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DentaQuest Foundation renews 18 Oral Health 2014 Initiative Grants

February 03, 2014

By Stacie Crozier, ADA News staff

Boston—The DentaQuest Foundation has renewed all 18 of its Oral Health 2014 Initiative grants.

Since 2011, the foundation has provided grant funding and technical support to the state-based organizations who are working to make oral health a statewide health priority and improve access to care.

"The national focus on health has created a window of opportunity for impact at the state level to improve the oral health of all," said Ralph Fuccillo, president.

"The Oral Health 2014 Initiative has developed a cadre of leaders across the U.S. who are addressing critical oral health needs in their communities and keeping oral health in statewide health conversations.

"They are the core of a network of oral health advocates and champions that is growing from coast to coast."

The DentaQuest Foundation reports that grantees have already achieved some remarkable results. This fall, West Virginia initiated school-based oral health screenings and an oral health curriculum in all schools, from K-12.

In South Carolina, a research foundation is establishing programming to bring oral health prevention and education to families in rural areas. An early childhood oral health literacy campaign in Rhode Island is encouraging early dental visits for children, educating parents, dentists, pediatricians and social service agencies across the state.

In Virginia, there is curriculum change happening at every medical school across the state, focused on oral health across the health professions and lifespan.

In the District of Columbia, fluoride varnish was approved for reimbursement under the Medicaid plan.

In Colorado, a strong coalition of oral health supporters was prepared to support legislation for adult dental benefits under Medicaid.

In Arizona and North Dakota, Native American tribal leaders are talking about oral health as a serious health concern for their members.

Pediatricians across Pennsylvania are being trained to provide oral health prevention guidance and make oral health a part of routine well child visits.

"This is the third year of the Oral Health 2014 Initiative," said Mr. Fuccillo. "Across all states, grantees are implementing plans and that will lead to a wealth of new projects that can be replicated and expanded across the U.S."

Grant recipients include: University of Alabama; Arizona Dental Foundation; Children Now (California); Oral Health Colorado; Florida Public Health Institute Inc.; Idaho Department of Health and Welfare; Maryland Dental Action Coalition; Michigan Oral Health Coalition; Mississippi State Department of Health; North Dakota Department of Health; American Academy of Pediatrics, New Jersey Chapter; Oregon Oral Health Coalition; Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Rhode Island Kids Count Inc.; South Carolina Research Foundation; Virginia Oral Health Coalition; Children's National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.); and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

More information about each Oral Health 2014 organization can be found at dentaquestfoundation.org.