274629 An Evaluation of the Maryland Public Health Dental Hygiene Act of 2008

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 8:55 AM - 9:15 AM

Njeri Thuku, MA , Office of Oral Health, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Baltimore, MD
Access to oral health services is a recognized national and state problem that is exacerbated by distinct racial, income, age, and geographic disparities. In order to overcome these disparities, it is necessary to develop innovative strategies, including seeking new models of service delivery. Recognizing the potential of dental hygienists to impact access to oral health care, the Maryland General Assembly unanimously passed the Public Health Dental Hygiene Act in 2008 facilitating the role of dental hygienists working for public health programs. This bill allows dental hygienists working for public health agencies to perform all duties within their scope of practice in off-site settings such as schools, Head Start and WIC programs without the dentist having to be physically present and/or examine the patient first. With funding provided by the APHA through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Public Health Improvement Initiative, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), Office of Oral Health (OOH) is conducting a systemic evaluation to determine the impact of this policy solution. OOH will discuss the designed evaluation plan (including indicators and stakeholder engagement).

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the function of public health dental hygienists and how they can impact access to care 2. Identify indicators in policy evaluation 3. Name stakeholders integral to the evaluation process

Keywords: Oral Health, Access to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I coordinate the oral disease prevention program and support the policy process through development of policy tools such as issue papers, concept papers and policy discussion papers. In addition, I monitor macro environmental trends in state level oral health policy including legislative, regulatory, administrative and other systemic sources of policy.
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.