Field of Work: Increasing access to oral health services for low income and minority populations and children and adults with disabilities.
Problem Synopsis: In May 2000, the landmark report Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, stated that "a silent epidemic of dental and oral disease" is affecting Americans. The report emphasized that oral health is an integral part of overall health and noted that there were significant disparities in oral health in the United States. Disproportionately, low-income children and adults, racial and ethnic minority groups and individuals with disabilities have limited access to dental services, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Synopsis of the Work: State Action for Oral Health Access (October 2001 to August 2009) supported six state-based demonstration projects that tested innovative and comprehensive ways to increase access to oral health services for low income and minority populations and children and adults with disabilities served through Medicaid, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) and the health care safety net. The six participating states were Arizona, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Vermont.
According to the program's final report, the program achieved the following results (names of states were not included in the report):