Oral Health 2014 initiative aims to improve oral health

Oct. 16, 2012
DentaQuest Foundation investa in local leaders for national impact.

The DentaQuest Foundation has taken another step in a national movement to reverse oral health disparities in the United States by launching Phase II of its Oral Health 2014 Initiative.

In the second year of this multi-year initiative, the DentaQuest Foundation has invested $2.7 million, enabling 18 state organizations to implement their respective plans.

“These are strong and passionate organizations. They have worked hard to build community support,” said Ralph Fuccillo, president of the DentaQuest Foundation.

“Their planning is sound. We are excited to see what develops as they engage their communities to embrace the challenge and opportunity of remediating oral health disparities in their communities.”

The state organizations are nonprofit partners throughout the nation. They include:

University of Alabama, Birmingham, Arizona Dental Foundation, Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board in California, Oral Health Colorado, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Florida Public Health Institute, the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Chapters of American Academy of Pediatrics, North Dakota Department of Health, Oregon Oral Health Coalition, Maryland Dental Action Coalition, Michigan Oral Health Coalition, Mississippi Department of Health, Rhode Island Kids Count, South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, Virginia Oral Health Coalition, Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services.

Launched in 2011, the Oral Health 2014 Initiative aims to eliminate systemic barriers that limit access to oral health care through strong community partnerships. Participating organizations received one year of funding to engage communities in the development of an oral health plan with specific targeted objectives.

In Phase II of the Oral Health 2014 Initiative, each organization will work with their alliances of partners and community leaders to address one or more of the six priority areas which also guide the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance:

1) prevention and public health infrastructure
2) oral health literacy
3) medical/dental collaboration
4) developing metrics for improving oral health
5) financing models, and
6) strengthening the dental care delivery system

A distinguished National Advisory Committee of leaders in community health, philanthropy, civic engagement, and members of the founding board of the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance provided guidance to the DentaQuest Foundation in the development of the program and the selection of grantees. They are:

· Dr. Caswell Evans of the University of Illinois, DentaQuest Foundation Board of Directors and the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance Founding Board of Directors
· Paul Gilmer of Triana Energy and a member of the National Community Committee of the CDC Prevention Research Centers
· Dr. Leslie E. Grant of the National Dental Association and the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance Founding Board of Directors
· Dr. Dushanka Kleinman of the University of Maryland School of Public Health and the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance Founding Board of Directors
· Barbara Leonard of the Maine Health Access Foundation
· Sandra Owens Lawson of CRP Corp.
· Dr. Lindsey Robinson of the California Dental Association Foundation and the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance Founding Board of Directors, and
· Dr. Donna Shelley of New York University School of Nursing and Dentistry

Evaluated according to a set of objective criteria, the organizations were selected based on their demonstrated willingness to engage partners and their capacity to deliver on their implementation plans.

For more information, www.dentaquestfoundation.org.

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