Daniel Derksen, MD and Wayne Powell, MA. UNM Center for Community Partnerships, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, MSC08 4600, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, 505-272-4590, WPowell@salud.unm.edu
Access to oral health services in New Mexico is poor and getting worse. In response to this oral health crisis, New Mexico Community Voices (NMCV) has been piloting and disseminating its “Health Commons” model.
Many of the intractable health problems in New Mexico’s communities are the consequence of historic, social, and economic factors. Such issues cannot be addressed adequately by a single health provider group, or even by the health sector as a whole. Better solutions emerge when different sectors of society, including government agencies, educational institutions, businesses, and public and private stakeholders, collaborate rather than compete.
The cornerstones of the “Health Commons” service model are the neighborhood care sites that serve as the safety net for the uninsured and underinsured. At these centers, oral health, medical, behavioral, social, and public health services are co-located. But co-locating services is only the initial step. Developing sustained funding support, addressing health professional shortages, building public private partnerships and informing policy underpin the access to and the quality of oral health services in a community.
Experiences gained in the NMCV effort have been replicated in a number of community-based sites. The health services delivered by the interdisciplinary team improve with better coordination of services, information, and policy. Integrating key health services and community resources in the Health Commons model improves quality, efficiency and capacity.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session participants will be able to
Keywords: Oral Health, Access and Services
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA