New Approaches to Oral Health Infrastructure and Capacity 724.972.7242 PO Box 242, Delmont, PA 15626 Working to improve oral health for all Pennsylvanians by uniting stakeholders to advance advocacy, policy, education and innovative approaches.

Project Background: The Pennsylvania Department of Health, in partnership with oral health stakeholders across Pennsylvania, has received grant funding from the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) for the project titled “New Approaches to Oral Health Infrastructure and Capacity.” Using a strategic and multidisciplinary approach, the project aims to:

  • Address dental workforce needs in dental health professional shortage areas (DHPSAs) through activities that promote careers in oral health and by preparing practitioners to provide competent care to vulnerable and underserved groups.
  • Encourage and support innovation to increase oral health services by providing leadership for oral health initiatives, building the capacity of the project partners and other oral health agencies to collect data, and supporting the implementation of oral health projects that target the unique communities within DHPSAs.
  • Sustain innovative and effective programs through leveraged resources and increase the accessibility and quality of oral health services by implementing new service models that target vulnerable and underserved populations such as low-income children and adults, and individuals with disabilities.

About the Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health: The Pennsylvania Coalition for Oral Health (PCOH) serves as the dynamic leading voice to improve oral health across the Commonwealth. PCOH supports the advancement of policies and practices that increase access to oral health services, education, and prevention especially for the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians. Serving as the sole source oral health contractor to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, PCOH is leading the administration and oversight of grant funding from HRSA.

Project Goals: This portion of “New Approaches to Oral Health Infrastructure and Capacity” aims to integrate oral health services into two Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) located in DHPSAs. The goal is to provide community-based preventive oral health services to patients within the DHPSA, reaching at least 2400 patients within each facility through August 31, 2022.

Scope of Work and Deliverables: Two (2) RHCs will receive dental equipment to outfit one operatory, including the following: portable dental unit, portable chair, portable light, portable stool, curing light, ultrasonic scaler, instruments/cassettes, and a portable sterilizer, not to exceed a total expense of $12,820 for each clinic. The equipment may be stationary or portable, based upon each clinic’s unique needs. Each clinic will be responsible for providing qualified staff to utilize the equipment which will ideally be used for preventive procedures including but not limited to dental screenings, prophylaxis, fluoride applications, and sealant application. Clinics will be required to report:

  • Number of patients treated,
  • Type and number of community-based oral health services provided, and
  • Hours of services provided annually. 724.972.7242 PO Box 242, Delmont, PA 15626 Working to improve oral health for all Pennsylvanians by uniting stakeholders to advance advocacy, policy, education and innovative approaches.

Timeline: Letters of Intent due: November 28, 2018

RHCs notified of selection for participation by: December 10, 2018

RHCs begin receiving equipment: January 2019

All data from year one due: August 1, 2019

** Please note that the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health will be available to offer technical assistance to RHCs.

Criteria for Selection: Clinics must be in a DHPSA and demonstrate dental need. Additionally, clinics must demonstrate readiness and ability to provide dental services.

Format: The Letter of Intent should be no more than two pages. The following elements should be included:

  • Background information about the RHC (independent vs. provider based, number of patients served annually, and any current focus on oral health)
  • Demonstrated community need
  • Plans to accommodate and utilize dental equipment within existing practice (designated space, staffing, purchase of necessary disposable supplies, plan to add dental to scope practice if necessary)
  • Demonstrated ability to collect and submit required data for project reporting purposes

Please submit letters of intent to:

Helen Hawkey, Executive Director, PA Coalition for Oral Health

Questions? Please contact Helen Hawkey at (724) 972-7242 or