Online Program

Creating a dental home through school based partnerships

Monday, November 4, 2013

Holly Graham, RDH, Mobile Health Programs, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Rhonique Harris, MD, MHA , FAAP, Goldberg Center of Community Pediatrics/ Child Health Advocacy Institute, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
Over 51 million school hours are lost due to dental disease. A collaborative partnership between the mobile dental department of Children's National and local Head Start programs was implemented to provide high risk children with a dental home. The project addressed the chronic gap in oral health care access, screening and treatment for children in the nation's capital. The initial success of this partnership was demonstrated by the high show rate for program participants.

The hospital implemented and completed a successful fluoride varnish program for school aged children. The result of the demonstration pilot yielded high numbers of fluoride varnish applications and linkage to dental homes. While the program was implemented through various models, the most successful model was one in which there was school collaboration. Therefore, the hospital mobile health department utilized this model to create linkages to a dental home for high risk students in the Head Start population. The dental home program was accomplished through the dental team making visits to selected Head Start sites to provide comprehensive preventive oral health services, including screening, cleaning, fluoride varnishes, sealants and referrals as needed. The team worked closely with the school champion to ensure parental education and student engagement. Through this partnership, the students were able to obtain oral health care that otherwise would not have been as easily accessible

With a 100% oral health certificate completion rate amongst those students served by the team, there was also an increase in the schools compliance with federal Head Start requirements.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe a best practice model for program replication Identify barriers to access to oral health for vulnerable populations Compare show rates for school based sites versus non school based sites Demonstrate the benefits of hospital and community based partnership models

Keyword(s): Oral Health, Child Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the registered dental hygienist during the implementation of this project. Currently, as the oral health team leader I am responsible for establishing and evaluating the school-based partnerships and reporting the outcomes.
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.