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In This Issue
Oral Health Heroes
Legislative Breakfast
Legislative News
National News
Fluoridation Consultant
Web Site Updates
Quick Links
Word of Mouth
Dear Sarah,

Word of Mouth, the newsletter of the Maine Dental Access Coalition welcomes the new year with a new look to our newsletter and our website, but most important, we have new Oral Health Heroes to welcome. Come and meet these extraordinary individuals, and your legislators, at the MDAC Legislative Breakfast!
Oral Health Heroesgive kids a smile
There were many excellent nominations for this years heroes-there is no fear of running out of candidates for these awards- but in the end the committee chose three individuals who have been demonstrated their commitment to better oral care access over the long haul. 
Barbara Covey, MD is President and volunteer interim director of the Community Dental  Center in Waterville, where she works tirelessly to keep the clinic-one of the few dental resources for low-income residents of Kennebec and Somerset counties- open in difficult economic times. She also is  Emergency Department Physician and  Medical Director of the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Waterville, where she experiences first hand the depth of oral health needs of low-income Mainers.
Demi Kouzounas, DMD is a private practice dentist with a huge and longstanding commitment to providing free care to families in need. This year she and Dr Barry Stoltz lead the Greater Portland Dental Society in creating Dentists Who Care For ME, a day of free care where 24 dentists in 13 offices saw more than 600 patients and provided $100,000 of care. The  GPDS will continue this event in the years to come.
Representative Pat Jones began her career as a Public Health Dental Hygienist working on a number of successful  community fluoridation campaigns. She has maintained her commitment to public oral health by serving as chair for the Maine Dental Access Coalition. Since her election as the District 83 Representative she has continued to champion oral health on the Health and Human Services Committee, and her appointment to the Health and Human Services Committee of the National Council of State Legislatures has allowed her to advocate for oral health in national health care reform efforts.
MDAC Legislative Breakfast
winter state houseJoin us on Tuesday, February 2 8:30-10:00 AM for the third annual Legislative Breakfast, in the Cross Cafeteria back room at the State House. Invite your legislator to come too! To find out who your representatives are, and how communicate effectively with them, go to the the public policy section of the MDAC web site. To RSVP for the breakfast contact Deondrea at
Legislative News legislation
In response to the dire fiscal climate at the State House,The MDAC Policy Workgroup met to discuss alternatives to asking for funding  our legislative priority from last year,LD 624, Resolve, To Implement Certain Recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Expanding Access to Oral Health Care for Maine People. The result was a a resolve that asks that LD 624 be replaced with a study to determine if MaineCare dental cost savings can be achieved and reinvested in alternative ways by revising the current way MaineCare services are delivered.  This approach was adopted and passed, unanimously, by the Health and Human Services Committee and final language is being drafted.
Another bill MDAC supports, LD 233 An Act To Include Independent Practice Dental Hygienists in MaineCare , was  voted 9-4 ought to pass in the HHS work session. This bill provides for reimbursement under the MaineCare program to directly pay dental hygienists practicing independently.
At the Business Research and Economic Development Committee (BRED) LD 1520 An Act To Allow the Board of Dental Examiners To Grant Permits to Qualified Individuals To Practice as Dental Residents, was voted out of committee as ought to pass. This bill allows the Board of Dental Examiners to issue a temporary permit to a qualified individual to practice as a dental resident under the supervision of a licensed dentist within a board-approved dental residency program setting.
National News
A Special Issue on Children's Oral Health
appearsAAP OH logo in the December issue of Academic Pediatrics.  The volume is an outgrowth of the National Summit on Children's Oral Health, convened by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in Chicago in November 2008.
Contributions to the special issue come from experts in dentistry, medicine, nursing, and public policy and urges health-care professionals to make oral health a pediatric priority. The special issue features a call for physicians, dentists and other health professionals who work with children to embrace a shared responsibility for children's oral health and work to overcome the historic separation between dentistry and medicine.
The special issue and background information about the National Summit on Children's Oral Health can be viewed on the AAP's Oral Health Web site.
Two new policy resources on Pregnancy, Oral Health and Medicaid.
There is a new policy brief from the National Oral Health Policy Center on Medicaid Coverage for Dental Care for Pregnant Women that examines state Medicaid oral health coverage for pregnant women. Topics include the importance of oral health during pregnancy, oral health care utilization, and state recommendations to improve access to oral health care for pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid. The National Association of State Health Policy (NASHP) has also just released a brief on Enhanced Pregnancy Benefit Packages: Worth Another Look reporting  on the results of a national survey of states' enhanced pregnancy benefits and how those benefits affect birth outcomes.  
Fluoridation Consultant
The MaineCDC now has a fluoridation consultant thanks to a cooperative agreement with the federal CDC to improve Maine's oral health infrastructure.  Jennifer Donell, formerly from Alaska, where she worked with environmental  regulations, permitting and hazardous waste management, will be working with each of the over 60 fluoridated community water systems to provide technical assistance and compliance  assurance. She provides a welcome resource for water district operators who are charged with providing safe and appropriate fluoridation to Maine communities.
Web Site Updates
The Maine Dental Access Coalition we site has a new look. We have improved the navigation, and added a "Hot Topics" section to so you can easily see what's new and important. Please let us know if this site works for you and how we can continue to improve.
kohp logo plainThe Kids Oral Health Partnership web site has had a dramatic overhaul, it should be far easier to take advantage of the resources posted there for child and family care, health and dental professionals. There are lots materials to help with patient and caregiver education, as well as on-line curricula for updating staff skills, and a section for the developing cadre of KOHP trainers.  
The Maine Dental Access Coalition (MDAC) is a public-private partnership focused on improving access to oral care. The Coalition's mission is "To advocate for and improve access to quality preventive and comprehensive oral health care for all Maine residents."
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