Tell Policy Makers to Save the Dental Safety Net
This morning, VaOHC staff, board members and partners visited the General Assembly to advocate on behalf of the dental safety net.
|L to R: Tom Kurtz (Highland Medical Center), Delegate Onzlee Ware and Robin Haldiman (CHIP of Roanoke Valley)|
Specifically, the group asked legislators to:
- Restore funding to state-supported dental clinics
- Restore funding to free clinics, community health centers and organizations that support the safety net
- Support a Joint Commission on Healthcare study to explore the economic impact of oral health access in Virginia
- Support VCU's faculty licensure bill
|Senator George Barker|
Senator George Barker (right) also stopped by to speak about the Joint Commission study resolution (SJ 50), which he patrons, and to offer insight about the legislative process.
You can continue to advocate on behalf of these issues by contacting your legislator. Visit our website for additional information on state-supported dental clinics and oral health legislation, as well as a list of key legislative contacts.
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VCU School of Dentistry Creates New Department for Oral Health Promotion and Community Outreach
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has created a new department within its School of Dentistry for Oral Health Promotion and Community Outreach. The department, chaired by Kim Isringhausen, BSDH, RDH, MPH, was formed to expand community engagement activities of students and faculty in the School of Dentistry. The BS program in Dental Hygiene will administratively reside within this new department and will be directed by Michelle McGregor, RDH, BS, M.Ed.
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Report: Underinsured Visit ER for Dental Pain
A recent USA Today article takes a closer look at un- and underinsured Americans who visit the emergency room (ER) to relieve their dental pain, due to a lack of dental insurance coverage. Of interest, the article points out that ER physicians and health care providers cannot actually pull a tooth or treat dental problems - they can only manage pain. Despite the fact that treatment at a dental clinic would be cheaper and more effective, many states still do not offer a Medicaid dental benefit for adults.
The Coalition is currently advocating to support a Joint Commission on Healthcare study on the economic impact of dental-related ER visits in Virginia. View study legislation (Barker, SJ 50)
For more information, read the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis's report, Use of Emergency Departments for Conditions Related to Poor Oral Healthcare.
Oral Health and Overall Health
______________________General Anesthesia Caries Treatment Associated with Improved Oral Health Quality of Life
A recent study
of Auckland children aged 10 and under found that treatment of early childhood caries under general anesthesia was associated with considerable improvement in their oral health-related quality of life.
Governor Signs Final Regulations for Mobile Dental Clinics
Governor McDonnell has signed final regulations establishing registration requirements for mobile dental clinics and other portable dental operations. The regulations went into effect on January 4, 2012, and can be viewed in full here
(see page 652).
Please visit our website for more oral health information