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Virginia Oral Health Coalition Update

April 2017

In This Issue
 
Upcoming Meetings & Free Trainings

View our new online 

May 10 | Glen Allen
Unconscious Bias
Explore issues related to health equity and unconscious bias

May 11 | Farmville 
Community Conversation: Oral Health Care for Individuals with Special Health Care Needs

May 12-13 | Farmville 
Practical Guide to Treating Dental Patients with Special Health Care Needs

May 15 | Glen Allen

School Age Oral Health Workgroup Meeting
RSVP 

May 22 | Glen Allen
Greater Richmond and Petersburg Area Oral Health Forum 

June 1 | Winchester
Community Conversation: Oral Health Care for Individuals with Special Health Care Needs

June 2-3 | Winchester
Practical Guide to Treating Dental Patients with Special Health Care Needs

June 13 | Glen Allen 
Early Dental Home Workgroup Meeting
RSVP  

July 12 | Oakton
Northern Virginia Oral Health Steering Committee

October 12 | Oakton
Northern Virginia Oral Health Steering Committee

November 2 | Richmond
2017 Virginia Oral Health Summit 
Save the date 


Northern Virginia Oral Health Steering Committee

The Northern Virginia Oral Health Steering Committee met in April to continue building on the work initiated at the Northern Virginia Oral Health Forum in January (view meeting notes). At the April meeting, the group formed two subcommittees focused on adults and children

To join the Steering Committee or a subcommittee or learn more, contact Lauren GrayThe full steering committee will meet quarterly; visit our website to view meeting dates and locations. 


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

 

 

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Virginia Oral Health Coalition

4200 Innslake Drive

Glen Allen, Virginia 23060

sholland@vaoralhealth.org

804.269.8720

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ALERT: New Amendments to American Health Care Act Harm People with Pre-existing Conditions, Speed Cuts to Medicaid and Fail to Cover Critical Health Services 

The House could vote as early as Friday on the American Health Care Act with new amendments that further strip away coverage and protections for Americans. The House Freedom Caucus agreed to a series of amendments to the AHCA that enable states to determine their own essential health benefits (a list of benefits, including pediatric dental, mental health services and hospitalization, that insurers are required to cover) and waive certain community rating provisions that prevent health insurers from varying premiums within a geographic area based on age, gender and health status. This ultimately eliminates protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. 

The main points of the bill remain unchanged - it eliminates funding for key public health programs, guts Medicaid, ends support for Medicaid expansion. It will result in 21 million uninsured Americans by 2020. Lack of support from the Freedom Caucus was a major reason why this bill died several weeks ago. 

Congressional Democrats remain strongly opposed to the bill, while moderate Republicans (who have the power to kill the bill) are largely silent.  

Please call your Congressional representatives and urge them to vote NO on this legislation. (Click to find your legislator.) For more detailed information about the AHCA, you can read our February health policy update or check out research and resources from our national and state partners: 

 
Greater Richmond and Petersburg Area Oral Health Forum | May 22

Join us on May 22 at the Greater Richmond and Petersburg Area Oral Health Forum to build multi-sector partnerships and improve regional health. The Forum, made possible with support from Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, will bring together stakeholders from health, education, social services, government, and other fields to examine regional oral health indicators and disparities and kick off regional work to improve Virginia's C+ grade on the 2016 Virginia Oral Health Report Card. 

Register Now

Of Interest
  
Oral Health and Overall Health

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

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Why Dental Coverage Matters: A Toolkit

Medicaid and CHIP coverage (known as "FAMIS" in Virginia) provide 4 in 10 children with affordable, comprehensive dental insurance. Proposed federal changes to the Affordable Care Act threaten to remove oral health protections and reduce access to affordable dental coverage. Oral health advocates must continue reaching out to decision-makers and offering support for these programs. To help, the Children's Dental Health Project (CDHP) has developed Why Dental Coverage Matters: A Toolkit with advocacy resources, templates and webinars. Find your legislators.

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Oral Health: An Essential Element of Healthy Aging

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has created a new initiative Oral Health: An Essential Element of Healthy Aging to encourage an interprofessional approach to oral health and to advance research, education and policy on the issue. The GSA's recent newsletter includes an overview of oral and systemic health, barriers to dental care, workforce issues, and future steps to improve dental care and financing for older Americans.

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Virginia Health Care Foundation's Prizes for Progress

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) is granting a total of $25,000 in unrestricted funds to two current and/or former grantees just for explaining how the VHCF grant made a difference to the organization. Applications are due Monday, May 15. Download the flyer for details.

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Uninsured Kids More Likely to Experience Dental Problems

A national survey of parents reveals children without dental insurance are twice as likely as insured peers to have had a recent toothache or dental problem that affected their ability to eat, sleep or concentrate in school. Low-income and minority respondents showed more pronounced dental access issues. The survey underscores the need to ensure families can access affordable, comprehensive health and dental coverage. Read the full summary from CDHP and Benevis Foundation.

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Chlorhexidine Mouthwash Effectively Reduces Plaque

A recent systematic review concluded that rinsing with chlorhexidine mouthwash for several weeks is an effective way to reduce plaque, when used along with regular oral hygiene practices. Read more from Dr. Bicuspid.

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School-based Dental Sealant Recommendations

School-based dental sealants are a proven form of prevention, particularly for those most at-risk for cavities. The national Sealant Work Group has released a report with 16 recommendations to strengthen the availability of school-based sealant programs to reach more children. Read more about the report.

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