Online Program

Improving access to care with a new dental team member: The community dental health coordinator

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Sheila Strock, DMD, MPH, Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations, American Dental Association, Chicago, IL
The Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC), a new member of the oral health team, is from the community that they serve and is responsible for promoting oral health through organized and dentally-coordinated community-based prevention programs. Working in underserved communities with no or limited access to dental care, the CDHC is able to influence local health and community organizations to adopt initiatives to promote oral health. CDHCs are employed by health centers, the Indian Health Service and tribal clinics in rural and urban areas. Under the supervision of a dentist, CDHCs implement community programs that are integrated with clinics providing dental services in their communities. The CDHC works in collaboration with other interested oral health stakeholders to promote good oral health and provide prevention services and coordination of dental care. The American Dental Association is in the final phase of the CDHC pilot project, developed to educate, train and deploy this new type of community health worker, one with a focus on patient education, disease prevention and patient navigation. Training of 3 cohorts began in 2009 and was completed in November, 2012. The pilot program graduated 34 students who are now working in underserved areas around the country. Presently a comprehensive evaluation of the program is being conducted to gather data to analyze the impact of the CDHCs in their communities. This presentation provides an overview of the training of the CDHC and the success stories of CDHCs working in the field currently.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) and his/her role in the community to improve access to care and promote oral health. Assess the ADA's evaluation of the CDHC pilot program and measureable outcomes of CDHCs working in the field. Identify opportunities for CDHCs in targeted under-served communities (rural, urban and tribal).

Keyword(s): Access to Care, Oral Health Outcomes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Sr. Mgr. of Interprofessional Relations, I have worked closely with the Project Manager of the CDHC pilot program at the ADA for the past 3 years. I have been directly involved with the financial reports, evaluation, HIPAA compliance, and reports to the governance of the ADA. I have worked with ADA staff and member-volunteers to ensure the successful training of 3 cohorts of students in the pilot 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.