Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries
Preparation for the Illinois Oral Health Summit
The first Illinois Oral Health Summit convened on September 11, 2001 by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health. The summit was planned as one of Illinois’ many strategic responses to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report, Oral Health in America, released in May 2000. It was designed to provide a forum for the state’s policy makers and key stakeholders to learn about critical oral health issues from a variety of perspectives and, in light of that knowledge, to react to a draft of Illinois’ oral health plan. Extensive collaboration was invested in the preparation of the Illinois Oral Health Summit.
A coalition with representatives from the governor’s office, the state health agency, the state Medicaid agency, the state oral health coalition, the state dental association, the legislature, the primary healthcare association, the business community and the not-for-profit sector served as the steering committee. The committee was charged to develop a draft oral health plan for Illinois and to prepare for the summit. The IFLOSS Coalition (the state’s oral health coalition) facilitated a series of community input sessions around the state as part of the summit preparation. The sessions had several purposes:
(1) to listen to community perspectives on local oral health issues and priorities
(2) to react to the proposed set of oral health priorities identified by the summit steering committee (3) to ask for community input and advice as to how to address oral health priorities in Illinois.
On the summit day, welcoming comments and several key presentations on the summit agenda were completed before an unanticipated adjournment at 10:15 a.m. (CST). The tragic events of 9/11 prevented the summit from continuing as planned. An alternative strategy was developed to assure that the Illinois oral health plan would be completed. Summit participants were asked to review the materials that were to have been presented at the summit and to submit written feedback to IDPH’s Division of Oral Health. Written comments from 25 individuals and organizations were compiled and reviewed by the steering committee. The plan was modified, approved by the steering committee and published by the IFLOSS Coalition in a compendium of information entitled: “Roadmap to the Future: Oral Health in Illinois.” The Roadmap includes policy goals, priorities and recommendations of the state oral health plan. The depth and breadth of the summit participants have given the plan its credibility and impetus.
As a result, the state plan has the support and commitment from key decision-makers in Illinois. The success of the first state oral health summit and resulting oral health plan has led IDPH Division of Oral Health to collaborate with other leaders and decision-makers every five years to renew, revise and re-innervate the Illinois Oral Health Plan. This has resulted in the 2007 Illinois Oral Health Plan II and the 2012 Healthy People, Healthy Smiles, Illinois Oral Health Plan III. The planning process has remained similar yet re-energized in order to create plans that continue to lend guidance and inspiration to oral health stakeholders. These plans are available on the IFLOSS website, www.IFLOSS.org.
Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:
Julie A. Janssen, RDH, MA, Program Administrator, Division of Oral Health, Illinois Department of Public Health, 535 W. Jefferson Street, Springfield, IL 62761, Phone: 217-785-4899, Fax: 217-524-2831, Email: Julie.Janssen@Illinois.gov