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The US National Oral Health Alliance

The U.S. National Oral Health Alliance (Alliance) provides a platform for a diverse network of stakeholders to forge common ground in order to harness opportunities and create viable solutions for improved oral health through prevention and treatment for vulnerable populations across our country. It sought to answer the question: What are we going to do, in the short and the long term, both individually and collectively, to assure optimal oral health through prevention and treatment for underserved people?

The Alliance welcomes partners to focus and align efforts to assure optimal oral health for all and build on collective strengths for more effective impact.

The "Access to Dental Care Summit" was convened in Chicago by the American Dental Association with the support of a planning committee serving in a volunteer capacity. The objective was to bring together representatives from a variety of communities to create a shared vision to improve the oral health of underserved populations in the United States.

Through participatory problem-solving and shared perspectives, the diverse stakeholders embraced collaboration as the best means to address the challenges to improve oral health access. The Proceedings provide full details about the Summit agenda, speakers and participants, the 12 stakeholder groups and their planning representatives, outcomes, and short-term strategies.

The diverse group of '144′ individual stakeholders at the Summit included: health care policymakers, representatives of dental education and research institutions, dental association leaders, financing organizations including third-party-payers and philanthropy, non-dental health care providers, dental volunteer leaders, consumer advocacy groups, special interest groups, and state dental societies.

By the conclusion of the Summit, the participants agreed to work together to address these priority areas:

  1. Population-based prevention strategies to strengthen the public health infrastructure
  2. Improving oral health literacy
  3. Collaboration between the medical and dental communities
  4. Developing metrics for measuring and defining access
  5. Financing models
  6. Strengthening the dental delivery system

The Summit participants supported the formation of a Coordination and Communication Workgroup, composed of leaders representing the original 12 stakeholder groups of the Summit, supported by DentaQuest Foundation and American Dental Association staff. The workgroup eventually incorporated into the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance.

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