Director, Training and Technical Assistance Center; Clinical Instructor, University of Maryland School of Social Work
Oral health is a sometimes overlooked, but critically important, component of overall health:
- "Oral health care is often excluded from our thinking about health. Taken together with vision care and mental health care, it seems that problems above the neck are commonly regarded as peripheral to health care and health care policy. This is at odds with the fact that good oral health has been shown to directly affect a person's overall health."
- The Institute of Medicine (IOM). (2011). Advancing Oral Health in America. Available online from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) website: http://www.hrsa.gov/publichealth/clinical/oralhealth/advancingoralhealth.pdf
As part of the CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant, The Institute, in partnership with Dr. Clemencia Vargas of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, is developing curricula to train the CME staff and family support staff on oral health care, including the importance of oral health on overall health, how caregivers can properly care for their and their children's teeth, and how to access oral healthcare. This is part of The Institute's work to enhance the High Fidelity Wraparound Practitioner Certificate Program to include modules on EPSDT, obesity, oral health, substance use and abuse, child development, and other preventive health topics and to support CMEs to integrate EPSDT milestones into their care planning
For more information on oral healthcare initiatives in Maryland, please visit the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Oral Health Office website: http://fha.dhmh.maryland.gov/oralhealth/SitePages/Home.aspx
For more information the federal oral health initiative, please visit the Health Resources and Services Administration website: http://www.hrsa.gov/publichealth/clinical/oralhealth/