The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing funding to 21 states to strengthen their oral health programs and improve the oral health of their residents. The following states will receive approximately $5.9 million over the next year:
The cooperative agreements range from $230,000 to $310,000 per year and are renewable through fiscal year 2017. The funding is designed to improve state oral health services. Those services include monitoring oral diseases and implementing and evaluating disease prevention programs such as community water fluoridation and school-based sealant programs.
State-Based Programs Crucial to National Oral Health
Strong state-based programs are critical to the nation's oral health. Despite national improvements in oral health, significant dental disease exists across all age groups. This is especially true for those with lower incomes and lower educational levels, and for people from some racial and ethnic groups. CDC support provides additional opportunities to educate residents about the importance of oral health and effective preventive measures, to identify communities with the greatest unmet dental needs, and to develop state plans to improve oral health and address disparities. CDC anticipates that funded states will be able to increase strategies and programs that prevent oral diseases.
Increasing Strategies and Programs to Prevent Oral Disease
Through its work with the Association of State and Territorial Disease Directors, state oral health programs, and national experts, CDC has established strategies for developing and enhancing the infrastructure and capacity of state oral health programs and for extending community-based preventive programs. The strategies are organized in two components, Component One for Basic Capacity for Collective Impact, and Component Two for Implementation of Evidence-based Preventive Interventions and Strategic Approaches to Impact Health Systems and Access to Clinical Preventive Services. The strategies by component are
Component One strategies:
- Develop program leadership and staff capacity.
- Develop and coordinate partnerships with a focus on prevention interventions; establish and sustain a diverse, statewide, oral health coalition; and collaborate and integrate with disease prevention programs.
- Develop or enhance oral health surveillance.
- Build evaluation capacity.
- Assess facilitators/barriers to advancing oral health.
- Develop plans for state oral health programs and activities.
- Implement communications activities to promote oral disease prevention.
Component Two strategies:
- Maintenance of Component One strategies.
- Coordinate /Implement school-based/-linked sealant programs, targeting low-income and/or rural settings.
- Collect and report sealant program data to track program efficiency and reach.
- Collect and report program data and track policy changes on community water fluoridation.
- Educate on the benefits of community water fluoridation.
- Promote and provide support for quality control and management of fluoridated water systems.
- Implement strategies to affect the delivery of targeted clinical preventive services and health systems changes.