Board of Trustees

Locke    Thomas Locke, MD, MPH, Chair, Washington Dental Service Foundation

Dr. Thomas Locke is the Health Officer for Clallam and Jefferson Counties, a Clinical Consultant for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Health Clinic, and the Medical Director for the Volunteers in Medicine in the Olympics Clinic in Port Angeles. He serves on numerous professional organizations, including the Washington State Medical Association's Interspecialty Advisory Council. Dr. Locke’s commitment to public health has garnered multiple awards and distinctions, such as the Washington Health Foundation's Heroes of Health Care in 2004 and the Warren Featherstone Reid Award for Excellence in Health Care presented by Governor Christine Gregoire in 2005.

Dr. Locke received his M.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and his M.P.H from the University of Washington. He is Board Certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health. 

He has been a member of the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2008.


Beck    G. Douglas Beck, DDS

Dr. G. Douglas Beck is a general Dentist practicing in Mill Creek and is the founding partner of the Wildwood Dental Group. He is involved in dental practice management consulting and has developed business technology applications for dental offices. Dr. Beck has also served in a number of roles in the county and state dental associations.

Dr. Beck received his DDS degree from the University of Washington School of Dentistry and a B.S. degree in Biology. He completed a General Practice Residency at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dr. Beck has served on the Delta Dental Board of Directors for over 10 years and is currently Chair-Elect.  He has been a member of the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2010.

Branch    David Branch, DDS

Dr. David Branch is a general Dentist practicing in downtown Seattle. Dr. Branch also provides dental services on a voluntary basis at the Union Gospel Mission (since 1997) and in 2000, provided services at a free dental clinic in Muchok, Nepal.

Dr. Branch graduated from University of Washington School of Dentistry with a DDS degree. He was an Assistant Operative Professor in the Restorative Department from 1974 through 1983 and was a member of the Dental School Admissions Committee from 1970 through 1979.

Dr. Branch has been a member of the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2005.

Ji Choi, DDS

Dr. Ji Choi is the Dental Director at International Community Health Services (ICHS). Prior to joining ICHS in 2008, Dr. Choi owned and operated a private family dental practice in Everett, WA.

Dr. Choi graduated from University of Michigan School of Dentistry with a DDS degree.

Dr. Choi joined the Washington Dental Service Board in 2015.

Eussen    Remigius (Remy) Eussen, DDS

Dr. Remigius Eussen is a Pediatric Dentist practicing in Vancouver. He has championed the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program in Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat and Skamania counties and volunteers with Head Start programs throughout Southwest Washington to provide screenings.  Before opening his Private Practice in 2000, Dr. Eussen was with the Willamette Dental Group from 1995-2000 and served in the US Navy as a General Dentist and US Air Force as a Pediatric Dentist from 1983-1995.

He received his B.A. in Biology from University of Kansas and his D.D.S from University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). 

Dr. Eussen has been a member of the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2009.

Joseph Finkbonner 

Joe Finkbonner is the Executive Director of the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB).  Prior to his current position, Joe was the Director of the Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center (The EpiCenter) at the NPAIHB.  He began his work in Indian health for the Lummi Tribe as the Health Director/CEO and was very active at State and Federal levels in his efforts to heighten the awareness of disparities of the AI/AN population and to assist with focusing action toward improving the health status through policy development.  Joe’s efforts were through his membership on the Washington State Board of Health, participation in the Washington Public Health Improvement Plan, and miscellaneous workgroups for the Indian Health Service.

Mr. Finkbonner began his work in health care delivery as a pharmacist at Providence Medical Center in Seattle and Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue. Joe holds a Masters of Health Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy both from University of Washington.  Joe is a member of Lummi Nation.

Mr. Finkbonner joined the Washington Dental Service Board in 2014.

Gale    Diana Gale, MUP, Ph.D.

Diana Gale is currently a Governor’s appointee to the Leadership Council of Public Sound Partnership, which is tasked with ecological recovery of Puget Sound by 2020.  Previously she was Chair of the Public Works Trust Fund and served on the Washington State Public Works Board, which biennially gives local governments more that $300 million in loans for infrastructure upgrades and repair.  She is also a Senior Lecturer Emeritus at the University of Washington, Evans School of Public Affairs.  Ms. Gale retired in 2002 as the Director of Seattle Public Utilities after 25 years of working for the City of Seattle in various departments.

Ms. Gale has a BA from Wellesley College and Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Urban Planning from the University of Washington.

Ms. Gale joined the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board in 2010.  


R. Scott Kennedy, MD

Dr. Kennedy is the Chief Medical Officer for Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, WA.

Dr. Kennedy graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed his residency at Tacoma Family Medicine.

Dr. Kennedy joined the Washington Dental Service Board in 2015.

Kiga    Frederick C. Kiga, JD, MBA

Frederick C. Kiga is the Vice President of Government Affairs at Vigor Industrial.  Mr. Kiga previously served as Director of Tax Policy for Amazon and was the VP of State & Local Government Relations & Global Corporate Citizenship for Boeing.

Prior to that position, he served as Director of the Washington State Department of Revenue and then became the Chief of Staff for former Washington State Governor Gary Locke. He currently serves on a number of professional/civic boards and commissions, including the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Program, the Association of Washington Business, Northwest Area Foundation, and One Reel".

Mr. Kiga has BA and JD/MBA degrees from the University of Washington.

He has been a member of the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2007.

Labberton    Wells Kurt Labberton, DDS

Dr. W. Kurt Labberton is a general dentist practicing in Yakima.  Dr. Labberton completed a US Navy Dental Residency at Camp Pendleton in 1984 and served aboard the USS Sierra from 1984-86.  Prior to dental school, Dr. Labberton was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served as a Nuclear Engineer aboard the USS Tecumseh SSBN 628 and the USS Memphis SSN 691 from 1974-1978.  He was a member of the UW Dental School Admission Committee from 1979-83 and served as UW Dental School Class President from 1980-83. He was the chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee and the Pacific Northwest Dental Conference and is currently a member of the Pierre Fauchard Dental Academy.  He is active in his church, Rotary, United Way, and the Warehouse Theatre Company.

Dr. Labberton graduated from the UW School of Dentistry with a DDS Degree. 

He has been a member of the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2009 .

Kristin Kristin Merlo

Kristin Merlo is chief marketing, information, and sales officer of Delta Dental of Washington. She is responsible for Delta Dental’s sales, client and broker management, marketing research and communications, public relations, corporate advertising, product management and development, and government relations.

Prior to joining Delta Dental, Kristin held a variety of sales and marketing management positions with Eli Lilly and Company. As brand manager she led the first consumer advertising program for Lilly’s blockbuster drug, Prozac®. She also managed the global market development for Lilly’s first insulin analog.

Kristin earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Virginia and her master’s in business administration from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. She completed a certificate in executive leadership at Seattle University. Kristin is active in education reform efforts and serves as vice chair of Seattle Girls’ School.


Diane Keith Patterson, MN, MPH

Ms. Patterson is a Vice President for Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.  She is responsible for community and operational areas including community health needs assessment and healthcare access.  Ms. Patterson began her career as a nurse at University of Washington Medical Center in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  While there, she obtained her Masters in Nursing and Public Health at the University of Washington.  Prior to joining the Administrative team of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Ms. Patterson was the Director of Children’s Village- providing multidisciplinary services to children with special health care needs.   

Ms. Patterson has achieved Fellow status of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  She is active in the Yakima community serving on the board of New Vision, Yakima County Economic Development Association and is a member of Rotary. 

Ms. Patterson joined the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board in 2014.


Phipps  Gerald S. Phipps, DMD, MS

Dr. Gerald S. Phipps is an orthodontist practicing in Spokane. In 1978-85, he served as dental officer in the United States Public Health Service.

Dr. Phipps was elected to the Delta Dental Board of Directors after serving on the Washington Dental Service Foundation since 2004. He currently serves on the governance and nominating committee and the member advisory panel. Dr. Phipps has also served in a number of roles in professional associations, including the Washington State Dental Association where he served on the board of directors and as editor.

Dr. Phipps graduated from the Washington University School of Dentistry, St. Louis, Missouri in 1978 with a DMD degree. He completed a general practice residency at Gallup Indian Medical Center in 1984 and completed an orthodontic residency at Washington University in 1987 where he received his M.S. in orthodontics.

Rutherford    Eve Rutherford, DDS, Washington Dental Service Foundation 

Dr. Eve Rutherford is a practicing Dentist in Snohomish, WA. Dr. Rutherford has championed the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program in Snohomish County and is an Affiliate Faculty member for the University of Washington Department Of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Rutherford received the University of Washington Governance and Service Award and the ADA/Dentsply Student Clinician Program Award.

Dr. Rutherford received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology with Honors from Scripps College and received her DDS degree from the University of Washington.

She has served on the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2008. 

Schweikhardt    R. Gary Schweikhardt, MS, MBA

Mr. Gary Schweikhardt is the President & CEO of Washington Biotechnology Funding, Inc. (WBF), a venture capital fund, and retired CEO of Epigenomics, Inc. He has co-founded and managed more than a dozen technology-based companies and has served as an executive of The Boeing Company.

He has served on boards of various professional and civic organizations, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and several boards and visiting committees at the University of Washington. He has been an invited speaker and author for educational and science-related organizations.  He now serves on the OCS-Dentra Board (a dental analytics company which is developing a dental analytics product).

Mr. Schweikhardt received a B.S. and M.S., Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington; and a Master of Science and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Schweikhardt has been a member of the Washington Dental Service Foundation Board since 2007. 

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