Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
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Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Nevada's Oral Health Coalitions

Practice Number: 31005
Submitted By: Nevada State Health Division, Bureau of Family Health Services
Submission Date: September 2005
Last Reviewed: March 2013
Last Updated: March 2013
Best Practice Approach Example Nevada's Oral Health Coalitions

The 2004 Nevada State Oral Health Plan was developed to provide a set of goals and objectives to guide oral health promotion activities throughout the state.  Due to geographic challenges and the diversity of the communities within Nevada, implementation of the plan by one statewide oral health coalition was perceived by stakeholders as an ineffective and undesirable approach to address the oral health needs of local communities.  In response, the State has partnered with stakeholders to develop an overarching Advisory Committee on the State for Oral Health (AC4OH) and local oral health coalitions that address the needs of the State and local communities.  The AC4OH is comprised of 13 members representing a diverse group of stakeholders.  The AC4OH meets quarterly with one face to face meeting each year.  Members of the AC4OH share information and recommendations at the state level with local oral health coalitions.  Members then take information and recommendations from the local level back to the AC4OH.  The state currently has three community-based oral health coalitions:

(1)  The Community Coalition for Oral Health (CCOH) addresses needs in the Clark County (Las Vegas and Henderson) area. 

(2)  The Northern Nevada Dental Coalition for Underserved Populations (CUSP) serves the Washoe County (Reno/Sparks) area. 

(3)  Northeastern Coalition for Oral Health (NECOH) works to promote oral health in Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, and White Pine Counties.

The local oral health coalitions meet monthly or quarterly depending on the needs of the community.  The members of the AC4OH and local oral health coalition members convene together once a year at a State Oral Health Summit, the cost of which is approximately $20,000.  The annual meeting provides an opportunity to review and update the State Oral Health Plan, share information, develop common goals and objectives, share best practices and develop relationships. 

Lessons Learned:

The Northwestern Rural Oral Health Coalition (NROCH) was formed when the Carson-Douglas Oral Health Coalition and the Churchill, Lyon, Pershing and Storey Rural Oral Health Coalition (CLPS ROHC) merged. NROCH is no longer a functioning coalition due to a lack of participation and engagement. Their territories included Churchill, Lyon, Pershing and Storey Counties. Currently the Northeastern Coalition for Oral Health (NECOH) and the Maternal Child Health advisory committee have absorbed responsibilities to those particular communities until AC4OH decide how to proceed further to address this issue.

As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Nevada State Health Division’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion section, which includes the state Oral Health Program, has implemented the Coordinated Chronic Disease model. This model was established to build and strengthen state health department capacity and expertise to prevent chronic disease and promote health. It was created to maximize the reach of chronic disease programs such as oral health, diabetes, obesity, cancer, arthritis, tobacco nutrition and physical activity. Through this integrated model, programs could enhance efforts in data management, communication and partnership development as well as achieve policy and environmental change, health systems changes, and enhance clinic-community linkages in conjunction with coalition partners.

As a result, the annual Oral Health Summit was integrated into the state Chronic Disease Conference: Synchronicity – Coordinating Nevada’s Chronic Disease Management, Prevention, and Health Promotion Efforts held in Las Vegas January 18-19, 2013. AC4OH and local oral health coalitions took their developed policy tool from 2011 that addressed priority issues in Nevada and brainstormed a plan to achieve goals and objectives of this policy tool for the next Oral Health State Plan, which will be integrated into the Coordinated Chronic Disease State Plan.  Priorities include the following:

  • Create a data-driven statewide oral health surveillance system
  • Increase oral health education and awareness
  • Create a state-funded dental sealant program
  • Provide state funding for the oral health program
  • Mandate that all children have dental exams as a requirement to attend school

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Kimberly Fahey, Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Manager, Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness, Nevada State Health Division, 4150 Technology Way Suite 210, Carson City, NV 89706, Phone: 775-684-4253, Fax: 775-684-4245, Email: