April 17, 2018
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Pennsylvania Dental Association honors state lawmaker for improving access to dental care at state Capitol in Harrisburg

Sen. Eichelberger receives PDA’s Kay Thompson Award 

On April 10, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) presented state Sen. John H. Eichelberger with the Kay Thompson Outstanding Legislator Award for his efforts to improve access to quality oral health care for all Pennsylvanians. The award was presented to Sen. Eichelberger at the state Capitol by Dr. Jim Boyle, PDA’s President-Elect, and Drs. Darleen Oleski and Craig Eisenhart, both members of PDA’s Government Relations Committee. 

Sen. Eichelberger is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 373, legislation that would give patients more freedom to choose their dentist by requiring insurers to honor a patient’s request to assign benefits directly to the dentist. The Senate passed SB 373 in January and the legislation is now assigned to the House Insurance Committee.

“Senator Eichelberger recognizes that Pennsylvania needs to find ways to improve access to dental care for patients and attract more dentists to practice in this state. One way to do so is to give patients more ability to choose their dentist, regardless of whether or not the dentist participates with the patient’s insurance company,” said Dr. Bruce Terry, PDA president. “This legislation is particularly beneficial for patients living in rural areas of the state. Senate Bill 373 provides a way for patients to seek treatment from their dentist of choice.”

PDA is committed to promoting optimal dental care for all patients, improving the availability of dental care for the underserved, and educating the public about the importance of oral health and prevention. 

Dr. Kay Thompson served as the Third District Trustee to the American Dental Association (1993-97) and president of PDA (1989-90). This award honors her commitment to the dental community and PDA and is presented to legislators who make oral health care a priority.


About the Pennsylvania Dental Association
Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately 5,500 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association (ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA’s mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients. PDA is the voice of dentistry in Pennsylvania.