The Pew Charitable Trusts are wrapping up their long-term dental campaign, which worked to address policy changes that would increase access to dental care.
A recent edition of Health Affairs’ “GrantWatch” blog outlined key oral health policy issues and provided an update on recent foundation grants in oral health. Several GIH Funding Partners are featured.
A new report from the National Institutes of Health provides a road map on how to improve the nation’s oral health. Released by NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the report emphasizes the importance of oral health, and challenges to the creation of more equitable access to oral health services. Potential roles for health philanthropy are highlighted including grantmaking and policy engagement regarding insurance access, community health education, and school-based dental services.
Dental therapists are oral health care’s newest professionals. In the same way that physician assistants work with medical teams, dental therapists are supervised by dentists and expand the reach of the dental team, which allows people to get dental care in communities that have long gone without it.
At the turn of this century, then Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher put out the first Surgeons’ General Report on oral health and declared that poor oral health was a “silent” epidemic that impacted much of the United States. That declaration was a pivotal moment that increased salience and spurred action around the issue.
The Missouri Foundation for Health began to address better access to oral health care for their region in 2013 by expanding the capacity and infrastructure of the state’s oral health system. The success of their initiative is a result of the development of partnerships and eliciting community input, and is an ideal model for foundations in other areas.
In response to the clear and urgent need to improve the dental health of young children living in poverty in western and central New York, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York launched CHOMPERS! Because the foundation was taking a brand new approach in implementing the Cavity Free Kids curriculum as part of the initiative, a strong evaluation was critical.
GIH convened the Issue Dialogue Returning the Mouth to the Body: Integrating Oral Health Care and Primary Care to discuss the benefits, challenges, and approaches to integrating oral health and primary care. This Issue Brief synthesizes key points from the day’s discussion with a background paper previously prepared for meeting participants.
Kansas, like many states with a vast rural geography, has substantial areas with little or no access to oral health services. Studies of the Kansas dental workforce show 93 of 105 counties do not have enough dentists to serve their population.
As health philanthropy considers how to address the current individual and community burdens of increases in chronic diseases, I am optimistic when I reflect on the new and promising collaborations that are developing to better manage and prevent oral disease.
Recent research indicates that efforts to support oral health can begin even before birth; just as a pregnant woman’s overall health can affect the health of her pregnancy and baby, her oral health can play a role in the occurrence of early childhood caries in her children.
Someone recently used the term philanthropy du jour,
and it was not meant as a positive appellation. As a field,
we increasingly see longevity as virtue whether it comes
under the guise of general operating support, capacity building, or place-based or strategic grantmaking. The work of the
United Methodist Health Ministry Fund in a single field –
oral health – began in late 1998. My reflections attempt to
capture the results of this extended $11-million initiative.