249363 Creating a Community of Oral Health Care for Very Young Children

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sarah Shed, MS , Division of Health Improvement, Medical Care Development, Augusta, ME
Bonnie Vaughan, RDH , Division of Health Improvement, Medical Care Development, Augusta, ME
Margaret I. Gradie, PhD , Division of Health Improvement, Medical Care Development, Augusta, ME
Erika Lichter, ScD , School of Applied Medical Sciences, University of Southern Maine, Augusta, ME
Judith Feinstein, MSPH , Oral Health Program, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Augusta, ME
Background: Maine, like many other states, is concerned with prevention of Early Childhood Caries (ECC). Most areas of Maine are dental provider shortage areas and few dentists see children under the age of three.

Objectives: Federal funds were used to create the Kids Oral Health Partnership (KOHP) which aimed to create a community of care for young children by including an oral health component in existing child wellness programs.

Data/Methods: The KOHP recruited providers state-wide to participate in oral health trainings on risk assessment, anticipatory guidance, appropriate referrals, and, in the case of medical providers the use of fluoride varnish. Medical providers were invited to meet with dental providers at meetings of the regional dental societies in order to increase cross referrals. The project ended with a state-wide conference structured to increase familiarity among providers of all kinds within geographic regions. Data from follow-up surveys and existing service and claims databases were used to document long-term impact of service utilization and medical outcomes.

Results: The project has trained 697 medical providers and 759 social service providers. Results from a 6-month follow-up survey and key informant interviews reveal significant behavior change.

Conclusions: Efforts to integrate oral health care into existing child care programs, both social and medical, are promising. We propose that by inserting an oral health component into existing child wellness programs, and increasing the familiarity of providers with each other's roles, a sustainable community of oral health care to meet the needs of young children can be created.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the integration of preventive oral health services in child wellness programs.

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have supervised the conduct of all aspects of the program described in the presentation.
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.