Virginia Oral Health Coalition

  Excellent Oral Health for ALL Virginians   

In This Issue
April 29th is the Next Coalition Meeting in Richmond
Health Insurance Exchange in VA
NOVA Trainings Scheduled - Virginia Dental Home Initiative
MOM Project Training
Happy Birthday Affordable Care Act
Articles of Interest
Register Now!
The next Virginia Oral Health Coalition luncheon is April 29th at 11:30!

Among the agenda items: Sarah Raskin, a doctoral student from the University of Arizona and Fellow at the Healthy Appalachia Institute at UVA-Wise, will share preliminary findings from her qualitative research on oral health and dental care in southwest Virginia. 


Senator Durbin asks MLB to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park

Senator Durbin asks MLB to Knock Tobacco Out of the Park 

A coalition of ten organizations, including the ADA are encouraging Major League Baseball to go tobacco free beginning in 2012. According to the CDC. smokeless tobacco use by teen boys has increased by 36% since 2001. The use of smokeless tobacco increases risks for cancer, gum disease, tooth decay and erosion of tooth enamel.




Health Insurance Exchange in Virginia
Work is well under way to create the Health Benefit Exchange for Virginia. The Affordable Care Act mandates oral health as an essential benefit for children; to fulfill this mandate the exchange must provide a dental insurance provider either as a stand-alone dental plan or through a medical plan. How the exchange in Virginia is designed will determine if there is a pediatric-only dental benefit (necessary to ensure families can afford the pediatric dental benefit) and if the benefit is comprehensive, affordable, understandable and readily available.

The Virginia Health Reform Initiative Advisory Council will provide recommendations regarding the structure and governance of the exchanges by October 1, 2011. The Council has scheduled three meetings (May 26, July 18 and Sept.9) and will publish a series of white papers on health benefit exchange issues and distribute them for public comment. The meeting agendas and discussion will be driven by the white papers and related public comment.  Time for public comment will also be provided during the meetings.
Virginia Dental Home Initiative - NOVA

The Virginia Dental Home Initiative is providing two trainings in Northern Virginia, on May 13th in Oakton and June 3rd in southern Fairfax County. VDHI training provides an opportunity for dental professionals and Head Start Educators to come together to learn strategies and techniques to both provide oral health care to young children and to teach the importance of a lifetime of good oral health to children and their caregivers. The Virginia Dental Home Initiative was created to help break the cycle of poor oral health habits and ensure all Virginia children have a dental home.  For more information or to register for one of the northern Virginia trainings click here.

MOM Project Training

Are you interested in helping uninsured adults get dental care?

Have you wondered about ways you could help make this happen in your community? 


MOM (Mission of Mercy) is an outreach event providing dental care to hundreds of individuals in a one to three day span. The Virginia Dental Association Foundation in conjunction with the Virginia Health Care Foundation will present a workshop in Richmond to teach you how to plan a MOM event in your community; 3 CE credits are available. The cost of the workshop is $25 and includes 3 CE credits, food and materialsRegister Now.

Happy Birthday Affordable Care Act 
Just over a year ago the Affordable Care Act became law.  With this reform of health care comes a pediatric dental benefit and 18 oral health provisions intended to improve capacity, workforce and prevention efforts.  Unfortunately the majority of these provisions remain unfunded. Please take a moment to  contact your federal members of Congress to convey the message that oral health is essential to overall health.  Urge them to fulfill the promise of the Affordable Care act by funding cost-effective prevention, oral health promotion and disease management and to maintain current funding for the oral health programs that are currently on the chopping block. 
Of Interest


Virginia's Medicaid Dental Program Recognized


Virginia is touted as model for improving the provision of Medicaid Dental Services in a recent report published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The report highlights innovations and initiatives in the areas of partnerships and collaborations, financing, administration, education, and dental home initiatives.



Strategies to Improve Collaboration Between State Oral Health Programs and Health Center Oral Health Programs

This issue brief, funded by the Maternal and Child Bureau, helps state and territorial oral health programs, health centers, policymakers, and others recognize and support opportunities for collaboration between state programs and health centers.


Assessing the Relationship Between Children's Oral Health Status and That of Their Mothers

This article presents findings from a study to determine whether an association existed between the oral health status of mothers and that of their children. The authors found that higher levels of untreated dental caries or tooth loss among mothers is a strong indicator of more or more severe dental caries in their children, and that the effect of poor maternal oral health on children's oral health is significant, regardless of poverty status. An abstract of the article from the Journal of the American Dental Association is available here.


IOM Report: Advancing Oral Health In America 


The Institute of Medicine just released a report in response to a 2009 request from the Health Resources Administration (HRSA) to assess the current oral health care system and recommend strategies to improve oral health care in America.  The report recommends that HHS design an oral health initiative based on the areas in greatest need of attention and on the approaches that have the most potential for creating improvements.