Join ADAMember Log In




Case School of Dental Medicine to offer access curriculum

Oral health navigator to assist Medicaid families

Cleveland—The School of Dental Medicine will create a “customized curriculum” for training students to serve Medicaid patients, Case Western Reserve University announced.

Case said the curriculum will include:

  • training in cultural sensitivity and competency “for serving the Medicaid population;”
  • promoting and teaching the inter-disciplinary Smiles for Life Curriculum in the community health clinic setting to  engage non-dental providers in oral health activities, and
  • training for quality improvement projects in oral health care.

The School of Medicine secured $6.4 million in federal funds through Ohio’s Medicaid program for four access initiatives, including the dental school project. “The Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP) Healthcare Access Initiative (HAI) supports the development and retention of health care practitioners to serve Ohio’s Medicaid population using emerging health care delivery models and evidence-based practices,” the June 4 announcement said.

“The MEDTAPP project also supports the training and placement of an oral health patient navigator (OHPN) to assist Medicaid families from area sealant programs to obtain referral care and establish a dental home,” the announcement said. “The OHPN will seek to expand the existing network of private dental offices that accept Medicaid children from sealant program referrals. The OHPN will also be trained in contemporary communication skills for patient education and will advocate for the services and care needed by these families.”

The MEDTAPP initiatives at Case Western “will provide unique and diverse training opportunities,” said Ohio Medicaid Director John McCarthy. “After they graduate, participants will go on to work at clinics in neighborhoods in need of doctors and other health care professionals. They can help people there with both their short-term and long-term health needs and help them learn more about what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

The grants also will support initiatives through Case Western departments of family medicine, pediatrics and psychiatry.

An American Dental Education Association spokesperson said that ADEA was unaware of similar programs at other schools. The MEDTAPP project is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in an interagency agreement with the Ohio Board of Regents to promote health services research related to the Ohio Medicaid program at the state’s institutions of higher education.