Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Pennsylvania Community Water Fluoridation Map Launched

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health (PCOH) is excited to share an interactive community water fluoridation map for Pennsylvania. PCOH has been collaborating on this project with the University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry and the Pittsburgh Collaboratory for Water Research, Education, & Outreach. The story map has three tabs with the first being informational. The second tab allows individuals to search for water system by typing in an address. The third tab is interactive and allows individuals to zoom in and out and to add and remove layers of information such as water system name, fluoridation status, legislative districts, municipal and county boundaries, school districts, and dental health provider shortage areas (DHPSAs). There is also a corresponding brief to go along with the map,
“In the Fight Against Tooth Decay: May the Fluoride Be With You!”

Click here to access the map.
Click here to read the brief. 

Pennsylvania Statewide Dental Access Coordination Report

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health (PCOH) is pleased to announce the March 2021 publication of “Statewide Dental Access Coordination: A Report for Pennsylvania”. With support from a Highmark Foundation planning grant, PCOH set out to learn how Pennsylvanians find dental care, what issues prevent them from finding or scheduling an appointment with a dental provider, and whether it is feasible to identify or create a single, easily accessible resource to connect Pennsylvanians in need of dental care with the providers who want to serve them. The findings are discussed and summarized in the report.

Click here to read the news release.
Click here to read the final report.

APHA Releases Statement on Oral Health Care for Pregnant Women

The American Public Health Association (APHA) released a new policy statement regarding the importance of improving oral health care access for pregnant women. Oral health is integral to overall health and a healthy pregnancy, yet less than half of pregnant women in the United States report receiving routine dental care during pregnancy. Oral diseases during pregnancy can negatively impact birth outcomes and women’s quality of life. The policy statement describes this major public health problem, along with opposing arguments, evidence-based strategies and action steps, at federal, state, and local levels.

Click here for more information.

National Coalition of Dentists for Health Equity

Dentists are often limited in expressing their views when it comes to issues of equity and workforce improvements. The new National Coalition for Dental Health Equity aims to unite dentists in support of evidence-based, high-quality, and cost-effective oral health services, including disease prevention and treatment and care delivery models. The organization’s purpose is to unite dentists who support evidence-based practices in the U.S. to advance the goal of comprehensive health equity with a specific interest in oral health equity for all.

Dental Care for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council shared a new issue brief, “COVID-19 and the HCH Community: Maintaining Access to Dental Services.” The issue explore why dental services are essential to those experiencing homelessness, unique challenges experienced by those experiencing homelessness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recommendations for dental providers to improve access to care and provide services to those experiencing homelessness.

Click here to read the issue.

Introducing the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health

On March 29th, the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement became part of a new organization called the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.

CareQuest Institute is a nonprofit committed to building a future in which equitable systems promote excellent health, allowing people everywhere to reach their full potential. This next evolution of work amplifies and expands upon the programming, resources, and strengths of past organizations, including the DentaQuest Partnership, DentaQuest Foundation, and DentaQuest Institute.

As CareQuest Institute, the more robust portfolio reaches across grantmaking, research, health improvement programs, policy and advocacy, and education as well as dental benefits, care delivery, and innovation advancements designed to improve the oral health system. As a new organization, they can broaden their impact and move faster together toward a system designed for everyone.

Click here for more information.

CDC Initiative Creates New Water Fluoridation Technology

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded research initiative offers access to optimally fluoridated water for up to 19 million people in the U.S. for the first time. The new fluoridation method is designed to dissolve in a small amount of water, much like the chlorine tablets used in swimming pools. This tablet system could allow nearly 32,000 small public utilities – often in underserved, rural areas – to contribute to the national Healthy People goal of providing access to fluoridated water to 77.1% of the U.S. population by 2030. The new system is still pending approval in Pennsylvania.

Click here to learn more.

New Technology – Water Fluoridation Tablets

Technology funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could give 19 million people in the U.S. access to optimally fluoridated water for the first time. The system uses a fluoride tablet that dissolves in water, similar to how chlorine tablets work for swimming pools. Learn more.

OHRC Oral Health Resource Bulletin Released

The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) released the latest issue of the “Oral Health Resource Bulletin,” a periodic publication designed to stimulate thinking and creativity within the maternal and child health community by providing information about selected materials of interest. This bulletin features materials on the COVID-19 pandemic, surveillance, policy, professional education and practice, program development, public awareness and education, and systems integration.

Click here to read the bulletin.