250175 Advancing community health workers' role in promoting oral health for vulnerable populations

Monday, October 31, 2011

Joanne L. Calista, MS, LICSW , Executive Director, Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center, Inc. (CM AHEC), Worcester, MA
Cindy Marti, MPH , Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers, Jamaica Plain, MA
Many hard to reach communities experience a lack of access to both dental services and oral health promotion education. Even for those newly insured, due to Massachusetts's health reform, some may not know what dental services are covered or how to best navigate the oral health system. Community health workers (CHWs) have an emerging role in expanding their work to include oral health promotion. 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

Learning Objectives:
1.) Recognize the need for an emerging role of CHWs in oral health promotion 2.) Review the key components of the oral health training for CHWs

Keywords: Oral Health, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I oversee the 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.