249334 Emerging role of community health workers in oral health promotion

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 11:30 AM

Joanne L. Calista, MS, LICSW , Executive Director, Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center, Inc. (CM AHEC), Worcester, MA
Cindy M. Marti, MPH , Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers, Jamaica Plain, MA
Community health workers (CHWs) play key roles in our health care and public health systems as specialists in improving access to health care, education, direct services, and advocacy for vulnerable populations. It is critical for oral health specialists to integrate CHWs in oral health education because of CHWs' unique connection to hard to reach communities as well as CHWs' expertise with health outreach, health promotion, and health care system navigation. In 2010, the Outreach Worker Training Institute (OWTI) of Central MA AHEC, in partnership with the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers (MACHW), piloted a statewide oral health training series for CHWs funded by the DentaQuest Foundation. The three hour training, offered in eight locations across the state, supported Massachusetts CHWs' integration of oral health promotion into their work. The training helped CHWs to identify barriers to optimal oral health, ways to navigate the local oral health system, strategies to support patients' behavior modification, and methods to promote patients' active involvement with preventative oral health care. This session will discuss the implementation of the training, lessons learned from training CHWs, and the benefits of advancing CHWs' role in promoting oral health for vulnerable populations.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the emerging role of CHWs in oral health promotion 2. Describe the key components of oral health training for CHWs

Keywords: Oral Health, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the implementation of this training program.
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.