ILWACO - Peggy Brattebo Yamagata was born in Ilwaco, attended Long Beach Elementary and Ilwaco High School where among other activities, she participated in band, pep club, the debate team, and the senior class play, graduating in 1967.
She and this year's other honoree, Max K. Evans, class of 1953, will be recognized at a school assembly next Monday, Oct. 27, at 9:15 a.m. in the IHS gym. The public is welcome to attend.
She attended the University of Washington's pre-dental hygiene program from 1967 to 1969; Shoreline Community College, where in 1971 she attained an associates in arts and science in dental hygiene; the University of Washington where she received a bachelor's in science degree in dental hygiene in 1980; and then in 1982 she earned a Master's degree in geriatrics/administration from the University of Washington.
Yamagata has been employed as a registered dental hygienist since 1971 and is licensed in Washington, Oregon and California. With a career in private practice spanning more than 30 years she is seen as having the highest standards of a health professional as an educator, clinician, facilitator, dynamic administrator and an advocate for access. She is described as a trailblazer having supreme commitment - to her professional organizations, to cultivating her role as a caregiver, to extending oral health to all socio-economic levels, to educating and fostering cooperation among health professionals, and to improving the visibility and expanding the role of the hygienist.
While acquiring her master's degree, she developed a dental program for the low income elderly; and in California she established a company that provided dental services to the elderly and disabled, both homebound and nursing home residents. She has effected changes with manufacturers of dental care products to improve designs for elderly and disabled consumers.
From 1994 until 2002, she was the program manager for the Children's Dental Health Initiative/Share the Care, and a dental hygienist in the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program for the county of San Diego. In her work with the Children's Dental Health Initiative/Share the Care, she facilitated the expansion of a county-wide, public/private partnership from a pilot emergency children's dental treatment program to an ongoing program providing preventive services and oral health and nutrition education by obtaining a five-year grant from Federal Maternal and Child Health: Health Tomorrow For Children.
Among her many honors and awards is the 1999 Warner Lambert/ADHA "Excellence in Dental Hygiene Award." This award recognizes dental hygienists for demonstrating excellence in the six roles of dental hygiene practice, including: administrator/manager, change agent, clinician, consumer advocate, educator/health promoter and researcher. Her contributions have significantly impacted the practice and future of the dental hygiene profession.
She has had numerous articles published through the Journal of Dental Education, has collaborated and developed videos for the county of San Diego and the Alliance HealthCare Foundation as well as for the San Diego Foundation and U.S. government; her latest was in 2002 and was entitled, "Baxter's Oral Health Activity Guide."
Yamagata continues to be involved in a variety of organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American Dental Hygiene Association, San Diego County Dental Health Coalition, AKA Head Start Advisory Board, United Way and others. She has said that the pleasure gathered from the sharing of knowledge and experience is unending.