The intent of this strategy is to ensure that all children have access to high quality preventive and continuous health care, including physical, mental, oral and nutritional health. It provides oral health screenings and referral and navigation services to young children and pregnant women, to ensure early detection of the signs of oral disease and the establishment of a dental home. It also includes outreach to medical, oral health and early care and education professionals to provide education on evidence based oral health practices for infants, toddlers and pregnant women.
Oral Health Strategy Outcomes SFY19
Taking a Bite Out of School Absences
Funding Plan Highlights
In State Fiscal Year 2019 (SFY19), the regions contracted with an outside consultant for a countywide assessment of the oral health system that includes recommended steps to improve oral health outcomes, some of which will be prioritized and implemented in the upcoming year. In addition, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, the Oral Health Strategy grantee, is providing fluoride varnishes to young children, leveraging Medicaid when possible to pay for services.
The regional council formed an oral health subcommittee with community partners to explore the children’s oral health system in the Navajo/Apache Region. This work was facilitated by SandRose Consulting and resulted in a four-pronged approach using both funded and unfunded strategies aimed at strengthening the region’s general dentistry infrastructure to better serve the region’s youngest children. The regional council will release a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) for the Oral Health Strategy to provide delivery of dental screenings, varnish applications and oral health education to parents as well as medical, dental and early care and education providers. This strategy requires child-level data collection (i.e. demographic data) and the regional council has allotted additional funding to support the required database reporting development and associated staff training and process/procedure development.
In SFY19, the regional council chose to implement the Oral Health Strategy by releasing an RFGA. No applications were received. When the region re-released the RFGA again in SFY20, an application was submitted but there was no award due to the applicant’s lack of capacity to implement the scope of work and adhere to the associated standards of practice. During the first two quarters of SFY20, several conversations were held with the local federally qualified health care center (FQHC) and federal dollars were awarded to the FQHC to support the building of a dental clinic within the Show Low clinic location. For SFY21 and SFY22, the regional council has elected to support the FQHC with staff development and training so they are better equipped to serve young children, capitalizing on the federal grant. In addition, the regional council intends to support capacity building for data reporting.
The Children’s Health System Change Strategy will also be funded at an increased level to provide consultation on developing contracts for the delivery of continuing education to our regions’ general dentists, and to develop relationships with general dentist practice teams interested in serving young children. This strategy will also provide continuing education content and training to the region’s general dentists, and provide coaching, mentoring and support to interested general dentist practices utilizing the evidence-based Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) Model of practice transformation so they may better address the needs of young children in their practices.
In addition, the regional council is expanding the role of the FTF-convened Birth to 5 Community Partners collaborative group to add oral health as a focus area and will leverage partner resources to host a Give Kids a Smile Event in the spring of 2020 (postponed due to COVID-19 Pandemic) in the town of Vernon, which is intended to provide preventative oral health care and education to children who do not have access to these services.
The local grantee collects white spot data to provide more frequent oral health support to schools and sub regions in the region. This process supports data-informed practice.
Find more details about strategies related to Health in the FTF Strategy Toolkit.