Delta Dental Names Cathye Smithwick as Group Vice President of Dental Affairs

May 24, 2007

San Francisco/Sacramento, CA —The holding company system that includes Delta Dental of California, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and their affiliates named Cathye Smithwick today as its new group vice president of Dental Affairs.

Smithwick, formerly a principal and national practice leader for Mercer Health & Benefits, is one of the nation’s most respected and well known dental industry consultants. At Delta Dental, she will assume responsibilities for dental policy and professional oversight for the more than 54,000 contracted dentists within the holding company’s operating area, which includes 16 states plus District of Columbia.

Her areas of oversight will include maintaining all dentist records and credentialing and ensuring they meet regulatory standards, assessing the quality of services provided by contracted dentists including the consultant review process, managing the corporation’s dental research arm and overseeing dental outreach.

Smithwick spent 12 years with Mercer Health & Benefits, where she worked with Fortune 500/1000 companies and dental and multi-line health care carriers on strategic planning, marketplace positioning and product development. She received a master’s degree with great distinction in applied economics from San Jose State University and a bachelor’s degree with college honors in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. A licensed dental hygienist, she is a member of several professional associations and a published author, as well as an appointee to the Advisory Faculty for the Institute for Oral Health.

"Since dentists are our partners in delivering dental benefits, the duties associated with this position are vital to our success as a corporation," said Marilynn G. Belek, DMD, executive vice president and chief dental officer for the holding company. "We are fortunate to have someone of Cathye’s caliber to provide strategic direction as we examine emerging trends in dentistry and how they will impact current models for delivering quality dental care to our members."

Smithwick replaces Michael McGinley, who is retiring after 31 years of service.

Delta Dental of California, Pennsylvania and its affiliated companies within the holding company system, along with Delta Dental of New York, are all part of the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), based in Oak Brook, Ill. DDPA consists of 39 Delta Dental member companies licensed in all 50 states. The association collectively covers about 48 million of the 164 million people nationwide with private dental insurance, making it by far the largest national system of dental plans.

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