Smile Humboldt E-Newsletter for the Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group (DAG)
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2016 E-Newsletter


For more information on oral health resources in our community


2016 E-Newsletter


For more information on oral health resources in our community


From the Oral Health Consultant
Leigh Pierre-Oetker, Humboldt County Public Health

Just a few thoughts as we head into the Spring.  Hoping everyone is seeing our Smile Humboldt Campaign on the back of HTA buses.  We have contracted with HTA (thanks to  RCAA's HRSA Grant!) for April and May to spread our messaging, You Can Prevent Dental Decay as well as promote our Smile Humboldt website.  If you are a Facebook user, please make sure you search for Smile Humboldt and LIKE us.  As always we are looking for content and your feedback as we continue to explore how to use these new social media avenues to educate our community about the importance of good oral health.

I have included a link in this month's newsletter to the newly released Little Hoover Commission Report:"Fixing DentiCal."  It is incredibly powerful and comes at a time when a lot of great synergy is happening at the State level that might actually finally see real changes happening to our broken DentiCal system including a hyper focus on pushing more resources towards prevention.  We also have a new State Dental Director, Dr. Kumar, who is actively meeting with stakeholders as he prepares a Statewide Oral Health Plan. Dawn Arledge (CCRP) and myself did travel to Sacramento, on behalf of First 5 Humboldt, in the latter part of March to meet with Dr. Kumar and other First 5 organizations statewide to hear about this plan as well as the upcoming opportunities that are forthcomning through the Department of Health Care Services' MediCal 2020 Dental Transformation Initiative.

I am going to talk a lot more about these topics at out next DAG Meeting in May.  As always, your input is going to be invaluable, particularly as we look to the potential to apply to be a Local Dental Pilot Program as part of the Dental Transformation Initiative.

Finally, I will be attending the National Oral Health Conference in Ohio next week and am hoping to learn a lot and share with everyone new ideas and creative thoughts about how we continue to do this great work!    ~~Leigh


Oral Health Resources & Articles

NEW U.S. Public Health Service Oral Health Coordinating Committee (OHCC) webpage is now available and features the HHS Oral Health Strategic Framework and the Surgeon General's Perspective

Preventing Cavities with a Pill?




2016 Little Hoover Commission Report:
"Fixing DentiCal"

On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, the Little Hoover Commission adopted its report on California’s Medicaid dental program, Denti-Cal,
Fixing Denti-Cal


The report is available on the Commission’s website here



Upcoming Webinars
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) invites you to the webinar:
Managing Early Childhood Caries in Medicaid
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
11:00-12:30 PST
To register, please click on this link: Register Now!
States across the nation are redesigning their health care systems to promote higher quality health care, healthier populations, and more efficient spending. Children’s oral health has been recognized as a key contributor to overall health, both in childhood and into adulthood. Redesigning the way Medicaid approaches the problem of early childhood caries (ECC, the infectious disease that causes tooth decay) to focus on preventing and managing it rather than paying costly bills for repairing the damage when cases become severe, could produce better care, better health, and lower costs. This 90-minute webinar will provide participants with:
  • A synopsis of the importance of addressing caries in children.
  • An overview of pilot projects using a variety of new approaches to prevent and manage early childhood caries.
  • An exploration of two such new approaches: motivational interviewing as a culturally-competent behavior change methodology; and medical management of caries through the use of silver ion products (silver nitrate and silver diamine fluoride).
  • A discussion of how state Medicaid programs can facilitate the use of interventions to prevent and manage early childhood caries.
Speakers and Moderator:
  • Laurie Norris, JD, Senior Policy Advisor and Coordinator of the CMS Oral Health Initiative, CMS
  • Francisco Ramos-Gomez, DDS, MS, MPH, Professor, Director for the Pediatric Dentistry Preceptorship Program, UCLA School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA
  • Steve Duffin, DDS, MBA, Owner, Shoreview Dental, LLC, Keizer, OR
  • Colin Reusch, MPA, Senior Policy Analyst, Children’s Dental Health Project
By the end of the webinar, participants will:
  • Learn about Early Childhood Caries (ECC) and gain awareness of disease prevention and management approaches
  • Become informed about approaches to changing patient oral health behaviors through culturally competent motivational interviewing
  • Learn about the use of silver nitrate/silver diamine fluoride in the medical management of ECCGain insights into how the management of ECC might be integrated into Medicaid programs.
Who should attend:
  • State Medicaid and CHIP staff, including dental directors and dental program managers, medical directors, quality improvement directors, and other state staff engaged in quality improvement and/or children’s oral health
  • Medicaid health and dental plan staff interested in effective new approaches to delivering dental and oral health care to children enrolled in Medicaid
  • Medical and dental providers interested in practice improvement
  • State health department staff involved in oral health promotion and children’s health
  • Those interested in improving children’s oral health

Smiles Across America
Developing a District-wide Oral Health Initiative
for Los Angeles Unified School District

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 
3:00 PM CST

The L.A. Trust has successfully developed a district-wide “Oral Health Initiative” to improve the oral health of our students through school-based strategies. Beginning with the establishment of a community coalition including parents, school personnel, and health providers (i.e. nurses, physicians, dentists, social services) they have developed and tested a population-based oral health prevention program in 6 elementary schools. Parent surveys assessed preventative oral health behaviors and access to oral health services. The program provided free oral health screening exams with application of fluoride varnish, as well as oral health education for students, teachers, and parents to promote oral hygiene practices and food and beverage choices. All students were referred to a community-based dental home. Students with severe dental disease requiring attention were linked to a dentist and treated immediately thanks to the care coordination from a newly funded district staff position, the Oral Health Resource Nurse. Results from screening exams, program costs and rates of reimbursement were recorded. Toolkits and web resources were developed to ensure consistency across sites. We at Oral Health America are excited to showcase our new program partner!
Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be able to:
  1. To describe a population health framework for addressing oral health in school based programs
  2. To identify the components of the Oral Health Initiative
  3. To describe variation on approach to oral health programming based on student age
  4. To discuss how evaluation can be communicated to school and community partner staff
Maryjane Puffer, Executive Director, The L.A. Trust for Children's Health



Job Announcements
Part Time to Full Time Registered Dental Hygienist
Redwoods Rural Health Center, Redway

Compensation: $38.00-$43.00 per hour DOE

Applications can be found at

Mail your completed application, resume & cover letter to:
ATTN: Barb Taylor, Dental Operations Manager
P.O. Box 769   Redway, CA  95560

Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group

Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 10th 2016 12:00-2:00
Eureka Community Health & Wellness Center
2200 Tydd Street
~Lunch Will Be Served~

Smiles Are Always in Style
Click here to view our Smile Humboldt Rap Song & Video!
Copyright © 2016 Smile Humboldt, All rights reserved.

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