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Infrastructure Development Tools

Activity 1: Program Infrastructure—Staffing, Management, and Support

Strong program infrastructure is an essential component to a successful program. Infrastructure enables a program to increase capacity, enhance support, and build sustainability.

To develop effective leadership within state oral health programs, a state will benefit by employing a full-time dental director who is an oral health professional with training in public health.

In addition, the following staff is also important for developing effective oral health program infrastructure (minimum availability shown for each type of expertise):

  • Program coordinator (.5 full-time equivalent [FTE])
  • Epidemiologist (.5 FTE)
  • Water fluoridation engineer/specialist or coordinator (.5 FTE)
  • Dental sealant program coordinator (.5 FTE)
  • Other appropriate staff, including:
    • Program evaluator (.25 FTE)
    • Health education/health communication specialist (.25 FTE)
    • Adequate support staff

States that have met the minimal staffing levels (shown above) may wish to employ FTEs at greater amounts or acquire additional capacity by sharing positions, such as those for a fiscal coordinator or a grant writer.

If states have insufficient funding for dedicated staff, they may seek ways to build infrastructure by leveraging existing state resources and sharing staff time with other programs.

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