The Dental Trade Alliance Foundation (DTAF) awarded $189,500 in grants to provide funding for innovative oral health programs aimed at encouraging changes in consumer behavior, improving access and enhancing the efficiency of the oral health care system. Each of these eight programs received up to $25,000 in DTAF grant funding.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine $16,000
Improved Access to Oral Care through Increased Oral Health Literacy
This project will adapt a validated oral health literacy self-assessment to tablet format and will develop an immediate, real-time educational program feedback component to the self-assessment. Approximately 500 UNLV patients will take the survey and provide feedback. The project is designed to compare the patient return rate for appointments for the past two years with patients completing the tablet-based program under the theory that patients who have completed the literacy program will have a higher return rate to the dental clinic for preventive and continuing care than those who have not.
Pennsylvania Head Start Association $25,000
The Pennsylvania Age One Connect the Dots Pilot Project
The Pennsylvania Age One Connect the Dots Pilot Project will provide professional continuing education for dentists and dental hygienists through training and support for implementation to meet national practice standards. The first phase provides training and continuing education credits for at least five dentist peer presenters to present the Age One Connect the Dots content to their peers. In the next phase, a maximum of 15 two-hour trainings will be delivered to 150 dental providers. Evaluation of training effectiveness will be measured by pre- and post-test questionnaires. Training evaluations will be used to improve the materials for eventual replication in a recorded Webinar format.
Southwest Health and Human Services $25,000
The Southwest Health and Human Services 4–H project is four fold:
1. To unite all stakeholders who own the caries problem affecting the community’s high-risk children
2. To increase oral health literacy community-wide.
3. To train primary care medical providers (PCMP) to provide caries prevention services, application of fluoride varnish quarterly, and advise the caregiver that the varnish is not a substitute for a dental home or for sealants. These services should be initiated by age one and thereafter as part of routine well/ill childcare to all high-risk children.
4. To get community dentists to take referrals without regard to insurance status if the PCMP will offer these services as part of child care and will tutor dentists to feel comfortable with 1–3 year olds.
4-H regional extension educators want to show that 4-H can be a viable, proactive stakeholder group. Youth will develop public service announcements to be read over local radio and TV stations, displays and other appropriate media presentations. They will gain skills in designing and delivering messages in ways that connect skills to active citizenry.
Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania $23,500
Books, Brushing, and Bedtime
Books, Brushing and Bedtime (BBB) is an innovative, pediatric dental clinic-based literacy intervention project. This project uses the pediatric dentistry anticipatory guidance discussion as an opportunity to promote healthy bedtime routines, specifically brushing a child's teeth with fluoridated toothpaste and discouraging putting children to bed with a bottle of juice or milk, as well as establishing positive literacy habits such as reading at bedtime. Families with a child between the ages of 12 and 60 months participating in this project will be given a new, dental-related children's book at every recall appointment. By the time the child begins kindergarten, he or she will have received a maximum of nine and a minimum of two books that provide healthy dental messages.
Case Western Reserve University $25,000
Oral Health Patient Navigation for Underserved Populations
Families in under-resourced areas have difficulty accessing dental health services for themselves and their children. The CWRU Dental School’s Healthy Smiles Sealant Program, which serves 5,500 children annually in the Cleveland public school district, seeks to enhance the referral, follow-up and self-management support for families in this district through oral health care coordination services after examination by the Healthy Smiles Sealant program.
Specifically, an oral health patient navigator (OHPN) would assist families with identifying and accessing local dental services for urgent and routine care, facilitate establishing a dental home and routine preventive care through supportive communication and education for families on an ongoing basis, and act as a resource and liaison for oral health information and community-based oral health resources.
Care Free Medical, Inc. $25,000
Pay It Forward Dental Access Initiative
Care Free Medical, Inc., in partnership with the Central District Dental Society, will provide acute dental services for Ingham County adult residents without dental insurance in exchange for patients completing community service hours. Care Free Medical, Inc. (CFMI) has operated in Mason and Lansing, MI since 2004, putting into action the belief that every individual — regardless of ability to pay — deserves access to comprehensive and compassionate health care. CFMI offers a Patient Centered Medical Home model, which focuses on addressing the total health care needs of individuals and their families. Serving the most needy in the Mid-Michigan area, CFMI provides a multitude of on-site health care services including: primary, dental, optometry, behavioral health, and after-hours care.
The Children's Oral Health Institute $25,000
Lessons In A Lunch Box Road Map: Guidelines to Introduce the Program in Public Schools
Lessons in a Lunch Box: Healthy Teeth Essentials & Facts About Snacks is an oral health literacy program designed to empower children and their families with the proper knowledge about personal oral health care. The program addresses routine dental health maintenance, dietary guidelines and good meal choices, and careers in dentistry using a exclusively designed lunch box.
The lunch container illustrates flossing and brushing on the inside in both English and Spanish. The USDA nutritional food plate (My Plate) diagram is also displayed on the inside of the box. Children in grades 1, 2 and 3 are encouraged to consider careers in dentistry. A reflective sticker at the opening reads, "See yourself becoming a dentist, a dental hygienist, a dental assistant or a dental technician.” The lunch box provides children with their very own Dental Care in a Carrot case to keep all of the dental hygiene essentials together. The carrot case is designed to store a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and a rinse cup.
The following grant was jointly sponsored by the DTAF and the Dental Lifeline Network:
Howard University $25,000
An innovative Approach to Inter-professional Oral Care for the Elderly
This project is designed to develop a standardized protocol for integrating dental health into comprehensive care in elderly nursing home patients that will allow the nursing staff to triage the patients’ oral health needs according to varying levels of complexity and urgency. Nursing staff will be trained to provide oral exams and categorize the patients into carrying categories of clinical severity and urgency. There will be a pilot test the protocol for integrating dental and medical services into clinical care and foster greater inter-professional collaboration in treating elderly patients in nursing homes. It will determine if an affordable adjunctive telemedicine option that will allow off-site assistance is triaging the patient’s oral health by a dentist. This will provide more accuracy in classification of the oral health of the nursing home patients. This project will utilize telemedicine technology currently in use at Howard University Hospital.
The DTAF has awarded more than $1,000,000 in grant funding to over 50 different innovative projects designed to increase access to oral health care since the inception of the grant program in 2002. Past recipients have used DTAF seed money for innovative programs designed to improve the access to and productivity of the oral health care system by identifying, nurturing, and leveraging promising projects. Visit www.dtafoundation.org for more information.