Director, MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant Program

Ruth Ballweg is the Director of University of Washington, School of Medicine, MEDEX Northwest Physician Assistant Program. MEDEX is one of the partners in the creation of the DENTEX Program. Ruth has been a physician assistant since the mid ‘70’s, joined the UW faculty in 1981 and became Program Director in 1985. MEDEX is currently the academic home for the DHAT program. Ruth works with the DHAT students during the first year of training on issues of role transition and professional development.  Ruth is nationally and internationally known as a spokesperson for primary care and speaks passionately about dental therapists to groups around the world.  Ruth is “Mom” to two grown children and “Grandma Ruth” to a granddaughter and 3 grandsons.

Savannah Bonorden

From Sitka,AK

Employed by Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium

“Alaska is a big state and access can be difficult especially with the conditions of weather or with the expensive of travel. So having a DHAT placed in a village setting is both rewarding and beneficial for the people. I see the dental therapists as a new mainstream for dental prevention, working together as a team with all occupations of the dental field. We’re a new kind of provider, a profession that has so much promise to the future of oral health. I see all the smiles and gratitude the patients have for the services we provide and I’m proud to be here helping. It warms my heart and gives me the sense that I’m doing something right.”