Capitol Update Series: Rep. Cedric Hayden, Roseburg Republican followed in his father’s footsteps both as dentist and legislator. Hayden is also a co-founder of Caring Hands Worldwide, a nonprofit organization that provides free dental care for people in need.
In the street clinics Hayden runs in Eugene, he performs dental work for mainly veterans. Many veterans are not covered for dental work through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The clinic also serves to find providers to people who need other medical services.
“So that’s a population that we really work to serve,” he said. “People on Medicaid are another group. The population they serve might be eligible for dental coverage, but the paperwork it takes to access services can be daunting.”
Hayden’s passion runs deep as he sponsored bills to allow for the State purchasing in bulk of pharmaceuticals; allow dentists to vaccinate although he opposed the forcible vaccination bill; and affordable access to medical care.
Hayden concedes Oregon has not figured out how to serve people with mental and behavioral health issues. People in crisis not only need emergency medical care but be stabilized in their local community with a bridge service between jail/state hospital and transitional housing, he said.