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CDC announces $3 million in awards to strengthen chronic disease, oral health program collaborations

August 26, 2016 Atlanta — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Aug. 24 that it has awarded $3 million in funding to six state health departments in an effort to strengthen collaborations between chronic disease and oral health programs.

The six states, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota and New York, will each receive $500,000 over the next two years to assist their state’s oral health departments in developing programs to improve the oral health of state residents. The programs will also work to prevent and control chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, and related risk factors such as tobacco use and obesity, according to a CDC release.

“Through these programs, we will facilitate close collaborative relationships that lead to integration between the state oral health programs and state chronic disease programs around common risk factors for oral and chronic diseases,” said Casey Hannan, acting director, Division of Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC. “The ultimate goal of these projects is to improve the public’s health by, for example, improving prevention and control of severe gum disease and oral cancers, encouraging people to quit smoking, and improving prevention and management of high blood pressure and diabetes.”

The following initiatives received funding:
  • The Oral Health Program and the Obesity Prevention and Control Program in the Alaska Division of Public Health will train dental professionals and tribal dental providers to educate and counsel children and child caregivers to reduce consumption of sugared beverages and increase consumption of water.
  • The Oral Health Unit and the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Unit of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will develop and implement an enhanced model of care in which oral health and primary care providers collaborate to deliver comprehensive, patient-centered diabetes prevention and management in community health clinic settings.
  • The Oral Health Program and the Chronic Disease Prevention Section in the Georgia Department of Public Health will develop a toolkit for dental professionals to promote referrals to the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line for young women at high risk for tobacco use during pregnancy.
  • The Office of Oral Health and the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control in the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will engage dental professionals to provide blood pressure screenings during routine dental visits and to counsel and refer patients with previously undiagnosed hypertension to medical providers for further evaluation.
  • The Oral Health Program and the Cardiovascular Health Unit of the Minnesota Department of Health will test a program to encourage referrals by dentists and medical providers to increase access to dental and medical screenings for periodontal disease and hypertension. It will also provide tools for primary care providers to screen patients for periodontal disease.
  • The Oral Health Program and the Chronic Disease Program of the New York State Department of Health will develop a healthy beverage media campaign targeting African American and Hispanic teenage boys in Western New York.