I want to share my sincere gratitude for the significant sacrifice that each of our Kentucky dentists and dental teams and oral health stakeholders has put forth to help "flatten the curve" of COVID-19 for our State and Nation. As Governor Beshear has pointed out, our efforts have had a real impact on mitigating the effects of the virus. It is truly a team effort to be part of the solution. I certainly thank each dentist and their dental teams for continuing to serve the urgent and emergent needs of our patients of the Commonwealth during this crisis.
As we now shift our focus to emerging from this crisis, it is, again, our call as oral health leaders to be part of the solution. The KDA hopes to accomplish this by offering sound insight and guidance to Governor Beshear and his administration. With this goal in mind, the KDA reached out to the Department of Public Health via State Dental Director Dr. Julie McKee and helped to facilitate the development of a Kentucky Dental Reopening Work Group. This work group has a mission to address reopening dentistry in Kentucky that will allow for the treatment of dental disease and the continued effort to protect our patients and dental teams and providers.
Earlier this week, Governor Beshear has asked us to "show us your plan." With our work group, we hope to do just that. We hope to accomplish this by offering real solutions of how dentistry can best position itself to meet the demands of serving the ever growing clinical needs and the ongoing mitigation efforts for COVID-19. We have had ongoing work group communications and participated in a work group Zoom meeting yesterday with ADA Executive Director Dr. Kathy O'Loughlin and other leadership to gain focus. We are creating a plan.
This group has representation from:
The Kentucky Dental Association
The Kentucky Dental Hygienists Association
The Kentucky Board of Dentistry
The Kentucky Department of Health
The American Dental Association
With the counsel and resources of the ADA, we are active in the process of laying out a plan to present to Governor Beshear and his team as soon as it is possible. The goal of this process is to create a reopening plan that will allow this to be as safe as reasonably possible for our patients, dental teams and dentists based upon the information, understanding and resources available. We also know that this plan will require us to remain responsive to new information and resources as they present. We welcome your urgent input to this process.