13:27 PM

Report from the Field: National Oral Health Conference, 2011

If you’re involved in public health dental care, are a health researcher, dental educator, legislator, public health official, Medicaid/CHIP dental program staff or consultant, or provide dental care at a community health center, chances are, you are in Pittsburgh, PA this week (April 11-13) at the National Oral Health Conference.

This is the 12th time the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD), the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have brought the national public oral health community together to highlight the many areas where public health systems can converge toward achieving “optimal oral health” for America’s citizens. As a leader in the national conversation about improving oral health for Americans, DentaQuest is playing a visible role.

The ASTDD board invited the leadership of the DentaQuest institute and the DentaQuest Foundation to its annual Board meeting to update them on the significant investments we have planned for 2011.

In the 1st general session of the conference, Mark Doherty, DDM, MPH, Executive Director of the DentaQuest Institute, Ralph Fuccillo, President of the DentaQuest Foundation and Marcia Brand, PhD, the Deputy Administrator of HRSA, walked participants through “Strategies for Achieving and Maximizing Return on Investment in Oral Health.” ARRA and the Affordable Care Act have made significant investments in the health safety net. Oral health programs will benefit. With good planning, this once in a lifetime investment can lead to increased access, improved oral health outcomes, and financial sustainability and potential partnership with private foundations to extend the dollars available for oral health expansion. DentaQuest Institute Director of Practice Improvement, Dr. Jay Anderson is representing the Institute on an ASTDD- and ADA-sponsored panel discussion on working in community health centers. The American Association of Medical Colleges Advisory Group on Oral Health Curricula is discussing adoption of the Smiles for Life online oral health training for health care clinicians.

The DentaQuest Institute is featuring information on Safety Net Solutions technical assistance services throughout the conference at its booth.

The DentaQuest Foundation and Institute look forward to these national events for the opportunity they provide us to connect with dental public health leaders from across the United States. It makes us better at the work we do with our partners in supporting effective approaches to preventing and caring for oral disease.

Blog post by Dr. Michael Monopoli, Director Policy and Programs, DentaQuest Foundation and Brian Souza, Managing Director DentaQuest Foundation and DentaQuest Institute, reporting from NOHC.