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Your 2015 Component Presidents

Introductions to many of your component Presidents from around the state
From your neighborhood and around the state

Editor’s Note: This year, we had seven component presidents who, for various reasons, were not able to participate in this piece. We’ll try to get them all in a future issue!

Dr. Monica Berninghaus
Kitsap County Dental Society 

Greetings from Kitsap County! It’s been a privilege to serve as our component president and alternate delegate for such a great group of talented and compassionate dentists. We have lots to be proud of! This was my first year attending the House of Delegates, and besides meeting several outstanding leaders in the WSDA, the wealth of knowledge I took with me was amazing. Dr. Michelle Caldier was elected State Representative (R) 26th district, position 2, and I was proud to be an active supporter of her hard-working campaign! 

 Dr. Mike Huey received the prestigious Golden Apple Award for now the 4th year in a row for Excellence in Science Fair Program Support and Promotion for his continued work in organizing and promoting the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair. Our top-notch administrator, Peggy Stanley, also celebrated ten years with our society, and all our members are extremely grateful to have her.

 Harrison Hospital is relocating and expanding its campus to Silverdale, and we are trying to establish an extraction clinic that would serve the underprivileged.

 After serving in the United States Navy for 21 years, I am now an associate at Kitsap Gentle Dentistry in Silverdale, WA. I attended The Ohio State University, receiving both my B.S. in Pharmacy and my D.D.S. degrees, as well as a Master’s degree from George Washington University while still on active duty. I am a very proud mom to my two children – Ashley a senior at Montana State majoring in both Chemical and Biological engineering, and Matthew a freshman at Cal Poly majoring in Environmental Engineering. 

Dr David Blackett, 
Grays Harbor District Dental Society

I am very grateful to be part of a profession that allows me to help others, provide well for my family and also spend quality time with them. Outside of work I am usually either watching my kids in sports or having fun with them. I am also able to serve my community as a leader in Boy Scouts and as a member of the Elma City Council. This year I finally caught the fishing bug and landed my first salmon! There are not very many professions that would allow us the freedom to pursue other interests outside of work. 

  This is the third time I have had the opportunity to serve as the president of the Grays Harbor District Dental Society. Our area has struggled with high unemployment again this year, and reimbursement rates continue to be an issue. I appreciate organized dentistry and the opportunity to meet together with other dentists and learn how to be a better health care provider and employer. It is easier to face various challenges together and learn from others mistakes and successes. We are a part of a great profession and the WSDA allows us to come together and make it even better. 

Dr. Jessica Bremerman
Yakima Valley Dental Society

I have been practicing as a public health dentist for 4+years in the Yakima Valley. I have enjoyed my time in leadership for the Yakima Valley Dental Society. It is inspiring to see so many veteran dentists still have the passion for dentistry that young dentists start out with. As a public health dentist, I think it is critical to be involved with organized dentistry considering the current issues that dentistry is facing with Medicaid and access to care. The dentistry I do on a daily basis is challenging, and my patients need a voice. I hope to be that voice for good dental care. 
I am a wife to my high school sweetheart and a mother to three awesome boys (5 years old, 3 years old and 5 months old). Life is super busy for our family, but I love it. I am unsure where my career will lead me, and that’s what I love about dentistry. Dentistry has given so much to me and I am so grateful. 

Dr. James K. Burnham
North Central District Dental Society 

This year I am honored to serve as the North Central District Dental Society President. I hope to make a positive impact on all our member and non-member dentists during my tenure by reinforcing and growing their support for organized dentistry. Undoubtedly dentistry is changing right before our eyes as dental utilization and spending are down, dentist earnings are down and retirement ages are up. It is a critical time right now, and we must be united as a profession to address the coming challenges. We can’t be complacent and watch these changes from the sidelines; we have to get involved and help guide the changes. Our current leaders are helping to re-establish the value in our knowledge, skills and services to the public. I encourage support for these leaders and organized dentistry as it will foster new opportunity for growth and redefine our future. 
Originally from Pascagoula, Mississippi, I fell in love with Washington State while serving as a Dental Officer in the United States Navy at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. After graduating from the University of Tennessee Dental School in 1999, I served ten years in the Navy. During my military service I obtained specialty training in Periodontics from the Naval Postgraduate Dental School in Bethesda, Maryland. Once my obligation with the Navy was complete, I returned to Washington State and have been living in the Wenatchee area since 2011. I enjoy everything this region has to offer, but especially the hiking, climbing and skiing. 

Dr. Ute Collins 
Mount Baker District Dental Society

I am proud to serve as president for the Mount Baker District Dental Society for this current year! We have a fabulous dental society that spans as far north as the Canadian border, extends over to Anacortes/Whidbey Island as the gateway to the San Juan Islands and then extends south through the fertile Skagit River valley to include Mount Vernon. What a great area of the state ! We are close to two great cities (Vancouver and Seattle), yet have the pleasure of living a little slower and more ‘rural’ lifestyle. 

 I practice with my husband, Charlie – we are University of Washington School of Dentistry grads, Class of 2000! I enjoy so many of the things that this area of the state has to offer, and it is a stone’s throw from my back door. In my spare time, you can find me running the Anacortes Community Forest Lands trails, kayaking on Burrows Bay, or hiking the North Cascades. My favorite annual pastime is a backpacking trip we do every year from Highway 20 into Stehekin – nothing is better than kicking your feet up after hiking a long distance and opening a great bottle of wine. It’s the little things in life like that which keep me personally plugging along. 

 I am a faculty club member with the Spear Institute for Dental Education which has revolutionized the way I practice dentistry. I love their learning continuum – it is my professional outlet to learn, question, and think harder about the practice of dentistry. And it makes us Huskies pretty proud to see that several leaders on the Spear Faculty are homegrown University of Washington dentists that use their knowledge and experience to revolutionize dentistry. On a professional level, it is what keeps me plugging along ! 

Dr. David Franckum
Lewis County Dental Society

It is an honor to be a part of the Lewis County Dental Society. When I first moved to Washington in 2009 after finishing dental school at the University of Colorado, I was grateful to be able to immediately associate with a welcoming group of talented and experienced dental professionals in our community. It’s a real treat to work with the good people of Lewis County and to sit side-by-side at our local meetings with others who appreciate the unique joys and challenges associated with our great dental profession. 
I am married to my wonderful and supportive wife Kristen. We enjoy caring for our daughter Noelle, hiking, biking, and playing the piano.

Dr. Garth Hatch
Benton-Franklin Counties Dental Society

My name is Garth Hatch, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve this year as the Benton-Franklin Counties Dental Society President. I’m amazed by the talented dental professionals that live and work in our region and the level of quality dental care they provide. My beautiful wife Alissa has family that live in the Columbia Basin, and when I left the US Army Dental Corp to enter private practice in 2010, we were excited to make the Tri-Cities our permanent home. I practice Endodontics in Kennewick and feel blessed to work with such a talented team and for their support of my dental society duties. My wife and I have two boys and two girls and can’t believe how fast they are growing.

 Involvement in organized dentistry is such an important activity to keep our profession strong, relevant and to provide the best possible dental care to our communities. I’m grateful for so many dedicated dentists from our region that volunteer their time and resources to keep our profession strong and meet the dental needs of Washington State. Many thanks to the WSDA Leadership for all your efforts in leading by example! Best wishes.

Dr. Jonathan Judd
Spokane District Dental Society

I was born and raised in Spokane. I moved back in 2005 and have been practicing here since that time. I have two wonderful boys, Carson and Tyler, who keep me very busy. When I am not watching them play baseball games or tournaments, we enjoy golfing, traveling and skiing. Our ski resorts are finally open here! 

 I became involved in organized dentistry, like many who came before me, because I believe in our profession and want the best for it. We are continually facing many challenges to dentistry, including but not limited to decreased reimbursement, midlevel providers and access-to-care issues. I am very honored to be the president of the Spokane District Dental Society for this year. We have a great group of dentists here who are very proactive when it comes to addressing issues facing dentistry at our local level and at the state level as well. 

 With WSDA, either through the Leadership Institute or House of Delegates, I have met and worked with many dedicated people to help shape our profession and ensure that we guide how dentistry is delivered. I hope to continue that work after this year as well.

Dr. Audrey Tatt
Seattle-King County Dental Society

I enjoyed seeing many of my colleagues at the various events SKCDS participated in this past year including a successful RAM event at Seattle Center. It was a great collaboration of volunteers, coordinated beautifully by Dr. Mike Karr and Dr. Jeff Parrish. Our foundation had a great gala at the Fairmont Olympic allowing us to continue the mission of eliminating dental pain and infection in King County. This year will bring a new home to the dental society, moving our offices of 26 years to First Hill. SKCDS continues to host free and educational seminars for our new dentists. New this year, all of our evening membership meetings are free to our members and the UW dental students. We continue to strengthen our ties with our community partners including the UW School of Dentistry. We started a Women in Dentistry group which had two events allowing our members to get together, socialize and have fun while doing work for charity. 

 When I am not doing dentistry, it is all about family and friends. My husband Jeff and I enjoy chasing our son Ian (7) and daughter Kylie (4) from one soccer game to another basketball practice and swim lessons! My kids also like to cook with me in the kitchen. I also like volunteering at Ian’s elementary school. Last year we enjoyed traveling with friends and family to Chicago, Mexico, Florida and Las Vegas and look forward to more sunshine this year!

Dr. Alan L. Peet 
Olympic Peninsula Dental Society

Organized dentistry keeps you informed of the challenges facing dentistry and makes you less isolated in your individual practice. In addition, it provides a means to have a voice in the regulatory process that impacts all of us. Finally, it enables you to meet and work with very good people, and develop friendships on a personal and professional basis.

Dr. Kyle Hackney 
Thurston-Mason Counties Dental Society

I’m proud to serve as the 2015 President of the Thurston-Mason Counties Dental Society. I have been a member of the Thurston-Mason Counties Dental Society since 2008, and run Hackney Family Dentistry in Shelton with my brother Travis. I was born and raised in Thurston and Mason counties and I am happy and proud to call this area my home. My family includes wife Kelly, son Cason, and golden retriever Jackson.

 Outside of work I enjoy golfing, fishing, hiking, and I am an avid Seahawks fan. My goals for the TMCDS are to increase member involvement and to create meetings and events that energize the society. In addition to educational meetings TMCDS sponsors Children’s Dental Health month at the local Children’s Museum, an annual spring golf tournament to benefit local children, and is a sponsor for numerous charitable events in our community.