The distances in Alaska are vast. Even when they’re not neighboring communities are often cut off from one another during the winter as waterways freeze over requiring snow vehicles where once a boat would do. DHATs are meant to bridge the gap of yearly visits from itinerant dentists by living in these communities where they were raised and understand the culture. Many DHAT providers have a service region that extends beyond the base community where they live. Neighboring communities can add 80 more residents here, 100 more there, sometimes doubling their patient load above the base community. Even short distances require complex travel, usually by plane, to provide proper oral healthcare services to those who would not otherwise benefit.
Kate KohlBased in Emmonak
Employed by Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation
“Prior to DENTEX I worked as a dental assistant for over a year. I traveled to regional villages and learned that I have the endurance to handle stressful positions and stamina to get the job done. I like to believe it’s my family—my roots—that have given me the background and tools that I need to be successful as a Dental Health Aide Therapist.”