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

We find ourselves in a very unique time in terms of the oral health landscape.  The momentum for oral health equity is building in California.  With the new MediCal 2020 Waiver inclusion of a Dental Transformation Initiative (DTI) and the appointing of the new State Dental Director, Dr. Jay Kumar, as well as the just released Little Hoover Commission Report, "Fixing DentiCal" it's this renewed focus that is propelling us towards what many of us hope will create better access and care for young adults and children in Humboldt County.  

On May 10th Humboldt County Public Health submitted a letter of intent to the California Department of Health Care Services to demonstrate our intent to apply to be a Local Dental Pilot Program as part of the new MediCal 2020 Waiver. Our preliminary framework establishes a coordinated delivery system of oral health care that would serve the 0-20 population from education to prevention to restorative interventions with an emphasis on care coordination and case management.  The good work we have accomplished over the last few years, particularly the collaborative approach in working with our providers, nonprofit and educational community to approach our oral health challenges as a collective has positioned us to be able to demonstrate to the State that we are an ideal candidate to become one of the 15 Local Dental Pilot Programs chosen.  I will continue to share our progress with everyone and welcome your input and feedback through the application phase of this process.  

For more information on the MediCal 2020 Waiver-Dental Transformation Initiative go to:



Oral Health Resources & Articles
Campaign for Dental Health Newsletter

Get the latest on water fluoridation on our From the Frontline blog. We keep it updated with news from the Campaign for Dental Health (CDH), trends in oral health and fluoridation, and more! Below is a recap of the latest posts on our blog including sample social media messages that you are encouraged to use to help us spread positive information about fluoridation. Have an idea about a topic that you would like us to explore on the blog? Contact us at! FB_Twitter_Logos.png
Have an idea about a topic that you would like us to explore on the blog? Contact us at!



It Shouldn't Hurt to Be a Child: Preventing Early Childhood Caries
Provides information on preventing early childhood caries (ECC). The fact sheet includes statements supported by references from the recent professional literature that can be integrated into a brief or report, a proposal, or a presentation. Topics include what ECC is and who is at risk, the costs of ECC, and how ECC risk can be reduced.


Rural Health Information Hub Update

Integration of Oral Health Into the Well-Child Visit at Federally Qualified Health Centers: Study of 6 Clinics, August 2014-March 2015
Results and analysis of observations and 39 interviews with 42 administrators and staff at 6 clinics in rural, small community, and urban areas in Massachusetts and Maryland. Includes patient demographics and structural characteristics of clinics.
Author(s): Judith Bernstein, Christina Gebel, Clemencia Vargas, et al.
Location: Preventing Chronic Disease, 13
Date: 04/2016


Upcoming Webinars
Improving Oral Health Care for American Indian/Alaska Native Children: The Menominee Model
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 – 12:00 pm Eastern | 11:00 am Central | 10:00 am Mountain | 9:00 am Pacific
Registration Information
The American Academy of Pediatrics Indian Health Special Interest Group is sponsoring this free webinar aimed to help attendees describe the severity of the dental caries problem in the AI/AN population, understand the clinical tools available to use to address the problem, and recognize the community and financial resources that are needed to increase access and treatment for these children. Presenters include Ronald D. Freeman, DMD and Tammy Keller, BSDH, RDH, CDHC.

Changing Relationships: How to Foster Effective Communication with Patients and Families
Tuesday, May, 31, 2016 – 12:00 pm Eastern | 11:00 am Central | 10:00 am Mountain | 9:00 am Pacific
Registration Information
This webinar, facilitated by the National Center for Medical Home Implementation, will provide attendees with an understanding of how language access can improve delivery of care within the pediatric medical home model, how to identify effective visual, verbal, and written communication tools and resources that can be used in practice for all patients, including those with limited English proficiency and health literacy, and evidence-based and evidence-informed promising practices that leverage effective communication and language access to improve equitable provision of care.



From the State

AB 1051 Denti-Cal Program
Legislative Republicans have asked Governor Brown to include a $200m budget augmentation for Denti-Cal in his May budget Revise. 
Also introduced a corresponding bill, AB 1051 to appropriate $200m “to attract and retain more providers, with an emphasis on underserved areas, and to increase utilization of the program”
This bill would appropriate $200,000,000 from the General Fund to the State Department of Health Care Services for the Denti-Cal program. The bill would require the department to allocate these funds to, among other things, increase funding for preventative care and case management services, as appropriate, to achieve significant long-term cost savings, increased provider participation, and increased beneficiary utilization under the Denti-Cal program.
Progress of the State’s Oral Health Plan
The state’s oral health plan is still being finalized.  The state, advisory committee members, and stakeholder groups have researched existing public health frameworks and approaches to build out this plan.
Since the plan is for two years, the focus has been on making sure goals are clear and measurable. The draft plan outlines five goals:
  1. Improve the oral health of Californians by addressing determinants of health, specifically promoting healthy habits and population-based prevention interventions to attain healthier status in healthy communities.
  2. Align dental health care delivery system, payment systems, and community programs to support and sustain community-clinical linkages for increasing utilization of dental services.
  3. Collaborate with payers, public health, health care systems, foundations, professional organizations, and educational institutions to expand infrastructure, capacity, and payment systems for supporting prevention and early treatment services.
  4. Develop and implement a surveillance system to measure key indicators of oral health and identify key performance measure for tracking progress.
  5. Develop and implement communication strategies to inform and educate the public, providers, and decision makers about oral health information, programs, and policies. 


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



DAG Outreach & Marketing Committee
Next Meeting:   Friday, May 20th 3:00-4:30
Public Health Conference Room 
529 I Street
(corner of 6th & I)-Eureka

Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group (DAG)
Next Meeting: Tuesday, July 12th 2016 12:00-2:00
Eureka Community Health & Wellness Center
2200 Tydd Street
~Lunch Will Be Served~

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