9th Annual Conference Recap - October 3, 2014 Salem Oregon

to all participants for making Oregon Oral Health Coalition's (OrOHC) 9th Annual Conference and launching of the Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon a success.  Your feedback tells us that we have reached our goal of providing a stimulating program and environment for sharing information, generating ideas, starting collaborations, and building professional relationships.

The 9th Annual Conference carried an education theme - Embracing Partnerships in Integrated Care: Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon.  Over 200 dental and medical professionals - including service providers, advocates, educators, students, and government officials - from every corner of the state joined oral health experts to help launch a new direction for Oregon.  "What I observed was a passionate partnership amongst attendees in pursuit of the work ahead and a desire to walk in synchronous effort", says Dr. Kenneth Wright, DMD, MPH, Kaiser Permanente and OrOHC Board Member.

Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon

The Oral Health Funders Collaborative, the Oregon Oral Health Coalition, and the Oregon Health Authority unveiled a Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon.  The Plan highlights strategies that will deliver better care, better health, and lower costs for Oregonians of all ages and backgrounds.

The oral health community is incredibly proud to share this plan with you.  It was a collaborative effort that involved communities and stakeholders from around the state, and has the support of key members of our state government.  Optimal oral health is fundamental to our quality of life, and the message is clear that oral health should be treated as an integral part of overall health in Oregon.  Click here to read and print the Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon.

We hope this plan will inspire and guide everyone who is striving to improve oral health in our state, including health care, government, business, philanthropy, nonprofit, and community leaders.  We believe that through this dedicated effort, Oregonians will eventually enjoy the best oral health in the nation.


We were honored to host an incredible Conference faculty.  Dr. Donald Chi - Associate Professor, University of Washington School of Dentistry, opened the Conference with an insightful, thought-provoking keynote address.  Our late morning speaker, Dr. Julie McKee - Kentucky State Dental Director, discussed infrastructure and the importance of having a State Dental Director as well as highlighted portions of the Strategic Plan.  We closed out the morning session with Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson challenging attendees to influence their local representatives for innovative health care.

Our Prevention and Systems of Care Panel, consisting of Dr. Mark Koday - Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Brenda Lewis - Umpqua Community Health Center, Jillian Schrupp - Providence Health and Services, and Dr. Patricia Parker -  Willamette Dental Group, opened the afternoon with inspirational and shared lessons learned in prevention and systems of care.  The Conference ended with Dr. Elizabeth Mertz - Assistant Professor, UCSF Center for Health Professions, with an in-depth look at national workforce trends and policies.  Please scroll to the bottom of this article to view, download, and print speaker presentations.


OrOHC is also proud to present our annual Oral Health Hero and Oral Health Champion Awards.  This year we presented Jessica Minahan with our Oral Health Champion Award.  Jessica oversees one of the longest running and most successful school-linked dental health programs in Oregon, Salem-Keizer School District.  She has created and implements a dental screening project which screened 11,634 students in 2013 and nearly 90,000 screenings to date.  Along with the dental screening project, Jessica has developed one of the most successful school-linked referral programs by developing a local network of dentists, hygienists, and other volunteers.  Integrated into everything Jessica does is oral health education for students, parents, and the community at large.  Jessica Truly is an Oral Health Champion!

The Oral Health Hero Award was presented to the Oral Health Funders Collaborative of Oregon and SW Washington.  The collaborative is a partnership of 11 regional grant makers who are coordinating their efforts to identify, advocate, and invest in oral health solutions.  Some of their major accomplishments include collaboration and funding for the development of the Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon and funding for the Dental Emergency Department Usage Study.  To see the members of the Collaborative, click here.


OrOHC would like to give special recognition to all of our generous sponsors.  Kaiser Permanente led the way as this year's Title Sponsor.  Please visit our Facebook Page to view a wonderful video from Kaiser Permanente about the benefits of integrated care.  While you're on our Facebook Page, give us a like too!

Other Major Sponsors were Advantage Dental and DentaQuest Foundation who continue to be valuable partners for the Coalition and Oregon.  A special thank you to the rest of our long list of sponsors including:

Our Conference would not have been possible without your support!


OrOHC also thanks our Conference exhibitors.  We had 12 tables representing 14 organizations and they completely filled the exhibit hall.  Thank you so much to:

We also wish to thank our hosts, the Salem Convention Center for the help of their wonderful staff.

OrOHC continues to work with communities and organizations to address the challenges of integrating oral health services into current and evolving systems of health care delivery in Oregon.  We urge you to join us in our oral health advocacy efforts and to start your own local oral health coalition.  To become a member or learn more about our Action Committees (First Teeth First, Adult/Geriatric Oral Health, K-12 Oral Disease Prevention, and Oral Health Local Coalitions) click here.

Oral Health Workforce Workgroup (SB-738)

OrOHC in partnership with OHSU School of Dentistry have begun putting together individuals who were involved in the beginning of SB-738 as well as new stakeholders to renew the discussions of pilot projects and obtaining funding for OHA's Oral Health Unit to administer the pilot projects.

The workgroup has met twice and established that there is considerable interest around the state in moving forward with SB-738.  The first meeting established a range of pilot projects that organizations are ready to begin with such as:  CDHC Model, EPDH with additional skills, Virtual Dental Home Model and teledentistry were some suggestions.  Our second meeting had presentations from Dr. Glassman, University of the Pacific, Elizabeth DiLauro and John Grant, PEW Charitable Trusts, on workforce models in California and around the country.

Originally, the OrOHC Board, Oregon Dental Association, Northwest Health Foundation, and other various stakeholders convened a taskforce to develop a RDH Therapist concept and began researching the California Pilot Project Model and aimed it to fit Oregon's needs.  Additionally this idea was taken to the road and further possibilities were discussed with various stakeholders around the state and were incorporated into the plan.  A legislative champion, Sen. Anderson, agreed to move this project forward and in 2011 the legislation passed.  One major issue in passing the bill is that it has to be revenue neutral.  So the Oral Health Unit was tasked with SB-738 without any funding.  There were also no funds available for pilot projects that are provisioned within the bill.

Since the administrative rules have now been written, we need to move forward.  Currently, a smaller steering group is putting together an abstract for a planning grant from Kaiser Permanente.  The planning grant will allow for the coordination and collaboration of creating pilot projects, establishing timelines, and identifying funding resources.

At this time The Oral Health Unit is developing a process to accept, review, and approve the pilot project applications and ongoing monitoring of the projects including patient safety and quality assurance, data collection, and project evaluation.  Pilot Project applications cannot be accepted until a review and approval process has been set up.  There is an opportunity to redefine the dental workforce and increase access and care to every corner of our state as a timeline for this process is established and pilot project planning begins.  OrOHC looks forward to being a part of that process.

We encourage your participation in this endeavor, please contact Phil Giles at philip.giles@ocdc.net for more information.


Oral Health Funders Collaborative Study of Oregon Emergency Room Department Dental Visits

A new study of emergency department (ED) visits in Oregon finds that dental problems drive 77 patients every day to emergency departments across the state.

Dental problems represent the second most common ED discharge diagnosis in adults (ages 20-39) after abdominal pain.  Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured are at particularly high risk for ED dental visits.  The visits are associated with a 25% repeat visit rate for the same problem, and account for $8 million in statewide hospital costs annually.

Read the full report here.


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