Increasing Female Dentists Improves Health Equity

A study conducted by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC) at the University of Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies found that increasing the number of female dentists in the workforce improves health equity. The study, “Evaluating the Impact of Dentists’ Personal Characteristics on Workforce Participation,” found that the percentage of active dentists who are women is increasing with the mean age of female dentists as significantly lower than that of male dentists. Female dentists were also more likely to be racially/ethnically diverse compared to male dentists.

Click here to view the report.

In Pennsylvania: LGBTQ+ Cancer Screening Disaparities

According to the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ+ Health Needs Assessment, many LGBTQ+ individuals never receive proper cancer screening services. For example, compared to the general population, LGBTQ+ individuals eligible for pap smears were more than 3 times as likely to never have one. A resource that is available to address this need is the PA Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (PA-BCCEDP), a program that provides free breast and cervical cancer screening to those who qualify including Pap tests, HPV tests, mammograms, and follow-up diagnostics for abnormal screening results. Clients must have income less than 250% of the federal poverty income guidelines, be uninsured or underinsured (high co-pays or deductibles) and live in Pennsylvania.

The age range for breast services is 40-64 and cervical services is 21-64. Younger high-risk clients may also be eligible. Transgender individuals may also be eligible. PA-BCCEDP does not cover the costs of HPV vaccines; however, the HPV vaccine is cervical cancer prevention. The vaccine is nearly 100% effective in preventing HPV-related cancers; it is recommended for ages 11-12 and is available for people up to 45 with clinician recommendation. Free HPV vaccines may be available for up to age 18 through the Pennsylvania Vaccines for Children Program. For more information regarding LGBTQ+ populations and cancer planning, please visit the National LGBT Cancer Network website.

Rural Hospitals that Closed between 2017‐20: Profitability and Liquidity in the Year Before Closure

Researchers at the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center used data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Healthcare Cost Report Information System to compare the pre-closure profitability of rural hospitals that closed between 2017 and 2020 with the performance of rural hospitals that remained open.

Click here to read the results of the analysis:  Rural Hospitals that Closed between 2017‐20: Profitability and Liquidity in the Year Before Closure

New Research Brief: The High Performing Rural Health System

This brief presents the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) Health Panel’s vision for a high-performing rural health system and specific pillars of such a system. The RUPRI Health Panel envisions rural health services that are affordable and accessible for all rural residents through a sustainable health system that delivers high quality, high value services. A high-performing rural health system informed by the needs of each unique rural community and population groups will improve community health and well-being.

Click here to access the brief:  High Performing Rural Health System.


Race and Ethnicity in Pennsylvania: Comparisons and Trends

The latest brief from the Pennsylvania State Data Center explores trends in race and ethnicity from the 2020 Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data, with comparisons to 2010. The data show that the Commonwealth is more racially and ethnically diverse than last decade, with a considerable increase in the population that is multiracial, or “Two or More Races.”  The Bureau notes that these changes are due in part to improvements and changes in how race and ethnicity are measured.

For more information on racial and ethnic trends in Pennsylvania, click here to read the full brief and click here for interactive map.


Delayed & Missed Child Preventive Checkups During the Pandemic

A new study from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) found that more than 1 in 4 households have delayed or missed children’s preventive checkups due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, “Missed and Delayed Preventive Health Care Visits Among U.S. Children Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” was published by Public Health Reports and uses data collected in April and May of 2021.

Click here for more information.

Primary Care and Oral Health Integration

A new article, “What Primary Care Innovation Teaches Us About Oral Health Integration” emphasizes the role of primary care and oral health integration in improving population health and addressing health inequities. The article was published in the in the January 2022 issue of the American Medical Association (AMA) Journal of Ethics. The article offers five lessons from the patient-centered medical home movement to inform primary and oral health care integration.

Click here to read the article.

ASTDD to Launch National Oral Health Data Portal

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) is working to create the nation’s first comprehensive oral health data portal. The ASTDD National Oral Health Data Portal will bring oral health status, workforce, access, cost, and quality of life information from existing federal, state, and other datasets into one consolidated, publicly-accessible website. ASTDD will be hosting a webinar on January 10th at 3 pm ET to launch the portal.

Click here to join the webinar.

New Report Released on Oral Health in America

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIH) recently released “Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges.” The report is a culmination of two years of research and writing by over 400 contributors. It is a follow up to the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health in America, which explores the nation’s oral health over the last 20 years.

Click here to download the report.