Emily Bugger, DDS, Chief Resident of the Yakima Pediatric Dental Residency recently received a “Project of Distinction” award for her resident research project entitled “Effect of a Pediatric Dental Residency on Access to Care” by the Lutheran Medical Center’s Caring for Health Quality/Research Competition. This was one of six projects chosen nationally throughout the entire Lutheran HealthCare system in all fields, not just dental.
Dr. Bugger’s research demonstrated that more children who are served by Medicaid were able to access dental care following the inception of the Pediatric Dental Residency program here in Yakima. The research shows that placing pediatric dental residency programs in rural and underserved areas can work to mitigate barriers to accessing dental care for underserved and high risk children.
The Pediatric Dental Residency program in Yakima was originally a collaboration between Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) and the University of Washington, and has since transitioned from the Univeristy of Washington to Lutheran Medical Center. The pediatric dental residents train and provide direct patient care at both YVFWC Pediatric Dental Clinics; ViewCrest Pediatric Dentistry at the Lincoln Avenue Medical/Dental Clinic and Children’s Village Pediatric Dentistry.