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Oral Health

Blog Posts tagged "Oral Health"

The latest issue of our Health Equity Forum newsletter came out today and it includes several great articles and dozens of resources.

CPEHN’s Executive Director, Sarah de Guia, opens the newsletter by discussing Health4All Kids implementation. Starting on May 16th, California will offer Medi-Cal coverage to all eligible children regardless of immigration status.

Our Ethnic Partner Spotlight features an article from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) on two new briefs about obesity and other health conditions affecting the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community.

We know that oral health is much more than just toothaches and cavities. Oral health plays a key role in our overall wellbeing and can contribute to school absence and worsen chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Lack of access to culturally competent dental providers and linguistically appropriate services, as well as the high cost of dental care all contribute to oral health disparities which disproportionately impact low-income and communities of color.

In California, cuts to the state budget that resulted in the elimination of dental care for adults in the Denti-Cal program and a lack of comprehensive access to oral health care have only exacerbated oral health disparities.

Join us for our spring convening series, Taking a Bite Out of Oral Health Inequities: Strategies and Solutions for Communities of Color, as we highlight opportunities to advance oral health equity for communities of color at the state and local level.

CPEHN’s convening will provide you the opportunity to: 

  • Hear from local advocates about oral health challenges from access to care to unhealthy food environments in their communities
  • Learn about opportunities to support local and statewide efforts to advance oral health equity
  • Share ideas and take action on policies to reduce oral health disparities in California 

Registration is $25 for the General Public, $10 for CPEHN Network Members. The Network Member discount code is: 4EQUITY
Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Interpretation is available by request. 

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we have a reason for you to smile. More kids than ever before have dental coverage in California. Pediatric dental coverage is included in all Covered California health plans thanks to policy changes implemented last year, and all children enrolled in Medi-Cal also have dental coverage. This coverage opens the door to preventive dental services, such as exams, fluoride treatments, and more. There is also coverage for treatment of problems, such as fillings and other needed care.

Expanded coverage is especially significant for low-income children and communities of color facing stark inequities in oral health. According to a report by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, the disparity in oral health between poor and affluent children in California is the worst in the nation. African American and Latino children are less likely to have seen a dental provider and often wait longer between visits. When children don’t have good oral health and get the care they deserve, they are at risk for missing school and performing poorly in class, and they often end up in the emergency room for preventable dental problems that become costly when left untreated.

Dental coverage and learning how to use that coverage to get preventive services is the foundation for kids to have healthy teeth. Many families, however, may not know their kids have coverage or how to get dental care. That’s why The Children’s Partnership developed brand new flyers to help families learn how to navigate their children’s dental coverage.

The latest issue of our Health Equity Forum newsletter came out today and it includes several great articles and dozens of resources.

CPEHN’s Executive Director, Sarah de Guia, opens the newsletter by discussing Covered California’s disparities reduction and quality improvement strategies, which show promise in reducing disparities for California’s communities of color.

Our Ethnic Partner Spotlight features an article from the California Black Health Network (CBHN) and their advocacy efforts to improve the health of people with Sickle Cell Disease.

Focus Group

Since 1992, CPEHN has been working to improve the health of communities of color in California, and in 2015 we embarked on an exciting new project around oral health equity. Since last year, we have been preparing to conduct a multicultural community needs assessment throughout the state.

We partnered with nine community organizations representing diverse constituencies and health needs. These core partners are Asian Health Services and Roots Community Clinic in Oakland, Sacramento Native American Health Center, Centro Binacional para el Dessarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueno in Fresno, Korean Resource Center and Black Women for Wellness in Los Angeles, Latino Health Access in Orange County, Nile Sisters in San Diego, and the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Coalition.

Our core partners have started hosting community discussions to identify oral health needs, barriers, possible solutions, and perspectives. In the past couple weeks, I had the opportunity to attend community discussion sessions in Los Angeles coordinated by Black Women for Wellness and in San Diego coordinated by Nile Sisters.

Taking a Bite out of Oral Health Inequities Cover

Oral health is about more than just toothaches and cavities -- it can have a huge impact in your overall health. This is why CPEHN, with the support of the DentaQuest Foundation, has engaged more deeply over the past nine months to advance oral health equity for California’s communities of color. Just this month, we published a new policy brief, Taking a Bite out of Oral Health Inequities: Promoting Equitable Oral Health Policies for Communities of Color, to highlight oral health disparities within communities of color, identify some of the causes of these inequities, and share policy recommendations to advance equity for our communities.

Some of the key takeaways from the report include:

This past week, CPEHN was one of a number of organizations represented at the Oral Health 2020 National Network Gathering in New Orleans. We’re excited to be a part of this project and we think it could have a lasting impact on the oral health landscape in California. Our focus has always been on improving health in communities of color, and through this project, we can highlight an especially important health topic for diverse populations across our state. We are proud partners in this network that is working to achieve these bold goals by 2020 and we made even more great strides last week at the convening.

These goals were originally established to expand the impact of and unify the national network of change agents working to improve oral health across the country while allowing us to launch a system-change strategy that has inspired collective action across the country. Due to the network’s exciting success, the DentaQuest Foundation and its partners unveiled the recently-updated Oral Health 2020 goals:

Goal 1: Eradicate dental disease in children. 

  • Target: With the closing of disparity gaps, 85% of children reach age 5 without a cavity.

Goal 2: Incorporate oral health into the primary education system.

  • Target: The 10 largest school districts have incorporated oral health into their systems.

Goal 3: Include an adult dental benefit in publicly-funded health coverage.

  • Target: At least 30 states have an extensive Medicaid adult dental benefit.
  • Target: Medicare includes an extensive dental benefit.

Goal 4: Build a comprehensive national oral health measurement system.

Welcome to This Week in Equity Engagement on Twitter (TWEET) for the week of September 28, 2015. Our weekly potpourri of social justice topics includes a number of interesting resources this week. Check it out:

Illinois Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez introduced the Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act 2015, which would allow undocumented immigrants to purchase coverage through federal exchanges.

The following originally appeared on the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research's website and features a new report written by the authors listed above.

Low-income adults and children who are able to see a dentist at the same location as their primary care doctor are more likely to get dental care, yet almost three out of five community health clinics in California either don’t offer oral health services or, if they do, the nearest facility is sometimes too far for many patients to reach, according to a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
The study also showed that of the remaining clinics offering on-site dental care, nearly a quarter lack full-time dentists or dental hygienists and see less than half the number of dental patients they could be serving. The study, funded by the First 5 LA 21st-Century Community Dental Homes Project, includes nearly 900 community health centers, where about 4.9 million low-income people receive primary care.

Today marks my one year anniversary as CPEHN’s Executive Director. It’s hard to believe it has already been one year! When I started, CPEHN had just been awarded the 2014 “Impact Award for Advocacy” by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the election season was upon us, and staff were wrapping up another successful legislative year.
Thanks to a tremendous staff, amazing funders and donors, and a committed Board of Directors, CPEHN has achieved a number of key accomplishments. A few noteworthy highlights of our work include:

Advancing policies that improve health in California’s communities of color