Oral Health and Medicine Integration: Overcoming Historical Artifact to Relieve Suffering
June 29, 2017
American Journal of Public Health
“I haven’t been able to kiss my wife in over a year.”1 Why? Kissing hurts her mouth too much. Why? Her teeth are fractured and painful. Why? Like many Americans, money is tight for this couple and American health care has failed them. Read Article
“I believe that everyone in this country deserves the benefit of a totally integrated heath care system with access to timely, convenient, comprehensive, and culturally sensitive care.”
– Kenneth Wright, DMD, MPH, Chair of the HSDM Initiative to Integrate Oral Health and Medicine
Kenneth (Ken) Wright, DMD78, MPH79, vice president of dental services for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, will become chair of the Initiative Board as of January 2018.
Ken brings an extensive background in medical-dental integration to the role. He joined Kaiser Permanente in 2011 after retiring from an impressive 30-year career in the Navy where he held leadership roles in the National Naval Dental Center, the National Naval Medical Center, and the U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters. As Deputy Director, Medical Resources Plans and Policy on the Chief of Naval Operations staff, Ken was responsible for delivering a balanced medical and dental program for the Navy and Marine Corps.
At Kaiser Permanente, Ken oversees the Dental Care Program for the Northwest Region’s twenty-one dental offices that serve 270,000 members. Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s business model integrates dental care into its system. Benefits to patients include access to convenient, coordinated services and an electronic health record that combines medical and dental history.