Lauren Spilles, Chair
The Oral Health Committee meetings for 2017 are in the Benton-Franklin Health District Classrooom #2 on 1st Thursdays 5:30-7:00 pm.
The Oral Health Coalition (OHC) is committed to educating medical and dental professionals on the oral/systemic link and the importance of integrating dental and physical healthcare. As outlined in the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), the OHC connects oral and physical health by creating opportunities for dentists, physicians and the community to discuss and better understand the link between oral disease and other health conditions.
The OHC fulfills the CHIP in a number of ways. First, the OHC partners with the Benton-Franklin Health District and the Benton Franklin Counties Dental Society to present the Eastern Washington Medical Dental Summit on an annual basis. The Summit brings together health professionals, hospitals, health educators, administrators, and policy makers to improve health in our region. The Summit presents latest research with practical clinical applications to enable physicians and dentists to improve patient care and community health. This year’s Summit was on March 3-5, 2016. http://medicaldentalsummit.com/
Included in the Eastern Washington Medical Dental Summit in 2016 was a special focus on Dental Oncology. A special seminar presented current understandings of head and neck cancers and how dental and medical professionals work together to treat patients with cancer.
Additionally, the OHC hosted a dinner between primary care providers and pediatric dentists to discuss early childhood caries problems and how to coordinate care between the medical and dental providers of children ages 0 to 5 years old.
The OHC aims to address the problem of limited access to dental care for uninsured Benton-Franklin residents. One way that the OHC is supporting access to dental care is by working to increase the number of dentists practicing within Federally Qualified Health Centers. This work is ongoing, and is a top priority of the OHC.