Virginia Oral Health Coalition Update

March 2016

In This Issue
Save the Date!

2016 Virginia Oral
Health Summit
Thursday, November 10 
The Westin Richmond

Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities are available. Contact Samantha Dorr for details. 

Adult Dental Access Workgroup Meeting

Wed., April 13, 2016
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
VHHA Bldg | Richmond

At this meeting, we will discuss the cost of providing a dental benefit in Virginia Medicaid and the return on investment for the coverage. 

To RSVP for the Adult Dental Access Workgroup meeting, contact Regina Potis.

Rev Your Bev



Rev Your Bev is a statewide campaign to raise awareness about the health effects of soda and other sugary drinks. 

Rev Your Bev day is May 18. Consider hosting an event and promoting healthy messages


Fluoridation Mini Grants


The Campaign for Dental Health has funding available (up to $500) to help communities that are engaged in an effort to fluoridate the water system or fighting an attempt to remove it. For more info about the funding and application process, contact Hollis Russinof.


Webinar: Integrating Oral Health and Primary Care 


The HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce will host the free webinar "Integrating Oral Health and Primary Care Training" on Tuesday, April 12 at 2:00 p.m. ET, with a robust lineup of speakers from academia, policy and health care delivery.


Welcome New VaOHC Staff!



Lauren Gray, MPH, MSW, is our program and engagement manager. Contact Lauren for questions about our Report Card initiative and other programmatic opportunities.

Regina Potis is our office and program assistant. Contact Regina for questions about workgroup membership, updating your contact information and VaOHC event registration.


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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NEW Project Launch:
Virginia Oral Health
Report Card 

Virginia Oral Health Coalition (VaOHC) staff and leadership are facilitating the development of a Virginia Oral Health Report Card. As envisioned, the Report Card will serve as a tool to measure our collective progress toward meeting the Virginia Oral Health Plan goals and provide a framework for partners to align efforts and identify areas for action. Once designed, VaOHC staff will aggregate report card measures by region and work with regional work groups to identify stakeholder-driven quality improvement activities.

Help Design the Report Card!
Please join your partners at the first Report Card Design Meeting on Monday, May 2 in Richmond. The meeting will provide an overview of the initiative and include an opportunity to refine the vision, discuss potential data sources, and define a process to determine the measures. The final Report Card will be presented at the 2016 Virginia Oral Health Summit on Thursday, November 10.

For questions about the Report Card, contact Lauren Gray. To RSVP for the May 2nd Design Meeting, contact Regina Potis.

Senate Passes Opioids Bill 

In Virginia, heroin and opioid overdose deaths outnumber motor vehicle fatalities. Opioid abuse often leads to heroin dependency and affects Virginians from every walk of life. 

Health professionals, as prescribers and trusted health advisers, have the ability to positively impact the drug crisis. Of note, the U.S. Senate recently passed bipartisan legislation that, if passed by the House, will authorize $300 million in grants to develop local support services and best practices for pain management and prescribing; it also enhances prescription monitoring to track individuals who receive prescriptions from multiple providers.

State leaders are working collectively to address the issue in the commonwealth. Dentists, physicians, pharmacists and other prescribers can use the Prescription Monitoring program to track a patient's prescription history with controlled substances. Additionally, the FDA recently added new black box warnings for immediate-release opioid pain medication to emphasize the risks associated with abuse, including death. The ADA also has a wealth of information about the dental provider's role in preventing opioid diversion, misuse and abuse.

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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Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits: An Overview 

A recent study identified $2.7 billion in dental-related hospital emergency department visits over a three-year period in the U.S.; 30 percent of these visits were by Medicaid-enrolled adults. The Center for Health Care Strategies fact sheet Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits: An Overview explores health care access, utilization and benefits for low-income adults, and reviews the scope of Medicaid benefits currently available in each state. 

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Access to Dental Care in Medicaid: Spotlight on Nonelderly Adults 

Dental disease and tooth loss disproportionately affect low-income individuals. Poor oral health can worsen chronic conditions, like diabetes, and impact employ-ability. The Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief Access to Dental Care in Medicaid: Spotlight on Nonelderly Adults takes an in-depth look at health status and access to care among low-income adults, and explores how Medicaid dental benefits could impact well-being for this population. 

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National Nutrition Research Roadmap

March is National Nutrition 
Month! The National Nutrition Research Roadmap incorporates the role of oral health and dentistry in nutrition. suggesting that dental professionals play a major role in influencing eating patterns and have an opportunity to participate in nutritional sciences research.

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RWJF Clinical Scholars Program

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Clinical Scholars Program is described as a national leadership opportunity for clinically active health providers spanning a range of disciplines to engage in intensive learning, mentoring and networking to lead to transformative change - centered on health equity - in their communities.

REGISTER for an informational webinar about the program on Wednesday, March 30 at Noon ET. 
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