11:21 AM

An Alliance: Common Ground & Shared Solutions

By Ralph Fuccillo
President, DentaQuest Foundation

During the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to be part of an exciting, collaborative initiative that has mobilized the oral health community across the nation. What’s the initiative? The U.S. National Oral Health Alliance. The Alliance is bringing together groups with various interests and perspectives in a never-before-seen way. It is really quite remarkable.

The roots of the Alliance date back to the 2009 American Dental Association’s Access to Dental Care Summit, where more than 140 leaders in dentistry, dental education and the dental industry, as well as medical professionals, health advocates, opinion leaders, program heads, policy makers and others collectively addressed a common vision: ensuring access to care and prevention that supports optimal oral health for America’s most vulnerable children and adults...within the next five years.

With that vision came a commitment to work together to find common ground and work for shared solutions – and the Alliance was born. So far, we’ve made tremendous progress toward extending the common ground that grew from the Summit, but there is still more to be done. As the recent Institute of Medicine report points out, not enough Americans have access to dental care and nearly one-third of the population reports challenges in accessing dental care.

The Alliance continues to work toward a common purpose of improving access and oral health and welcomes all as partners.

Skeptics may say this is not possible, but having experienced the trust building and commitment of colleagues that built this new organization over the past two years, I am convinced we can fulfill the vision that many of you claimed as your own.

Visit www.usnoha.org. The first gathering, a Colloquium, is in November. Get your name on the list by joining the Alliance. Shared leadership, open minds, and the willingness to collaborate will further build on the best ideas to improve oral health for those who are most in need.

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