Virginia Oral Health Coalition Update

November 2016

In This Issue
Upcoming Legislative Events
Legislative Webinar
Wed., Dec. 21, 9:30 a.m.

2017 Legislative Day
Virginia General Assembly
Tues., Jan. 31, 2017

Free CE: Dental Care for Adults with Disabilities  
Friday, December 16 
Wytheville, Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services have partnered with VaOHC to offer a free CE program in Wytheville, Virginia on Friday, December 16, for dental providers who wish to improve their skills in treating adults with special health care needs. (Note: This program was previously scheduled for November 18.)

Summit Presentations and Pictures Online

View presentations and photos from the 2016 Virginia Oral Health Summit - and, don't forget to tag yourself! 

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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Election Update 

The make-up of Virginia's General Assembly saw little change this election cycle; however, on the cusp of a new administration and Congress, the Virginia Oral Health Coalition (VaOHC) is paying close attention to federal policy proposals that may have a significant impact on care and coverage for Virginians. 

Though President-elect Trump's administration has not provided many details, ACA repeal and Medicaid block grants are getting a lot of air-time; additionally, the recent choices for Secretary of Health and Human Services and leadership of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signal big changes.  Regardless of the political transitions, VaOHC staff and partners will continue to our efforts to ensure all Virginians have of access to affordable comprehensive health care that is inclusive of oral health.

Here are a few of the things we are focused on right now: 

FAMIS Funding Renewal:  FAMIS will run out of funding at the end of September 2017. Known as the Children's Health Insurance Program or "CHIP" in DC, in Virginia, FAMIS provides affordable medical, dental and mental health coverage for more than 104,000 children and 4,600 pregnant women.  We are joining with national and state partners to advocate at the federal level to ensure those covered under Virginia's FAMIS program do not lose access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage. Given the uncertainty about the ACA and Medicaid, protecting FAMIS is more important than ever.  Our friends at the Children's Dental Health Project have a blog post that provides more details.

Analyzing Health Policy Proposals:  Many of the changes the new administration and Congress are likely to consider for Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA could have significant ramifications on medical, dental and mental health coverage for Virginians.  We will continue to work at the state and federal levels to educate policy makers about the health and economic value of affordable and accessable comprehensive health care, analyze policy proposals, and advocate to ensure comprehensive health care is accessible, affordable and inclusive of oral health. Our friends at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Mannatt do a terrific job of outlining some potential policy changes.

Medicaid Expansion:  Virginia remains one of the few states that has not expanded Medicaid coverage to provide insurance for nearly 400,000 Virginians.  Depsite the outcome of the election, Governor McAuliffe and partners from across the state remain committed to advocating for Medicaid expansion to provide comprehensive health coverage to underserved Virginians and bring millions of dollars to the commonwealth. 


Stay Involved

Register for a webinar at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 21 to discuss the election, the Governor's proposed 2017 budget and VaOHC's legislative priorities for 2017. 



And. join us Tuesday, January 31, for our 2017 Legislative Day to help us reinforce the importance of oral health in Virginia policies. REGISTER

Report Card Activities

The commonwealth received a C+ on the Virginia Oral Health Report Card which graded the state on nine indicators of prevention, coverage, health status and collaboration with high return on investment.  You can check out the Report Card and companion narraitve here

To facilitate change, VaOHC will convene several state and regional workgroups to leverage and align current activities and coordinate new programs and policy initiatives, where appropriate.  Complete our Partnership Form to join a workgroup. 

The first regional meeting (supported in part by the Northern Virginia Health Foundation and the Potomac Health Foundation) is in the Northern Virginia region on Wednesday, January 25.  Contact Regina Potis to receive registration information as soon as it's available.

Opioid Addiction: A Public Health Emergency

In a November 21 letter, Virginia's Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine declared opioid addiction a public health emergency in the commonwealth.  Dental-related issues are one of the most common reasons many uninsured Virginia adults visit the emergency department; more alarming, 81% of these patients receive an opioid prescription.  The American Dental Association urges dentists to renew their commitment to prevent opioid abuse and offers comprehensive prescription opioid resources for providers.  Dr. Levine also lists Virginia-specific resources for providers and patients and recommends every provider register and check the state's Prescription Monitoring Program database before prescribing. 
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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Shop and Support Oral Health 

This holiday season, shop Amazon Smile and a portion of your proceeds will be donated to the Virginia Oral Health Coalition.  It's the same Amazon you know and love, with a little something in return.  Start shopping!

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AAP's Section on Oral Health

The American Academy of Pediatrics' Section on Oral Health (SOOH) is a "group of pediatric dentists, pediatricians, and other allied health professionals interested in learning about and improving children's oral health through collaborative efforts."  The Section focuses on advocacy, education and interprofessional relationship-building.  Learn more about SOOH and membership.

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