Maryland gets grant to tackle oral health disparities
Maryland is among 20 states receiving grants from a foundation aimed at reducing disparities in oral health care. The money comes from DentaQuest Foundation, which is supported by the oral health benefits administration company.
The group points to an Institute of Medicine report that found nearly 5 million children didn’t get dental checkups in 2008 because of poor finances and 33.3 million people live in an area with a shortage of dental professionals.
For its Oral Health 2014 Initiative, the foundation sought proposals to address the problems. It received interest from 70 organizations and chose those that engaged multiple partners inside and outside the oral health arena. They will tackle one or more area: prevention and public health infrastructure, oral health literacy, medical/dental collaboration, developing metrics for improving oral health, financing models, and strengthening the dental care delivery system.
“This is a really important moment for oral health,” said Ralph Fuccillo, president of the DentaQuest Foundation, in a statement. “These 20 state organizations enhance the national movement of collaborative leaders who are embracing the challenge and the opportunity to address oral health disparities in their communities.”
Maryland has moved aggressively in recent years to tackle oral health disparities, creating a the Maryland Dental Action Coalition, after the death of a Prince George’s County boy from an infected tooth. The coalition will get the funding from Dentaquest and will target oral health literacy and medical/dental collaboration. Here are the other recipients.