Washington Oral Health Foundation 


Washington Oral Health foundation is the charitable arm of the Washington State Dental Association and has many honorable aspirations including increasing oral health literacy and reducing barriers to dental care for some of our state’s most vulnerable patient populations. The Washington Oral Health Foundation is a working foundation. This means that much of the charitable contributions that we receive go towards program work performed by Foundation staff and volunteers. In 2014, this program work included the refinement of our oral health education curriculum, the development of a new video on healthy eating targeted towards 3rd through 5th grade students, reforming our Adopt-A-School program, and organizing oral health education events for over 10,000 children across Washington State. We have big plans for the year ahead and will work diligently to build upon our projects in 2014.


Mission Statement
Improving and enhancing oral health for the people of Washington through education and access to care programs.
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Washington Oral Health Foundation
126 NW Canal St 
(206) 448-1914 

Ruth Abate 
Director of Operations and Community Outreach 


Washington Oral Health Foundation Programs

Adopt-a-School Program: WOHF believes that a child’s learning should not be obstructed by unmet dental needs. The Adopt-a-School program teams school nurses with local dentists to identify and provide free emergency dental care for children who do not have any dental resources.  More than 600 schools in Washington State are currently adopted by generous WSDA members who believe in the same mission. WOHF plans to recruit more members to increase that number in the coming years.    

Boys and Girls Clubs Oral Health Initiative: The WOHF Oral Health Initiative is an ongoing partnership with Washington Boys & Girls Clubs.  The goal is to reduce the incidence of dental disease in underserved families by teaching children and caregivers how to prevent dental disease.  We do this through building relationships in which families can begin to understand and value dentistry, and by bridging access to care.  

Education Resources and Teaching Tools: WOHF turnkey dental education programs are available for use by WSDA members.  PowerPoint presentations, educational DVD’s, interactive teaching tools for classroom use and printed oral health information are available.  Foundation staff, volunteers and member dentists have delivered oral health education to over 6,000 children this year. 

Medical Teams International Partnership: WSDA volunteer dentists and MTI team up to provide communities in need with emergency care opportunities.  Most MTI events are one day community events.  Contact WOHF staff for opportunities to volunteer at a Mobile Dental Unit in a community near you.

WSDA Outreach: WSDA dentists volunteer to support individuals with special needs by participating in this reduced-fee program for qualifying seniors and patients with disabilities or Alzheimer’s disease. 

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Highlight from 2014!

  • ·         WOHF staff and WSDA member dentists participated in 82 events, serving over 10,000 individuals throughout our state in 2014.

  • Through the Adopt-a-school program, 130 dentists and 130 school nurses participated to address the needs of students in 600 Washington schools.

  • Thanks to our dedicated dentists, the WSDA Outreach program has provided over $27,000 in discounted donated dental services.

  • WOHF created a new video, Snack Smart with Chef Lena:


Washington Oral Health Foundation (WOHF) is the charitable education foundation of the Washington State Dental Association (WSDA), and educates children, youth, and adults about oral disease, prevention, home care, tobacco and drug use.

Proven Success
WOHF hopes to change behaviors and decrease the incidence of dental disease through hands-on education. They educate people about oral health issues and disease prevention. They facilitate care delivery by dental personnel and work to improve access to care. The goal is to reduce the incidence of dental disease by using comprehensive oral health education, access to care and a positive dental experience to encourage preventive dental care and to help families understand and value good oral health as it relates to overall health.

Use of Best Practices
They launched an initiative with the Boys and Girls Club of America, which has 107 locations throughout Washington. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the incidence of dental disease in low-income and underserved families by empowering children to assume more personal responsibility for their oral health, helping families understand the impact dental disease has on the entire body, and teaching them how dental disease can be prevented.

WOHF serves the community at large through their Adopt a-School Initiative. Dentists provide free care for children referred by the nurse at the adopted schools. More than 300 volunteer dentists have adopted 880 schools throughout the state, providing emergency care worth thousands of dollars for students with no resources for treatment.

WOHF’s primary partner has been the Boys and Girls Club of America around comprehensive oral health education programs presented quarterly, monthly, or weekly through the Clubs’ Health and Life Skills program component. The Oral Heath Presentations are done by volunteer dentists, University of Washington School of Dentistry students, allied members of the dental team, and WOHF staff. Alongside the presentation WOHF’s participates in the Family Nights activates with the Boys and Girls clubs. The Family Nights are all about putting the mouth in the body, helping parents and their kids to understand dental disease…how it happens, its impact on the entire body, and how to prevent it from happening.

Financial Health
The foundation will continue to decrease expenses and fundraise. Donations dropped slightly from last year. They rely on individual donors and host two annual events.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

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