Virginia Oral Health Coalition Update

December 2015

In This Issue

2016 VaOHC Legislative Day


VaOHC staff, board and partners will visit the Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday, February 2 to discuss oral health policy issues with legislators. Anyone is welcome to attend. A light breakfast and talking points will be provided.



View this webinar to learn more about our 2016 legislative priorities.



Williamsburg Health Foundation Grant

VaOHC will receive a grant from the Williamsburg Health Foundation to support oral health integration efforts in the Greater Williamsburg area. Thank you to the Williamsburg Health Foundation!



Special Needs Training Opportunity


Join us for a free CE training "Dental Care Approaches for Adults with Disabilities" on Friday, January 22, 2016, in Oakton, Virginia (view the course agenda). The course is designed for dental professionals who wish to improve their skills caring for adults with special healthcare needs.





Shop & Support Oral Health!


Last-minute holiday shopping on your to-do list? Shop Amazon Smile and a portion of your purchase will be donated to VaOHC!





Workgroup Opportunities


Stakeholders are working collectively to advance the goals of the Virginia Oral Health Plan through workgroups convened by the Virginia Oral Health Coalition.


We invite you to join one of three active workgroups:

  • Kindergarten Policy
  • Early Dental Home
  • Adult Dental Access


If you are interested in joining a workgroup, contact Carrie Wampler and indicate the group(s) of interest.


View workgroup descriptions and upcoming meeting dates.




Please take a moment and support the Coalition's work.



Please check with your HR department to find out if your gift can be matched.  


Virginia Oral Health Coalition

4200 Innslake Drive

Glen Allen, Virginia 23060


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Support Integrated Care through Public Comment
The oral health community has a critical opportunity to support integrated, person-centered care that is inclusive oral health in Virginia's Medicaid delivery system.  The Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) recently released a draft of its application, in follow up to the summary document released in October, and seeks public comment by Wednesday, January 6 at 4:30 p.m. The application noticeably excludes oral health. 

Please join the Coalition in providing comment. Relevant information is below: 
Instructions to submit a written public comment:
  • DMAS requires that comments be in a Microsoft Word Document.
  • Send your comment as an email attachment to by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6.

We encourage you to take part in this key opportunity to impact healthcare for vulnerable Virginians. If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Bedard Holland at 804.269.8724.


Webinar: State Budget and Oral Health Policy Update
VaOHC hosted a webinar to discuss the Governor's biennial budget (released on December 17), the DSRIP opportunity for Virginia, and the Coalition's 2016 legislative priorities. 

ADA Health Policy Institute Report
The American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute just released a state-by-state report of oral health indicators called, The Oral Health Care System: A State-by-State Analysis.

Virginia analysis:

  • Between 2003 and 2013, reimbursement rates for child dental services in Medicaid decreased 5.7%.
  • 96% of Virginia's population on community water systems receive fluoridation, compared to the 75% national average.
  • In 2014, 31% percent of Virginia dentists participated in Virginia's Smiles for Children Medicaid program; nationally, 42% of dentists accept Medicaid.

View Virginia specific infographic.


Hear More About the Report:

Register for an interactive webinar by the ADA Health Policy Institute on Wednesday, January 6 from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. to learn more about this new resource.


Marketplace Dental Coverage Not Comparable to CHIP Coverage
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a report which determined Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, known as "FAMIS" in Virginia, offers more comprehensive and affordable dental benefits for children than quality health plans (QHPs) in health insurance marketplaces.  The report concludes QHPs are not comparable to CHIP coverage.

CHIP funding is set to expire in September 2017; if this happens children currently enrolled in CHIP will be expected to purchase coverage through the exchange, despite the diminished coverage. This is an issue VaOHC is monitoring closely.
Read more about CHIP from the Children's Dental Health Project.
Of Interest
Oral Health and Overall Health

Oral 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. 
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Dental Hygiene Is Public Health

The goal of public health is to protect and promote the health of the public across three essential domains: health protection, disease prevention and health promotion. As described in this RDH magazine article, dental hygienists exemplify public health science and practice by counselling on nutrition, educating patients about plaque removal, promoting restorative dentistry to decrease infection in the body, and explaining the relationship between oral health and overall health. 
Thank you to all the dental hygienists for your expertise and dedication to public health!