Public Policy

IHS Initiates Tribal Consultation on Draft Policy to Expand Community Health Aide Program Patients could benefit from increased access to quality health care services in their communities

IHS today invited comments from tribal leaders on a draft policy statement that, if implemented, would begin a process of expanding the use of community health aides at IHS facilities across the country. Both facilities operated by the federal government and tribally operated facilities could see expanded opportunities under the new policy for these aides, a group that could include dental health aide therapists and community health representatives. Read more…IHSPressRelease _CommunityHealthAidesPolicy

Embracing Equity in Community Health Improvement, May 2015

Across America, many public and private sector organizations are committed to generating greater opportunities and resources for the nation’s most disadvantaged populations. These organizations are engaged in a wide range of strategies that are typically codified within their agencies’ strategic plans. With similar overarching goals, they often work in uncoordinated silos. However, there is an increasing awareness among them that the fruits of their work impact community health status and their local health care systems. Conversely, medical institutions and public health agencies are realizing that community-building activities, which are outside of their traditional purview, are necessary to achieve improved population health status. This paper discusses the rationale and multi-sector approaches for intentionally promoting an equity agenda throughout the community health improvement (CHI) process, so that scarce resources are directed to addressing the underlying factors that have led to consistently poorer health outcomes for historically marginalized groups. Read more…Embracing_Equity_Report

Leadership and Networks: New Ways of Developing Leadership in a Highly Connected World, October 2012

This report is written for those who run and fund leadership programs that develop and support leadership for social change. It shares many examples of how leaders using network strategies are increasing the impact of social change work. Our goal is to inspire and help hundreds of leadership programs to question their assumptions about leadership and retool their approaches to developing leadership to more fully leverage network approaches. The report provides examples of leadership models, values, skills, and behaviors needed to embrace network strategies, and recommends practical things you can do to develop network capacities and a network mindset. Read more…Leadership and Networks Publication

Broken Smiles:
Oral Health and Employment

The intent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 is to increase access to health care services so that all Americans may experience good health. The ACA however falls short of this goal, as dental coverage is not a requirement under the law1 thereby perpetuating existing gaps. In 2009, the number of Americans who lacked dental insurance was 2.7 to 3 times greater than those lacking medical insurance, a growing trend compared to 2.5 times in 2003.2, 3 Medicaid expansion under the ACA increases the categories of low-income persons eligible for medical coverage, but dental coverage remains an optional benefit, leaving behind many Americans suffering with untreated oral disease. Read more…DQF Policy Brief Oral Health Employment

The Cost of Orofacial Pain

Not having access to regular dental care can lead to chronic pain in the mouth and face (orofacial) and to various dental diseases. It can also lead to other serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Other downstream consequences, such as opioid use disorder and related crime, are less well understood.The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) maintained adult dental coverage as optional under Medicaid, thereby continuing the trend of millions lacking access to regular denta lcare. This Policy Brief, based on analyses conducted by researchers from the Medicaid|Medicare|CHIP Services Dental Association (MSDA) and Brandeis University, explores downstream negative consequences beginning with chronic orofacial pain. The Brief further provides initial, partial estimates of the resulting cost to society. Read more…DQF Policy Brief Price Of Pain

Reducing Oral Health Disparities: A Focus on Social and Cultural Determinants

Authors: Donald I, Patrick, Rosanna Shuk Yin Lee, Miechle Nucci et al.

Oral health is essential to the general health and well-being of individuals and the population. Yet significant oral health disparities persist in the U.S. population because of a web of influences that include complex cultural and social processes that affect both oral health and access to effective dental health care.
This paper introduces an organizing framework for addressing oral health disparities. We present and discuss how the multiple influences on oral health and oral health disparities operate using this framework. Interventions targeted at different causal pathways bring new directions and implications for research and policy in reducing oral health disparities. Read more Reducing Oral Health Disparities