RELEASE: New Initiative Launches with 14 Clinics to Reimagine Efficient, Effective Oral Health Care

August 17, 2022

The Community Oral Health Transformation Initiative in North Carolina will test a value-based model of care and set the stage for long-term policy reform

CARY, NC – A new initiative has launched with 14 dental clinics across North Carolina exploring a new model of oral health care delivery. The safety-net clinics participating in the Community Oral Health Transformation (COrHT) Initiative in North Carolina are part of a learning community that aims to reimagine what efficient oral health care looks like.

The COrHT Initiative in North Carolina is a partnership between the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC), a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI), and CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.

“Supporting the integration of oral health and primary health care, expanding the use of teledentistry, and advancing minimally invasive care are fundamental steps towards creating a more accessible, equitable, and integrated health system for all,” said Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, president and CEO of CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. “We are pleased to be working with an incredible group of partners in North Carolina to advance the Community Oral Health Transformation Initiative and implement the Three Domain Framework in support of community-centered oral health care.”

Value-based oral health care describes a model of health care delivery where payment is tied to health outcomes. It requires a shift from the traditional “fee-for-service” model, where financial incentives are tied to the number of procedures performed.

“We are thrilled to see the Initiative take off,” said Dr. Zachary Brian, director of NCOHC and vice president of impact, strategy, and programs at FHLI. “Value-based oral health care would ideally improve health outcomes, enhance patient experience, and increase cost efficiency. The COrHT Initiative in North Carolina is a groundbreaking opportunity to support change management in community-based clinics and enable them to explore this model of care.”

Participating safety-net dental clinics will advance the shift toward value by embracing CareQuest Institute’s “Three Domain Framework.” The Framework, an output of contributions from more than 110 health leaders, focuses on: 1) tele-prevention (teledentistry); 2) minimally invasive care (non-surgical treatment of disease); and 3) integration of oral health with overall health care, care delivered based on patient risk profile, and alignment of provider and patient values.

Together, the 14 participating dental clinics provide service to people in 47 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Participating clinics include:

  • Access Dental
  • AppHealth Center
  • Blue Ridge Community Health Services
  • Cabarrus Health Alliance
  • Carolina Family Dental Center
  • Clayton Pediatric Dentistry
  • Guilford County DHHS Clinic
  • High Country Community Health
  • Mecklenburg County Pediatric Dental Center
  • Pender County Main Dental Clinic
  • Piedmont Health Services
  • UNC Hispanic Student Dental Association
  • United Health Centers
  • Wake County DHHS Dental Clinic

Over the next year, these clinics will implement a value-based payment system while NCOHC and CareQuest Institute track clinical and financial data, measuring the impact of the Three Domain Framework implementation. Once the initial phase is complete, NCOHC and CareQuest Institute will develop a comprehensive impact report designed to inform long-term reform.

Funded by CareQuest Institute and Blue Cross NC Foundation, the North Carolina COrHT Initiative is modeled after CareQuest Institute’s successful COrHT program in Massachusetts and two previous pilot projects in Ohio and Arizona. The COrHT Initiative in North Carolina is scheduled to run through September 2023.


About FHLI’s North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative
The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative, a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation, works to advance systems-level change, improving all North Carolinians’ overall health and well-being by increasing access and equity in oral health care. NCOHC seeks to influence policy, and through collaboration, listening, and knowledge-sharing, provide maximum impact in achieving optimal oral health care for all North Carolina communities. Learn more at and follow NCOHC on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

About CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® is a national nonprofit championing a more equitable future where every person can reach their full potential through excellent health. CareQuest Institute does this through its work in grantmaking, research, health improvement programs, policy and advocacy, and education as well as its leadership in dental benefits and innovation advancements. CareQuest Institute collaborates with thought leaders, health care providers, patients, and local, state, and federal stakeholders to accelerate oral health care transformation and create a system designed for everyone. To learn more, visit and follow them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

For more information, contact:
Brady Blackburn
Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation