skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

New WA Law Will Bring Dental Care to Underserved Communities

play audio
Play

Friday, April 28, 2023   

Legislation passed in Olympia this year will provide more dental-care access to underserved communities.

House Bill 1678 authorizes dental therapists to work in community health clinics or federally qualified health centers.

Marcy Bowers, executive director of the Statewide Poverty Action Network, said the new law will allow more staff capacity to dental-care teams in these facilities to assist dentists.

"Those providers are able to see more patients, can get out into more community settings to provide basic care," she said, "and, I think as importantly, are able to find providers from their community to work in their communities as well."

More than two million Washingtonians have a dental-care provider shortage in their area. Bowers said the dental therapist model has been successful in tribal settings in Washington and in other states.

The Washington State Dental Association opposed the legislation, saying it could create safety issues.

Bowers noted that many of the patients at health centers are low income, and dental therapists will help reduce the cost of care. She said groups have been working for more than a decade in the state of Washington to authorize dental therapists. and members of the community were overjoyed at its passage.

"To be able to hear community members say, 'Wow! Thank you so much for pushing for so long to do something that means so much to us, that maybe we can concentrate more at work. We can not feel embarrassed about our teeth. Maybe we can smile again in public,'" she said.

In another effort to increase access to dental care and address the provider-shortage issue in the state, lawmakers also passed House Bill 1466 this session. The bill will make it easier for dental hygienists who move from other states to practice sooner.

Both bills are on Gov. Jay Inslee's desk, awaiting his signature.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Environmental advocates are asking California's next state budget to prioritize climate mitigation and cut tax breaks for fossil fuel companies. (The Climate Center)

Environment

play sound

As state budget negotiations continue, groups fighting climate change are asking California lawmakers to cut subsidies for oil and gas companies …


Environment

play sound

City and county governments are feeling the pinch of rising operating costs but in Wisconsin, federal incentives are driving a range of local …

Social Issues

play sound

Well over three-fourths of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases, but federal law allows unlicensed people to sell guns at …


The beans from the velvet mesquite are known as "pechitas." They are edible and have served as important starch in the diets of Indigenous people. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

By Max Graham for Grist.Broadcast version by Alex Gonzalez for Arizona News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News Serv…

Social Issues

play sound

Last year's Medicaid expansion in South Dakota increased eligibility to another 51,000 adults but a new report showed among people across the state wh…

The New York HEAT Act could cut utility bills nearly in half for 1 in 4 energy-burdened New Yorkers. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The New York HEAT Act might not make the final budget. The bill reduces the state's reliance on natural gas and cuts ratepayer costs by eliminating …

Social Issues

play sound

Washington joins a handful of states to do away with mandatory meetings for employees on political or religious matters. Sometimes known as captive …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As federal Victims of Crime Act funding continues to impact Kentucky's domestic violence shelters, advocates say they are applauding lawmakers …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021