|New Video: Maine Oral Health Policy
MDAC has just released a video of Maine leaders highlighting the coalition's primary policy goals. "First of all we really want decision makers and the public to understand that oral health is inseparable from overall health, and that all public policy should reflect this, said Coalition Chair Wendy Alpaugh DMD, "The video does a good job demonstrating this point, and it also highlights our other goals: the need for fair payment for services, the need for workforce development and recruitment, the importance of community water fluoridation, and the importance of early disease prevention for infants and children." To watch the video go here
on the Coalition's web site.
|Heroes Honored at Legislative Breakfast
Barbara Covey, MD, Demi Kouzounas, DMD, and Representative Pat Jones, shown here with MDAC Chair Wendy Alpaugh DMD, received their well deserved awards at a very well attended legislative breakfast this month. For more pictures of the event go here
Give Kids a Smile in Ellsworth On February 19, 2010 up to 60 uninsured children from local families will received free dental services including x-rays, comprehensive exams, and cleanings as part of national Give Kids A SmileŽ day hosted by Maine Coast Community Dental Clinic, a program of Downeast Health Services. Children, ages 1 to 13, without any form of dental insurance were eligible to participate in this event.
Legislative News In response to the dire fiscal climate at the State House, MDAC's 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 proposal to replace LD 624 payment increases with a study examining how MaineCare dental cost savings can be achieved and reinvested in alternative ways that are lower costs to the system, but provide higher quality care. This approach was adopted and passed, unanimously, by the Health and Human Services Committee and the Governor has signed into law Resolve, To Study Expenditures for Oral Health Care in the MaineCare Program!
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, has been signed into law. 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.
First Oral Bacteria Found Linking a Mother and Her Stillborn Baby
Yiping Han, a researcher from Department of Periodontics at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, reports the first documented link between a mother with pregnancy-associated gum disease to the death of her fetus. The findings are discussed in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology read on...
Training Clinicians Helps Reduce Rates Of Early Childhood Cavities Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that pediatricians provided with the proper communication, educational and information technology tools and training could reduce the rates of children developing early childhood caries (ECC) or cavities by 77 percent read on...
Massachuetts adds brushing requirement for pre-school. Massachusetts is the first state to add toothbrush time to the color-nap-snack-and-play routine of preschools, requiring that all children who eat a meal at day care, or attend for more than four hours, brush their teeth during class and be educated about oral health read on...
The National Maternal and Child Health Resouce Center has provided a "knowledge path" for all kinds of oral health information on infants, children, adolescents, and pregnant women, go here
Web Site Updates The Maine Dental Access Coalition web 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.
The 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 of 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.