on positive, viable "Healthy Choices" for all state residents.

With that in mind, the WDA is pleased to introduce the "Healthy Choices E-Lert" a periodic electronic newsletter for state leaders, staff and others interested in the overall health and well-being of the people of Wisconsin. A new E-Lert will be distributed every few weeks, with short articles, videos, photos, question and answers with policymakers and oral health advocates and other information about our "Healthy Choices" initiatives.

We hope you find these E-Lerts informative. In the meantime, if you have questions, or if you'd like to learn more about "Healthy Choices" for a healthier Wisconsin, please contact me.

Mara Brooks, WDA Government Services Director
608-250-3442 or mbrooks@wda.org


Wisconsin dentists donate time, care to 'Give Kids A Smile'

More than 5,150 low-income Wisconsin children are expected to receive some $740,000 in donated dental care in upcoming weeks as part of the ninth annual Give Kids A Smile®, a national children's dental access program supported by the American Dental Association and state groups like the WDA.


At least 360 Wisconsin dentists, along with 950-plus dental team members, students, faculty and community advocates are volunteering their time and skills to get underserved children out of pain and treat dental disease with fillings, extractions and crowns.

GKAS activities will occur throughout Wisconsin in private dental practices and large-scale dental clinics. Dental professionals will also visit schools and community centers to conduct screenings and provide oral hygiene education.

"It's heartbreaking to see a child's smile destroyed by severe tooth decay," said WDA President Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, a general dentist in Waukesha. "Children can't eat, sleep or pay attention in school when they have a toothache. Charity events like GKAS aren't the ultimate answer to making sure every Wisconsin resident has access to oral health care, but our dental professionals are glad to donate their time and skills to this very worthy cause."

Watch for more about GKAS 2011 in the next "Healthy Choices E-Lert".


Connection between oral health and overall health emphasized at first WDA Dental Academy

Lawmakers and legislative staff got an introduction to basic oral health issues and dental topics on Jan. 19 at the first WDA Dental Academy. The "Dental 101" seminar at Madison's Concourse Hotel drew more than 60 attendees.


"We appreciate that so many made time in their schedules in these early weeks of the new session to learn more about oral health and its critical connection to overall health in Wisconsin," said WDA Government Services Director Mara Brooks. "WDA is committed to ensuring every Wisconsinite has access to the dental care they need, and the involvement of our state's leadership is key to making that happen."

Seminar topics included:

More information on the Dental Academy, including handouts, photos and a PowerPoint presentation is available on the WDA website.


Legislator Q&A:
What was your experience with the WDA Dental Academy?

Sen. Terry Moulton
State Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls
"It was great to hear from dentists with a wide range of experience, including everyone from the dean of the Marquette dental school to dentists in my district. Clearly, fair Medicaid reimbursement rates are a very important issue for dentists across the state."
Rep. Sandy Pasch
State Rep. Sandy Pasch, D-Whitefish Bay
"Learning about the important issues related to the delivery of dental services with my colleagues was a great experience in preparing for the upcoming session. Hearing the sometimes shocking stories – ranging from the lack of access to care, to the numerous impediments blocking that access – was extremely informative and helpful as we continue to address issues surrounding dental care in our state."


Issue Highlight: Education
Baby Teeth Matter!

The WDA is one of the few state dental associations nationwide to invest substantial time and resources in educating the public about how they can most cost-effectively maintain their own oral health. The WDA launched a new public awareness campaign in February during National Children's Dental Health Month that teaches: "Baby Teeth Matter."

Even though they will eventually fall out, baby or primary teeth are very important to a child's early physical, social and emotional development. The WDA has created and financed a new public service campaign to educate Wisconsinites, especially parents and caregivers, about the importance of good oral health during a child's early years. It also reminds the general public of oral health's importance to overall well-being.

Watch the WDA's new "Baby Teeth Matter" TV spot and check out more information and educational video clips at WDA.org.



In this Issue

'Give Kids A Smile' brings dental care to kids in need

Legislators learn at first WDA Dental Academy

Legislator Q&A: State Sen. Terry Moulton and State Rep. Sandy Pasch

Issue Highlight - Education: 'Baby Teeth Matter' campaign debuts in Wisconsin

WDA Leaders

Gene Shoemaker, DDS

Steve Stoll, DDS

Vice President
Tim Durtsche, DDS
La Crosse

Immediate Past-President
Kent Vandehaar, DDS
Chippewa Falls

Legislative Committee Chair
Eric teDuits, DDS

Wisconsin Dental Political Action Committee Chair
Dave Clemens, DDS
Wisconsin Dells

Executive Director
Mark Paget

Director of Government Services
Mara Brooks

Contract Lobbyist
Peter Christianson
DeWitt Ross & Stevens, S.C.

Contract Lobbyist
Forbes McIntosh
Government Policy Solutions

About the WDA

The WDA, established in 1870, is the dental profession’s leading voice in Wisconsin. It has 2,900 member dentists, representing 83 percent of all licensed, practicing dentists in the state. 

Region 1 - Northwest
Central Wisconsin Dental Society
Northern Wisconsin Dental Society
Northwest District Dental Society

Region 2 - Northeast
Brown Door Kewaunee Dental Society
Fond du Lac County Dental Society
Manitowoc Calumet County Dental Society
Marinette Oconto County Dental Society
Outagamie County Dental Society
Shawano County Dental Society
Sheboygan County Dental Society
Waupaca County Dental Society
Winnebago County Dental Society

Region 3 - Greater Milwaukee
Greater Milwaukee Dental Association

Region 4 - Southeast
Burlington Dental Society
Kenosha County Dental Society
Racine County Dental Society
Rock County Dental Society
Washington Ozaukee County Dental Society
Waukesha County Dental Society

Region 5 - Southwest
Columbia Dodge Marquette County Dental Society
Dane County Dental Society
Green County Dental Society
Jefferson County Dental Society
La Crosse District Dental Society
Sauk Juneau Adams County Dental Society
Southwestern District Dental Society
Tri-County Dental Society

The WDA pursues a variety of activities and programs relating to advocacy, education, empowerment and service.  All programs support the WDA’s mission to promote professional excellence and quality oral health care in Wisconsin.


Executive Office: 6737 W. Washington St., Suite 2360, West Allis, WI 53214 | 414-276-4520
Legislative Office: 10 East Doty, Suite 509, Madison, WI 53703 | 608-250-3442
Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved.

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