Warnick's dental school bill passes Senate

Feb. 27—OLYMPIA — Senate Bill 5113 was unanimously approved by the Senate on Wednesday, allowing accredited dental schools to request temporary licensure for faculty who have accepted employment at the respective school.

"Allowing this kind of licensure reform will help Pacific Northwest University of Health attract the talent they need to meet the needs of the Yakima area and beyond," Senator Judy Warnick (R-Moses Lake) said.

Warnick, the primary sponsor of the bill, issued a release stating that Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences located in Yakima, brought the issue to her attention that barriers exist for out-of-state faculty moving to Washington to teach dentistry.

The release stated the measure would make regulatory changes to licensing requirements for faculty of dental schools, expanding access to a critical health-care specialty. The temporary licensure would still maintain high standards, requiring approval by the Washington State Dental Quality Assurance Commission.

"Access to health-care services in rural communities is desperately needed and with shortages across the board, I'm pleased the Senate has approved my proposal to help educate more dental professionals," said Warnick.

The measure now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Rebecca Pettingill may be reached at rpettingill@columbiabasinherald.com.