Improve the Public Perception of the Value of Oral Health to Overall Health
California has made important gains over the past few years towards improving access to better oral health for Californians. For example, state policymakers stepped forward after the economic recession to partially restore dental benefits for adults in the Medi-Cal program, also the appointment Dr. Jay Kumar as State Dental Director in 2015 after many years of the position being vacant, and the Department of Health Care Services recently utilized negotiations with the federal government through the Medicaid Section 1115 waiver process to secure additional resources to improve oral health prevention for children through the Dental Transformation Initiative. The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network began in 2017 building a shared statewide oral health policy platform that aligned grassroots partners, local health jurisdictions and oral health coalitions, as well as state level organizations and leaders. In 2018, they further deepened the infrastructure and capacity of the Network to support a broader systems change strategy. With this grant, specifically, CPEHN will build on their past successes in facilitating networks to achieve the following objectives that will support the CA Oral Health Network to 1) Maximize connectivity and partner engagement through a strong, focused, and resourced Network infrastructure by ratifying a strategic planning document, 2) Implement a statewide community-driven policy agenda through better data, knowledge and best practices, 3) Shift public perception, knowledge, and engagement on oral health advocacy, and 4) Transform public policy to prioritize oral health through community engagement and civic activism. With the creation of this nimble and flexible oral health network it will be possible to protect the recent advances on oral health in the State of California, while also advancing new policies and systems that result in achieving oral health equity for all.$150000 is requested to support personnel time to oversee network development, travel and meeting expenses, supporting state and regional network infrastructure activities, and contracted services including meeting facilitation and project evaluation. This proposal aligns with the Oral Health 2020 goal of improving public perception of the value of oral health within overall health and the target that oral health is increasingly included in health dialogue and public policy.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 to Thursday, April 30, 2020