CDC awards grants to 16 states to strengthen oral health programs

Aug. 8, 2008
New cooperative agreements range from $234,408 to $355,000 per year and are renewable for up to five years.

ATLANTA, Georgia--The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that 16 states will receive a total of $4.6 million in the next year and approximately $22 million during the next five years to strengthen their oral health programs and improve the oral health of their residents.

The states receiving these awards are Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

The new cooperative agreements range from $234,408 to $355,000 per year and are renewable for up to five years. The funding is designed to improve basic state oral health services including program leadership and staff support, monitoring oral disease risk factors, and developing and evaluating disease prevention programs such as community water fluoridation and school-based sealant programs.

"The states receiving these awards have documented significant challenges related to the oral health of their citizens," stated William R. Maas, DDS, MPH, director of the CDC Division of Oral Health. "For instance, Maryland has a need for statewide school-based services, the majority of eligible children in Minnesota do not receive dental sealants through public health care programs, and only 40% of people in Louisiana have fluoridated public water supplies."

Strong state-based programs are critical to the nation's oral health. Despite national improvements in oral health, significant dental disease exists across age groups, especially for people with lower incomes and lower educational levels and for some racial and ethnic groups.

CDC worked with the Association of State and Territorial Disease Directors, state oral health programs, and national experts to establish eight essential components for developing and enhancing the infrastructure and capacity of state-based oral health programs.

State oral health programs funded under CDC's previous cooperative agreement strengthened their program infrastructure and capacity, established systems to monitor oral diseases and conditions, built coalitions and partnerships to leverage resources, and increased coordination and promotion of oral disease prevention programs.

CDC support provides states additional opportunity to educate their residents on the importance of oral health, establish oral health coalitions and other partnerships, develop state plans to improve oral health, and monitor whether their states' oral health objectives are being met.

As a result, it is anticipated that these states will be able to increase policies and programs supporting the prevention of oral diseases.

For more information, go to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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