Excellent Oral Health for ALL Virginians

In This Issue
Save the Date
Dine Out with VaOHC
Interprofessional Learning
Oral Health Champion Spotlight
Of Interest
Save the Date
Friday, Nov. 14
2014 VA Oral Health Summit
Richmond, VA

Premier Sponsors
Delta Dental Green Logo
DentaQuest Logo
Distinguished Sponsors
Sponsor/exhibit opportunities still available. Contact Esther Wong Hershman for details.

Dine Out with VaOHC on Monday, June 2!

Join VaOHC staff at Toast restaurant in Richmond on Monday, June 2! A portion of all food sales (including carry out!) from 11am to 11pm will be donated to VaOHC.
Make your mouth happy!


7007 Three Chopt Rd

Richmond, VA 23226 


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Read about the Coalition's accomplishments


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April 2014 Newsletter

Shenandoah University Empowers Future Providers through Interprofessional Learning


Coordinated, team-based health care can enhance the capacity of health professionals and lead to homogenous, comprehensive health care for the patient, especially those living in medically underserved areas. Shenandoah University (SU) in Winchester is incorporating team-based care into their clinical curriculum by providing interprofessional (IP) learning events for a diverse mix of student disciplines, with encouraging results.


The care team assesses a coughing patient

At the learning events, students from nursing, mental health, dentistry, pharmacy and other fields work together as a care team to assess and evaluate a patient actor presenting with multiple chronic conditions. Because SU does not offer dental education programs, the Virginia Oral Health Coalition connected SU with the dental hygiene program at nearby Lord Fairfax Community College to ensure that oral health was represented on the care team at the event. The student participants reported they are better able to see how other professionals interact with patients and share knowledge among providers. One hygiene student commented, "Our care setting is a lot different, but I was still able to relate to things such as the importance of a thorough patient assessment."

If you are interested in learning how to provide an IP learning event or networking opportunity, contact Katherine Libby at 804.269.8723 or 

Oral Health Champion Spotlight: Dr. Bhavik Desai


When Bhavik Desai, DMD, PhD, looks in a

Dr. Bhavik Desai

patient's mouth, he sees well beyond the teeth. Like all dentists, his passion and training allow him to grasp the myriad ways in which the mouth is fundamentally connected to the body. In his position as assistant professor of oral medicine at VCU School of Dentistry, Dr. Desai impresses the key role future dental professionals play in uncovering many health conditions. Recently, he visited future medical providers at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) to discuss oral medicine - which, for many EVMS students, was their first exposure to oral health subject matter. The room was full of nearly 100 medical students and residents who had questions about specific conditions, such as burning mouth and dry mouth syndromes.


Dr. Desai and other VaOHC partners are pounding the pavement to spread the word about the critical connection between the mouth and the body. Oral health champions like Dr. Desai help to bring oral health back into the realm of general health care and underline the importance of oral health among all disciplines of future health care providers. By integrating oral health into all aspects of health care in the Commonwealth, Virginians will experience increased access to dental referrals, screenings and education, and ultimately, better health outcomes. 


If you are interested in making an impact by sharing your oral health expertise in the community, contact Katherine Libby at 804.269.8723 or

Of Interest


Oral Health and Overall Health

Smile CircleOral health and overall health are fundamentally intertwined. The following links present current information on how oral health is connected to overall health and well-being.  




Study: Dental-related Emergency Department Visits Cost Nearly $1B a Year


Money A recent study has found that patients are resorting to the emergency department in record numbers to treat dental issues, at a huge cost to the health care system. The study recommends better referral relationships between hospitals and safety net dental providers as well as an increase in funding for routine preventive care.


Read a summary article Dr. Bicuspid


All Veterans Now Eligible for VA Dental Coverage


marine_soldier_solutes.jpg The Federal Government has authorized a national dental insurance program for veterans who are enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and individuals enrolled in the VA's CHAMPVA program. Individuals must enroll through the VA but can receive care through any dentist who is signed up for the program.


View more information at



Upcoming Events


Please visit our website for more oral health information