It's always been about the little ones.
A niche healthcare practice located in Bellevue, WA, health:latch was founded in 2017 by Dr. James Thomas, a pediatric dentist with over a decade of clinical experience in Washington and a passion for positive health outcomes. As the founder and owner of NW Pediatric Dentistry – later rebranded to Everyone By One – Dr. Thomas pursued a mission to encourage families to visit the dentist by Age One. Throughout his career, he continued to push early intervention and preventative, outcome-based pediatric dentistry. With this goal in mind, Dr. Thomas searched for earlier interventions with infants and children and became interested in tongue tie release for newborns who were unable to form a lip seal and proper tongue position during breastfeeding, a growing concern among nursing mothers. The more of these children he saw in his practice, the more convinced he became that enhancing the duration along with quality of breastfeeding would improve overall health outcomes for the baby and its family. Furthermore, with additional research, he saw improvements in breathing, airway formation, speech, and sleep habits.
In April 2016, realizing he couldn’t continue to grow Everyone By One and focus on serving infants and children struggling with oral restrictions, he sold his pediatric dental practices in order to found health:latch, a practice that has one sole purpose: to help babies and their families thrive. After extensive research and continuing education, he has created a research-based, team approach that integrates modern laser technology and old-fashioned customer service. Today, with a network of like-minded pediatric medical professionals, health:latch prides itself on partnering with parents to educate, diagnose, treat, and support families with any challenges related to tongue-tie, beginning with breastfeeding.
James M. Thomas, DDS, MS
Founder + Changemaker
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Dr. Thomas received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He discovered his love for working with young patients while volunteering at a special needs camp in Bay Cliff, Michigan and decided to focus on preventing oral health problems in the youngest population. He completed his Masters in Pediatric Dentistry (MS) from The University of Michigan in 2005. After relocating to Seattle in 2006 with his family, Dr. Thomas practiced as an associate in Lakewood and Mt. Vernon before opening his own practice – Everyone By One – in Bellevue, and later a second practice in Lynnwood and business office in Centralia. He sold the entire business in April 2016 in order to found health:latch. After treating thousands of children, some of whom struggled with breastfeeding due to tongue and lip tie, he has a unique understanding of the issue. Seeing firsthand how stressful it can be for families, he has created a specialty practice dedicated to changing the lives of these babies and their families.
Dr. Thomas is a member of the Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Support Network, the International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the WA State Association of Pediatric Dentists, the WA State Dental Association, and the Seattle Lactation Journal Study Club.
In his free time, Dr. Thomas loves to spend time with his family, golfs when he can, and still likes to hoop it up. He's also always game for a good physical challenge. He has summited Mt. Rainier, hiked Rim2Rim2Rim, climbed Half Dome, and maybe - just maybe - was an alternate for American Ninja Warrior in 2018. Ask him when you visit.
Dr. Thomas has been a guest speaker at several professional events and is available for speaking engagements. To collaborate, please contact Dr. Thomas here.
Terry Gilbert, RN, IBCLC
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Terry brings her experience of over 35 years working with families as a registered nurse. She received her RN in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and worked for many years as a critical care nurse caring for adults, children, and neonates. Combining her love for travel and working with families from all cultures, she worked as a traveling nurse in Saudi Arabia, Portugal, and several states in the US where she met her husband. Soon after that, she discovered her most passionate and important role to date - that of being a mother to their two children who are now young adults. After many years as a stay home soccer and baseball mom (and the neighborhood/sports team nurse) her passion to continue helping other mothers drove her to return to work. After obtaining her IBCLC (International Board Certificated Lactation Consultant), she has most recently spent over 10 years specializing in helping new mothers and babies thrive with breastfeeding in the postpartum period and beyond in both in and outpatient hospital and clinic settings.
Terry is thrilled to bring her expertise and passion to health:latch and is delighted to work with Dr. Thomas as he eliminates a barrier (the tied tongue) to what she believes can be so detrimental to the breastfeeding pair. She lives in Kirkland and enjoys walking her dog Violet, hiking, reading, family gatherings and travel.
Terry is a member of the International Lactation Consultant Association, the United States Lactation Consultant Association and attends the Seattle Lactation Journal Study Club.
Thien-Di (“ZEE”) Do
Partner // Brand + Experience
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Di (pronounced "Zee") has a background in marketing & communications and is originally from Michigan where she worked in the automotive industry for 7 years. Since moving to Seattle with her husband (a.k.a. Dr. Thomas, Jimmy, or JT) and their two children 13 years ago, Di started her own consulting firm, specializing in brand management and business strategy. With JT, she co-founded Everyone By One, a pediatric dental practice and oral health initiative to raise awareness around access to care and the importance of the Age 1 visit. After nine years of successfully growing their practices from one patient to over 7200 patients, they sold their business to pursue other interests. Di began working at a Bellevue-based consulting firm where she was Chief-of-Staff to the CEO and Vice President of Marketing, supporting the vision and strategy for the organization. In 2018, Di started kindset, a social site that helps people find their most honest and kind voices by sharing the stories that make our world a better place.
Watching JT’s passion for health:latch unfold, Di is constantly reminded of how she felt as a young mother, and how with each of their babies, the experience was completely different. She wishes she’d had the kind of love and support she sees health:latch providing for its babies and parents, and how one simple procedure can change the trajectory of a baby’s life for the better. So in 2019, she officially joined forces with JT (again) to guide health:latch’s Brand + Experience.
Personally, Di enjoys hanging out with JT and cheering on their two kids through life. If Di could be granted one wish, it would be that all children would have the opportunity to be healthy and educated. Until then, she supports organizations that share that same dream. Di is a long-time volunteer with the Search & Rescue program at Seattle's Union Gospel Mission and serves on the Board of Rwanda Girls Initiative. For fun, you can always find her on a SoulCycle bike.