This month we are celebrating Children’s Oral Health Month (and Pet Oral Health Month, too). We have a lot of news to share, from tips on brushing your furry friends’ teeth to theannouncement of Oral Health Day 2020, so take a moment to catch up with NCOHC and learn what’s going on in the world of oral health!
Be sure to read how the Collaborative is engaging our partners, working to advance policy, and improving access for children in high-need settings across our state. See how our partners are working in schools to improve oral health in Bertie County, and check out a few takeaways from the recent 2020 Public Health Leaders’ Conference.
We are at a turning point in North Carolina. Equity is front and center across the public health landscape, and our partners are working hard to take this momentum and channel it into real, effective change. I am looking forward to engaging stakeholders across our state as we work toward great oral health for ALL North Carolinians!
Dr. Zachary Brian
P.S. We are a collaborative organization, so our strength is in our diversity. I have a favor to ask: would you share this newsletter with one friend or colleague? Thanks in advance!
Takeaways from the 2020 Public Health Leaders’ Conference
In many ways, this year’s Public Health Leaders’ Conference marks a turning point in North Carolina. The theme of advancing health equity, unified across public health leaders, is a promising change. We sat down with Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation President and CEO Anne Thomas to discuss the conference and her takeaways. Read more here.
Janet Reaves Award
In highlighting the connection between oral and systemic health, the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation’s North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative is sponsoring the Janet Reaves Community Achievement Award. This award has been created to recognize a champion in North Carolina who has worked innovatively and collaboratively in the safety-net setting to further the oral health of North Carolina’s residents.
Janet was a tireless advocate for North Carolinians, working statewide to improve the health of those with chronic disease. Her leadership, innovation, and determination established a culture of excellence. Janet excelled at creating partnerships and helped champion innovative quality improvement initiatives that put North Carolina at the forefront in chronic disease management. Janet maintained a positive attitude, inspired others with her spirit and determination, and served as a role model and mentor to many—particularly those with a passion for serving the people of North Carolina.
February is Children’s Oral Health Month! Quality preventive treatment is crucial during childhood to ensure sustained, quality oral health throughout life. Be sure to read our partner spotlight on NC Child’s Sarah Vidrine below for more information about how we are increasing access for the most underserved in North Carolina.
In his weekly newsletter, the Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, Real Admiral Timothy Ricks, DMD, discussed the need for dental practices to begin screening for depression, diabetes, and blood pressure, as well as providing vaccinations and engaging patients about the dangers of opioids.
We believe that integrated care models are necessary as we continue to work toward more comprehensive and equitable care. That integration must happen in medical practices and dental practices alike, especially as we continue to see further evidence of the oral-systemic connection.
To sign up for Rear Admiral Ricks’ newsletter, send an email to USPHSCDO@ihs.gov.
Last month we sat down with NC Child’s Sarah Vidrine to discuss the recent Rule 16W Change and how it will impact children’s oral health in North Carolina. As we celebrate Children’s Oral Health Month, we are excited about the potential this rule change brings for expanded school-based oral health programs in high-need settings. Read the interview here.
Did You Know?
Pet Oral Health Month
February is not just Children’s Oral Health Month; it is also Pet Oral Health Month! Our fur babies can suffer from tooth decay and gum disease just as we can, and their oral health often goes neglected. Check out this video from the American Veterinary Medical Association about how to best care for your pets’ teeth.
Fluoride Turns 75
This year marks the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation, one of the greatest public health successes of the 20th century. Despite its success in equitably improving oral health outcomes, misinformation continues to spread, creating concern in communities across the country.
We are excited to announce NCOHC’s Oral Health Day 2020! This year we are focused on updating our policy framework to welcome innovations in teledentistry, a promising tool to expand access and coverage in rural North Carolina. Register today and join us at the North Carolina General Assembly on June 3.
The North Carolina Community Health Center Association will host the 2020 Clinical Conference on Quality and Chronic Disease from April 8 – 10, 2020. This year’s conference will feature a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Oral Health Section. Sessions will focus on oral health, behavioral health, emergency training for dental hygienists, and more.
Finally, if you or your partner organizations are advancing oral health access and equity in innovative ways, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Brady Blackburn to collaborate and potentially showcase your work in an upcoming newsletter!