Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
3858‌ Cashill Blvd.,‌ Reno,‌ NV‌ ‌89509
Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

New Member Services

2023 New Member Services Annual Report

New Member Services Workplan

New Member Services Logic Model

Peer Support

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) in conjunction with the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) and their Bureau of Maternal and Child Health (MCHB) established a Mentoring Program in 2001 for individuals leading state oral health programs (SOHP) (directors/managers) who have less than two years' experience in their present position. The program has evolved into a peer support program. The goal of the program is to assist new directors/managers by increasing their knowledge and skills to manage a state oral health program.

Developing, implementing and evaluating a state oral health program are a tremendous undertaking and require a great deal of knowledge, skill, flexibility and diplomacy. SOHP directors/managers bring a variety of backgrounds to their position and often occupy the sole oral health position within their state health agency. ASTDD wants to assist in whatever way possible to help new directors/managers become effective in administering their programs.

Throughout the year, ASTDD hosts a number of orientation webinars to acquaint new SOHP directors/managers with the Association, its website and resources, and the federal agencies and other national partners. ASTDD also co-hosts a National Oral Health Conference and provides other professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year.

Here is what our members say:

"The Peer Program is an invaluable asset to ANY new dental director. To know that there is someone available to answer questions and offer suggestions, and eager to do so, offers a tremendous feeling of confidence." T. Johnson

"I think the peer support program should be the 'first stop' for all new state oral health program directors."  H. Goodman

"One of the benefits of the Peer Support Program is the ability to share ideas/concerns with someone who understands."  A. Filzen


The new state SOHP director/manager will complete an application for the Peer Support Program. A peer will be selected for the new director/manager and together they will complete a technical assistance plan. The selected peer will help acquaint the new director/manager with ASTDD resources for effective program administration and management.

If you are a new state SOHP director/manager and you are interested in participating in the peer support program with an assigned peer for technical assistance, please complete the peer support program application form and provide a copy of your CV to assist us in matching you with an appropriate peer. This information will assist your peer in developing and tailoring the learning objectives to your needs and interests.

New directors/managers will be expected to complete an evaluation within two weeks of the completion of the peer support program to assist in evaluating the program and making recommendations to the Association to improve the process.

ASTDD realizes that technical assistance and support does not end with a single visit, and hopes that the new director/manager and peer will develop and continue their relationship in future years.

Questions regarding the peer support program can be directed to Lori Cofano, Program Coordinator at 775-781-1722, or

Documents for the Peer Support Program

Leadership Development

Navigating State Government: Common Questions and Scenarios was a workshop presented by Dr. Bob Russell at NOHC 2018. It was meant to build upon the ASTDD webinar State Government: How Not to Get Hung by the Government Ropes, presented by Dr. Russell to state oral health program leaders on August 23, 2017.

Mentoring the New State Dental Director - This slide presentation is from the mentor training pre-session held during the 2018 NOHC. It is a useful resource for mentors in the Peer Support Program. Presenters were Dr. Bob Russell, Bev Isman and Lori Cofano.

Reflections on Leadership in State Dental Public Health - Words of wisdom from Dr. Bob Russell for states facing transition in dental public health leadership.

New Member Orientation Information

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) Selected National Partner Organizations (June 2021)

ASTDD has developed a Dental Public Health 101 learning module for state oral health program staff and others interested in learning more about dental public health. (February 2020)

The Role of Health & Human Services and Its Agencies in Promoting Oral Health (October 2018)

This PowerPoint provides an overview of the federal agencies under Health & Human Services as well as their roles in promoting oral health.