194465 Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hugh J. Silk, MD , Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA

The Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative (CMOHI), a diverse group of community partners and funders, was created to improve oral health care for the underserved in Central Massachusetts.

Project Objectives:

(1) To increase access to oral heath services for Mass Health recipients and the uninsured

(2) To form a collaboration of medical providers, dental providers, child educators, community activists and health centers to improve oral health care

(3) To serve as a role model for replication across the state and nation


(1) Organized 25 state and local service partners

(2) Secured funding for 8 years (5.7 million)

(3) Created an implementation strategy

(4) Hired an evaluator

(5) Targeted sites. Lobbied state legislature to expand dental services for underserved

(6) Conducted regular meetings

(7) Planned long-term sustainability


(1) Schools/Head Start:

(a) On-site prevention programs: 28 schools; fluoride varnish for 4423 children

(b) 140 Head Start children screened; 80% with connection to a dental home

(2) Dental Service Expansion:

(a) State legislature increased reimbursement rate for Mass Health dental care and lifted ban on limiting Mass Health patients

(b) County dentists accepting Mass Health increased from 10% (45) to 40% (188)

(c) Local Community Health Centers (CHCs) doubled capacity for servicing Mass Health and underinsured patients

(d) Local dental hygiene program expanded subsidized services to uninsured

(e) Mobile health care van expanded dental services

(f) Dental residency created; 8 graduates: 5 in underserved areas

(3) Physician Education:

(a) 100 UMASS Medical School students trained

(b) 152 UMASS primary care residents trained

(c) 2 state-wide CME events

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate a collaboration of medical providers, dental providers, child educators, community activists and health centers to improve oral health care for underserved populations

Keywords: Oral Health, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Hugh Silk is the Medical Director for Oral Health Initiatives at UMASS/Memorial in Worcester and is co-author of the award winning national curriculum on oral health for family medicine entitled "Smiles for Life". He does oral health education for the Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics, and Family Medicine Residencies and in the Medical School at UMASS. He sits on numerous state oral health advocacy committees and has been part of the Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative which has been addressing oral health disparities through a variety of means. (A resume can be forwarded with publications, other presentations, etc)
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.