Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Act Now: Sign on to Improve Dental Care Access for Pennsylvanians with IDDs

Make a difference in dental care inclusivity for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Pennsylvania. You have the opportunity to support a crucial initiative that would support equitable access to dental care for the 1 in 4 Pennsylvanians with a disability. The Governor’s Exceptional Medically Underserved Population (EMUP) designation is an opportunity for Pennsylvania to access additional federal funding for vital needs like increasing primary care access, provider loan repayment, incentivized reimbursement, and much more. Lend your organization’s support – sign on today to improve dental care access for Pennsylvanians with IDD.

Click here for more information.
Click here to sign on to the letter.

Community Health Worker Survey on Oral Health Education Launched

The Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health (PCOH) is asking Certified Community Health Workers (CCHW) to complete an Annual Survey on oral health education and CCHWs for 2023. PCOH is a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the importance of lifelong dental health and CCHWs are key partners in this work. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. For all surveys submitted before February 9, there will be an option to enter a drawing for two $50 Amazon gift cards. Questions? Contact or visit

DANB Announces New Scholarship for Dental Assistants

A new scholarship is now available to help dental assistants launch their careers. The DANB/DALE Foundation Scholarship is now accepting applications. The scholarship is open to dental assisting students and current dental assistants with less than five years of experience. Scholarship funds can be used for education, credentials, and activities or services that improve oral health in groups that historically faced barriers to accessing dental care. Applications are accepted now through March 4, 2024. To learn more or apply, visit DANB’s website.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, and many others. The 2024 theme is “Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles.” The American Dental Association has free downloadable posters, postcards, and flyers available on their website. You can also order physical copies of these materials to be shipped.

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American Academy of Pediatrics Launches New Fluoridation Webpage

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently launched a new fluoridation webpage. It provides numerous downloadable resources for health professionals and families and tackles frequently asked questions including questions rooted in misinformation. The new webpage also includes videos about fluoridation, infographics, and posters that are able to be printed.

Click here to visit the webpage.

Updated Pennsylvania State Health Assessment Report Published

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Office of Operational Excellence recently published the updated 2023 Pennsylvania State Health Assessment (SHA). The report, “The State of Our Health: A Statewide Health Assessment of Pennsylvania,” was first published in August 2023. The report highlights the need for more dentists in Pennsylvania, especially for those enrolled in Medicaid. It also touches on the importance of oral health and dental caries as one of the most chronic diseases in the country. Thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for including PA Coalition for Oral Health as a stakeholder for this important report.

Click here to read the updated report.

Pennsylvania Department of Health Releases Updated Basic Oral Health Screening Survey Report

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Oral Health Program released an updated report, “2021-2022 Oral Health Basic Screening Survey of Third Graders.” With support from PCOH, a basic screening survey (BSS) was conducted on third-grade children to collect data on their oral health status during the 2021-2022 academic year. This report summarizes the findings of the state-wide sample and provides valuable insights into the current oral health status of children in third grade in Pennsylvania, informing future policies and programs promoting oral health among the state’s youth. They also released a one-pager of the findings briefly summarizing the report.

Click here to read the updated report.
Click here to read the one-pager.