President's Newsletter - February 2024

Dear Colleagues,

2024 has already shown to be an exciting year! We hope as the weather is starting to warm up, and within your busy days, you find moments of joy and sunshine.

The WSAPD board recently had our quarterly board meeting, and we would like to highlight a few key updates below.

Our Spring CE meeting and social hour will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2024. Our speaker, Dr. Jihyon Kim, will lecture on and walk us through a hands-on workshop on Anterior Composite Solutions for Pediatric Dentistry. Discounted early registration rate ends Friday, February 9, 2024. Many of you have already taken advantage of the early rate, and we are excited to see you all there! Registration can be completed on:

The 2024 WSAPD pediatric dentistry PALS course is on Saturday, March 2, 2024, at the Cascade Training Solutions, and the class is filling up fast. If registration is full, please join our waiting list as it will help us to gauge interest for future class sizing.

Several WSAPD pediatric dentists participated to Dental Action Day along with WSDA and worked hard to advocate for our pediatric dental patients and dental practices. Several bills addressed rising inflation, insurance regulation, and workforce shortages. The bill that would most impact pediatric dental workforce issues, which would create a preventative dental assistant certification who could scale supragingival calculus, does not appear likely to be passed this session we know that many bills require introduction year after year until lawmakers can be convinced. Meanwhile, House Bill 1655, which would require insurance companies to increase provider compensation annually based on the consumer price index, has unfortunately excluded dental plans due to specific verbiage utilized in the original bill. There is a possibility that dental plans could be included in the bill when it travels through the Senate so all hope is not lost but it is a challenge. We will endeavor to keep you updated throughout this session.

Washington State updated anesthesia requirements that officially became effective January 11, 2024. WSAPD has been in discussion with several key members in our state to determine how best we can help serve our membership. WSAPD is committed to helping our members through this transition and hope to provide value by (inclusive of, but not limited to):

  • creating a page on our website dedicated to the updated sedation requirements
  • summary chart specifying details for each permit category
  • sample pediatric-focused skills tests emergency plan template
  • template for contract between anesthesiologist and dentist
  • FAQ section answering common questions

Work on the above items are currently in process, and we are hopeful to deliver to members very soon on a rolling basis. Please check all our platforms of
communication (Email, Facebook, Website) to hear the latest on our updates.

Lastly, our very own Dr. John Gibbons who has served as WSAPD’s Public Policy Advocate, among many other roles, will be transitioning out of his role, as he starts his campaign for the state House of Representatives in the 23rd Legislative District. We want to thank John for his service to not only WSAPD specifically, but truly for his numerous advocacy efforts to improve oral health care for all children, especially in WA state. We encourage you to contribute to his campaign to help elect not only a dentist, but our colleague and pediatric dentist, into the Washington State legislature. Learn more and donate at

Although transitions can be difficult, we are blessed in our state to have such a qualified colleague who has been willing to step up and add on a new role. We are excited to welcome Dr. Bri Butler in her new role as our PPA, and although she has big shoes to fill, we have ultimate confidence in her to help us continue to move forward with our mission.

As mentioned previously, please continue to check our website for updates, as well as join us on our Facebook page: to stay in engaged with our amazing community of pediatric dentists in WA state!

Thank you again for all that you do each day! Looking forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming events!


Christie Lee, DMD
WSAPD President 2023-2024

Christie Lee - Washington State Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Dear Colleagues, 

Happy new year! Hope your 2024 isstarting off well! 

In the dynamic world of pediatric dentistry, where our role oscillates between challenging and rewarding, we often find ourselvesimmersed in the activity of treating patients,yet experience a sense of professional isolation in our individual practices. Recognizing the importance of connection, the Washington State Academy of Pediatric Dentistry(WSAPD) aimsto transform ourshared challengesinto a united mission. We’re dedicated to fostering a sense of communitythat transcendsthe confines of our practices, providing inspiration, camaraderie, and professional growth. As we eagerly anticipate the upcoming year, the WSAPD Board is excited to build upon our rich history, together with our members enhancing the oral health of children throughout Washington state. 

With ourshared mission in mind, here are the latest updates and news: 

On October 7, 2023, we held the WSAPD annual meeting at Cedarbrook lodge. Ourspeaker was Dr. Cameron Randall and he presented on Understanding and Managing General Anxiety and Dental Care-Related Anxietyin Children and Adolescents and Maximizing Well-Being to Thrive as a Pediatric Dentist: Insightsfrom Psychological Science. A dynamic speaker delivered content that wasrelevant and applicable. For those that have yet to have a chance to learn from Dr Randall we encourage you to do so ifyou have another opportunity! As always, It was wonderful to connect with many of you in person. 

During the business portion of our meeting, we were joined by Dr. Thomas G. Ison, AAPD President-elect. A few highlights he shared: Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center renamed the AAPD Research and Policy Center – new director Chelsea Fosse, DDS, MPH joinsfrom ADA with experience in adults with SHCN. 

Research and Policy Center published SDF informational brochure designed for pediatric medical teamsto prepare for a medical CPT code for SDF being released in 2024. 

ADA and AAMOS are working together to encourage CMS to develop a CPT code and reimburse dental treatment performed in an ambulatory surgical center. 

AAPD continuestheir commitment to increasing Title VII funding which includesfacultyloan repayment and training grants. AAPD directory will now be exclusively online, in an improved format, to reduce cost/waste. 

AAPD Annual Session 2024 will be held in Toronto, Canada, and the welcome reception will feature the Barenaked Ladies. Upcoming annualsessions will be – Denver 2025, Vegas 2026, DC 2027. (As a friendly reminder, make sure your passports are active) 

At the meeting, immediate past president of the WSDA and our public policy advocate, Dr. John Gibbons acknowledged House Representative Steve Bergquist with the WSDA Presidential Award for his contributionsto advocating for pediatric oral health in ourstate, and specifically helping to increase Medicaid reimbursement by $40 million for pediatric dentistryin ourstate, which resulted in a 40% increase of ABCD fees. 

Each year, the WSAPD board selects up to two candidatesfrom either WA pediatric residency program for a $1000 stipend for travel reimbursement to attend the AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Advocacy Conference (POHAC) in Washington D.C. For 2023, the two residents were Drs. Jessica Holownia from NYU Langone-Yakima and Dr Matthew Waite from UW. They were joined by DrsJohn Gibbons, BJLarson, Bri Butler. They advocated for Title VII funding, closing the loopholesinsurance companies use to avoid covering complex oral restorative care for patients with congenital craniofacial anomalies, and improved accessto general anesthesia care by encouraging development of a CPT code and reimbursement for ambulatorysurgical centers. For POHAC 2024, the board selected Dr. Karissa Morrison from NYU Langone-Yakima. Dr. Andrea Akabite from UW will also be in attendance asthe WSPD intern. We look forward to hearing about her experience at our Annual Meeting in October. 

On Saturday, January 6th, 2024, the WSAPD board put on “Pediatric Dentistry Update” CE event for dentists of federally qualified health centers in Western Washington. This wasthe second year the event was hosted by WSAPD and great feedback wasreceived, including some dental directors sharing they hope to make it mandatoryfor their dentists and asking for a full day course vs a half day course. We are thankful to be able to continue this event asit truly aligns with our mission.

As many ofyou may already be aware, effective January 1, 2024 there is an update to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) section 246-817- 770 through 246-817-790 in regardsto anesthesia requirements for dentists. Offices have until January 1, 2025 to be compliant with several changes such asthe newlyrequired pediatric sedation endorsement and on-site inspections. WSAPD realizesthere are concernsregarding potential impact that this can have not onlyfor our individual offices, but ultimately accessto care for the children in Washington. Currently an initial meeting hastaken place with Drs Travis Nelson, Christie Lee, Megan Miller, and John Gibbons. We are committed to collaborating and helping figure out how best to help our members, the pediatric dentists of WA state, navigate this update. Please look out for future updates, including potentialsurveys, throughout the year. We ask foryour participation for the benefit of us all. 

For those interested in being part ofserving and working on behalf of our membership I encourage you to get involved with our organization. Please reach out to our executive director Stephanie Cook or any of our board members directly. 

Lastly, please update your calendarsfor our upcoming 2023 – 2024 events: 

PALS 2024 (Saturday 3/2/24). Thank you again foryour understanding as we navigated PALS 2023. Thisyear, PALS recertification course will be held at a new location, Cascade Training Solutions in Seattle, WA. Thisis a custom one day course for pediatric dentiststhat we were able to arrange. Space islimited. For further details and registration: 

Spring CE and Social Event (Saturday 3/23/24). Thisyear we are excited to host an all-day hands-on course to our membership that we believe is applicable to all members. Speaker Dr. Jihyon Kim aka “discing queen” will be sharing Anterior Composite Solutions for pediatric dentistry that is notspecific to one system. The CE event followed by a WSAPD social hour will be hosted at the Washington Academy of General Dentistry GlobalLearning Center in Seattle, WA. Space islimited. For further details and registration: winter-ce-meeting/ 

AAPD Annual Session and WSAPD Reception for Members and Graduates of WA Residency Programs (Saturday 05/25/24).Looking forward to seeing many ofyou in Toronto, Canada! Further detailsregarding the reception will be shared in the future. 

WSAPD Annual Meeting (Saturday, 10/5/24). Our annual business meeting and fall CE event will be held at Cedarbrook Lodge. Ourspeaker Dr. Ashley Clark who is known for making oral pathologyfun and interesting will be speaking about Pediatric Oral Pathology. Registration link will be up soon on our website. 

Thank you again for being part of this community.Looking forward to working together and seeing many ofyou thisyear at our upcoming events! 


Christie Lee, DMD 

WSAPD President 2023-2024