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.