Virginia Oral Health Coalition

  Excellent Oral Health for ALL Virginians

In This Issue
Study on Economic Impact of Oral Health in VA
CE Program: Oral Health Care for Older Adults
Honoring Deamonte Driver
Medical and Dental Collaboration Initiative
Interprofessional Education Collabortive
Of Interest

Update: Joint Commission
on Healthcare to Study  Economic Impact of Oral Health



The Joint Commission on Healthcare, at the request of Senator George Barker and Delegate John O'Bannon, has agreed to study the economic impact of oral health access issues in the Commonwealth. The Coalition championed this study, which will collect data on emergency department visits for preventable dental problems, to gain further evidence on the need to expand oral health access in Virginia. Similar studies have already been conducted in other states.


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CE Program: Oral Health Care for Older Adults

The Virginia Center on Aging will host a free continuing education program focusing on an interdisciplinary approach to oral health care in older adults. The program will be held on June 1, 2012, in Chesterfield, VA. CE credit will be available for dental professionals, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dietitians, occupational therapists and nursing home administrators.


Download the meeting flyer 



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February 2012 Bulletin

Honoring Deamonte with Better Oral Health Access


DeamonteTomorrow, February 25, marks the 5-year anniversary of Deamonte Driver's tragic death after bacteria from his decaying tooth caused a fatal brain infection. Deamonte has left a legacy of positive changes in his home state of Maryland, and the impact of his death was felt throughout the country. 


Last week in Virginia, state representatives recognized the importance of access to oral health care by restoring funding to the dental safety net. Still, there is much progress to be made to honor the life that was lost. In Virginia, only 25% of dentists accept Medicaid, due to the low reimbursement rate. Additionally, of all Virginia children enrolled in Medicaid, only 50% saw a dentist last year.


To see what the Coalition is doing to drive oral health access in the legislature, view our Virginia Legislature 2012 webpage.


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Coalition Launches Planning Phase for Medical and Dental Collaboration Initiative

The Coalition has officially launched the planning phase for its Medical and Dental Collabortion Initiative*, which seeks to improve collaboration between medical and dental providers.


Russell Maier MD
Dr. Maier

Stakeholders, decision-makers and experts in policy, practice and curriculum from across Virginia will convene in Richmond on April 20, 2012, at the Medical and Dental Collaboration Roundtable to begin outlining a plan to improve oral health outcomes and chronic disease management in the state. The Roundtable event will feature keynote speaker Russell Maier, MD**, an expert in medical and dental collaboration, as well as interactive focus group sessions on education, practice and policy.


If you're interested in attending the April 20 event, please email Katherine Libby, Program Manager, at   


* The Medical and Dental Collaboration Initiative is funded by a planning grant from the DentaQuest Foundation under their Oral Health 2014 initiative.

** Dr. Maier is the Program Director for Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program, Chair of Washington Dental Service Foundation and Co-chair of the Smiles for Life development team.


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Leading Health Education Associations Combine to Form New Organization for Interprofessional Education and Practice


Six leading health education associations have formally united to create a new national organization called the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC). The IPEC will focus on providing more patient-centered care by better integrating and coordinating the education of nurses, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, public health professionals and other members of the patient health care team.


Read the full press release from the Association of American Medical Colleges


Of Interest

Oral Health and Overall Health
Oral health and overall health are fundamentally intertwined. The February issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association explores the dental impact of sleep disorders.  


Kansas Dental Association Launches "KIND" Loan Repayment Program

The Kansas Dental Association, in partnership with the Delta Dental of Kansas Foundation, has launched a loan repayment program called the Kansas Initiative for New Dentists (KIND). The KIND initiative will provide funding for loan forgiveness programs and will be awarded each year to new dentists who relocate to specifically identified dental shortage areas.



Inflammation is Key to Understanding Periodontal Disease 

Researchers are now beginning to understand the key role that inflammation plays in the progression of periodontal disease. Current studies are exploring the nature of the bacteria that causes inflammation and the genetic and physiologic foundations that determine how the body responds to the bacteria.


CMCS Selects Chief Dental Officer

The Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey and Certification (CMCS) has selected Dr. Lynn Mouden, DDS, as their Chief Dental Officer. Dr. Mouden was previously chair for the Arkansas Oral Health Coalition, where he was successful in advocating for water fluoridation in the state. He currently serves as the Director of Arkansas's Office of Oral Health.
HRSA Selects New Senior Dental Advisor  

CAPT Rene Joskow will serve as the Senior Dental Advisor for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the Office of Special Health Affairs where she will provide leadership across HRSA on issues and activities related to oral health care. CAPT Joskow is board certified in Dental Public Health, is a fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and holds both DDS and MPH degress from Columbia University.


Study Shows Water Fluoridation May Be Inadequate in Rural Areas of the US

Water GlassA study from the West Virginia Rural Health Research Center shows a need to improve access to adequately fluoridated public water for rural populations. The study also indicates a need to improve oral health education, prevention methods and access to care for rural populations.

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