Kimberly Hanson Huggins, RDH, a longtime School of Dentistry faculty and staff member who was a strong, active voice for patients with special needs, passed away after a battle with breast cancer on Jan. 20, 2014. A celebration of her life will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 8 at All Saints Church, 1716 Second Ave. N. in Seattle.
Huggins spent most of her 28 years at the UW working on projects in oral facial pain and pediatric dentistry and delivering oral health care to special needs populations. She was an Affiliate Instructor and Research Manager in the Department of Oral Medicine and Outreach Manager in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, and had been recently promoted to the role of Director of Special Patient Care.
“With her strong organizational abilities, keen insight and boundless energy, Kimberly became involved in the School and the broader academic community at many levels, managing research studies across multiple institutions, presenting research at scientific meetings and training and calibrating TMD examiners for the U.S. National Health and Examination Study and for research projects at dental institutions around the world,” said Dean Joel Berg.
Huggins was born in Tokyo to Vinton and Rosalind Hanson. She attended Inglemoor High School and The Helen Bush School for Girls, graduating early to attend Loyola University of Chicago. After receiving her B.S. and dental hygienist training, she returned to Seattle and worked as a public health dental hygienist at the Seattle-King County Health Department. Huggins joined the UW in 1985 as project manager for an NIH-funded epidemiologic study in the Pain Research Group in Oral Medicine.
Huggins later developed nationally disseminated fact sheets on the dental care of patients with special needs, spearheaded the ongoing revision of the School’s curriculum on the care of patients with special needs and served as the School’s coordinator of interprofessional education efforts in UW Health Sciences.
“Kimberly’s work and passion touched many lives in the School of Dentistry and beyond, and she will be deeply missed,” said Dean Berg.
Huggins is survived by her husband of 28 years, Charles “Ky”; daughters Gillian and Sydney; mother Rosalind “Teddy” Hanson; and brothers Tim (Judith) and Tracy Hanson. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jackson N. Huddleston Jr. Endowment at the University of Washington Foundation.