Recent Announcement

Cross-RHEC Oral Health Workgroup Shares Stories From The Field

posted Jun 14, 2017, 2:16 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Jun 14, 2017, 2:17 PM ]

The NPA Cross-RHEC Oral Health Workgroup was formed to advance oral health equity within minority populations in the United States. In an effort to spread awareness about the importance of access to preventative and restorative oral health care, the group collected accounts from individuals who have experienced challenges in accessing such services.

Here are their stories:

The Cross-RHEC Oral Health Workgroup Announces Its Oral Health Equity Hero Award Recipient

posted Jun 2, 2017, 7:39 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Jun 2, 2017, 11:49 AM ]

Becca Matusovich was named as the 2017 Cross-RHEC Oral Health Equity Award recipient. The award recognizes individuals and/or organizations that support community efforts to promote oral health equity and eliminate oral health disparities.

Ms. Matusovich is a Policy Associate at the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy within the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, and she coordinates the SmilePartners dental access initiative in Maine. SmilePartners, launched as a pilot program to address the lack of access to dental care, allows Ms. Matusovich to focus on something of great importance to her: addressing oral health disparities by focusing on systemic solutions that connect economic well-being, social supports, community engagement, and public health.

Dental disease often can result in costly emergency room visits and lost wages in Maine. To address this, SmilePartners was formed in 2013 as a dental access workgroup under the Greater Portland Refugee and Immigrant Health Collaborative to provide affordable restorative and dental care to the immigrant/refugee community. The pilot program was funded by Northeast Delta Dental and the Cumberland District Public Health Council.

To promote oral health equity, SmilePartners provides oral health literacy education to participants and relies on community health worker (CHW) support its implementation. Participants receive dental care services on a sliding fee scale. The successes of the pilot program include an 80% completion rate and a 97% appointment adherence, with 80% of participants planning to continue preventive appointments.

The workgroup currently is creating a financial model that will ensure the program’s sustainability, and it plans to launch another cohort in summer of 2017. SmilePartners will continue to work with refugees and immigrants and is planning to treat young adults aging out of foster care.

The Latest Issue Of Network Spotlight: Caring For Each Other And The People We Serve Is Now Available

posted May 16, 2017, 12:00 PM by Tech Support   [ updated May 16, 2017, 12:01 PM ]

The Network Spotlight is brought to you by the Oral Health 2020 Network. The Oral Health 2020 Network is a diverse network of individuals and organizations at the local, state, and national level to ensure policy, financing, care, and community are aligned to promote oral health as an essential part of overall health and well-being. The Network Spotlight is designed to keep Network members abreast with current developments from both inside and outside of the Network.

See below to view/download the latest edition of The Network

The Nomination Period For The Cross RHEC Oral Health Workgroup’s Health Equity Hero Award Is Now Open

posted Oct 13, 2016, 6:02 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Apr 21, 2017, 11:02 AM ]

The Health Equity Hero award will feature the exemplary achievement of individuals and/or organizations that support community efforts to promote oral health equity and eliminate oral health disparities.

Fill out the application below and then email the completed application to on or before November 16, 2016. See below for more information.

Health Equity Hero Information flyer
Health Equity Hero Application Form

SHEC Announces Effort to Create a New Oral Health Needs Index

posted Mar 30, 2016, 5:05 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Apr 21, 2017, 11:02 AM ]

During its December 3 – 4, 2015, Annual Review and Planning Session in Atlanta, GA, the Southeastern Health Equity Council (SHEC) announced that one of its member organizations, Critical Learning Systems, Inc. (Cherry Houston, PhD, MPH, RN), received funding from DentaQuest Foundation to create a new Oral Health Needs Index (OHNI). The SHEC is a project partner, along with McNary and Associates, LLC (Lacey McNary, MSW), the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the Meharry Medical College, the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry and the Texas Health Institute. The project’s goal is to demonstrate the relationship between oral health and systemic health, including those variables in the context of equity and social justice, and to develop and disseminate tools that communities and organizations can ultimately use for policy work. The index will address two gaps: the need for oral health data in the SHEC’s report card; and the need to understand how oral health, social determinants of health and health equity are interwoven. The OHNI will be an interactive tool for assessing barriers. The proposed methodology combines an education needs index with a geographic information systems-based model that was developed to assess community vulnerability to extreme weather events.

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