Virginia Oral Health Coalition

  Excellent Oral Health for ALL Virginians   

In This Issue
Save the Date! October 21st: Virginia Oral Health Coalition Summit
Dr. Elizabeth Berry Awarded ADA Grant
Virginia Exchange: Competition
Dr. Tegwyn Brickhouse Receives AAPD Award
Medicaid Faces an Uncertain Future
Articles of Interest
Virginia Receives a 'C' on Pew Report Card

October 21st - 

Virginia Oral Health Coalition

The Virginia Oral Health Coalition will host its first annual Oral Health Summit in Richmond on Friday, October 21st. The agenda includes state and national experts in oral health who will provide information on topics, such as medical/dental collaboration, policy options for improving oral health access and oral health workforce issues. 

Virginia Oral Health Coalition Awarded ADAF Grant

The Virginia Oral Health Coalition received the 2011 American Dental Association Foundation (ADAF) Give Kids A Smile Continuity of Care Grant. With the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Berry, Coalition member and associate professor at VCU School of Dentistry, the $18,000 grant will provide funds for dental treatment to provide continuity of care for children identified through Give Kids a Smile and MOM projects throughout the state.
June 2011 Bulletin

Virginia Exchange: Competition

The Virginia Oral Health Coalition reiterated its position that the pediatric dental benefit provided as part of Virginia's Health Benefit Exchange must be accessible, affordable and understandable in its written comment submitted to the Virginia Health Reform Initiative (VHRI).  The comment was in response to a white paper published by the VHRI that explored how to achieve competition among the insurance plans offered as part of the Exchange. The white paper, as well as public comment in response to the white paper, will help form the agenda and discussion at the next VHRI meeting on Friday, July 15th.

Virginia Oral Health Coalition Chair Recipient of AAPD Award 


Dr. Tegwyn Brickhouse, chair of the Virginia Oral Health Coalition and the Pediatric Department at VCU School of Dentistry, was awarded the AAPD's Jerome B. Miller "For the Kids" Award. This prestigious award is presented annually to an up-and-coming clinician, researcher or academian in pediatric dentistry for their outstanding efforts directed to children's oral health and welfare.

Medicaid Faces an Uncertain Future

This month oral health policymakers, administrators and providers gathered at the Medicaid/State Children's Health Insurance Program's first annual symposium in Washington, D.C.  Attendees discussed the dangers that threaten many federal and state oral health programs for the underserved and underprivileged with current and upcoming budget cuts.  Patrick Finnerty, Virginia Oral Health Coalition board member and former director of Virginia's Department of Medical Assistance Services (the state's Medicaid office) was a featured speaker and provided a view of the current state of Medicaid throughout the country. Finnerty stated, "They don't want to do this, but states are running out of tools to control the costs. Anyone who has been involved in Medicaid knows how tough these past few years have been."

Of Interest


ADA Advocacy Update on Dental Infrastructure 

This June 2011 ADA advocacy update titled "Surveying the Federal Dental Infrastructure" gives a general overview of the main components within the federal system that comprise the "oral health safety net" and illustrates ADA's mission to advance the oral health of the public despite massive budget cuts that the federal government is facing. 



Advancing Oral Health in America

This report explores what measures the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can take to improve the nation's oral health and its care. Recommendations were made by the Institute of Medicine and stress the unique opportunity that the HHS has to improve issues within the oral health care field, such as education, training, and service and delivery.



U.S. Oral Health Care System's Capability to Treat Children with Special Needs

This article, published by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, determines the nation's ability to treat those children with with special needs by collecting national data from special needs hospitals and programs as well as from oral health care providers that treat special needs patients. After preliminary analysis, researchers found that the U.S. has a limited capability to treat this population due to its limited number of available dental appointments. An abstract of this paper is available online. 



CDC's Division of Oral Health Releases Its Strategic Plan

CDC's Division of Oral Health released its Strategic Plan for 2011-2014. The strategic plan describes the vision, mission, and core functions of the oral health program and highlights its eight goals and associated initiatives that address the oral health care needs of the nation.

Virginia Receives a 'C' on Pew Report Card

Virginia received a 'C' on the 50-state report card "Making Coverage Matter" released by Pew Center on the States. Virginia's oral health grade is based on eight evidence-based benchmarks that include policies related to access to care, state specific dental data collection, dental workforce and oral health prevention programs. Of importance is Virginia's failure to meet national Medicaid reimbursement for dental services - a decline since last year's assessment.    


The Virginia Oral Health Coalition released a press statement in response to Pew's oral health report card. More information regarding Virginia's median oral health grade, is available on the Coalition website.

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