Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries
Rhode Island School Oral Health Legislation, Rules and Regulations
Laws and policies are important tools that can be used to improve the health and safety of children and adolescents in schools. Education and public health leaders can use specific laws and policies to promote programs and strategies that foster an environment in which children and adolescents can thrive and learn. Rhode Island General Laws (RIGL), a collection of laws that govern the State of Rhode Island, have created mandates that relate to building school health programs and establishing school personnel to oversee school health. In addition, the RI Rules & Regulations for School Health Programs help determine policies, practices, protocols, funding, and other systemic approaches for health improvement to Rhode Island’s public and non-public schools. Notable parts of the Rules & Regulations for School Health Programs that relate to promoting oral health include: required dental screenings; required health education curriculum that include tobacco, health hygiene/habits, prevention/control of disease and injury prevention; qualifications and general duties of the school dentist/dental hygienist; healthier beverages and snacks at school; and a tobacco free school environment. Through RIGL and the Rules & Regulations for School Health Programs, Rhode Island has made significant progress in mobilizing partners and stakeholders to support children’s oral health and expand school-based/school-linked dental programs for elementary schools with a high proportion of children from low-income families. Existing legislation has promoted oral health as part of the overall health of RI school children.
RI continues to revise the Rules & Regulations to meet the health needs of school children. Recent revisions proposed in December of 2008 have been incorporated into the February 2009 amendments to Rules & Regulations for School Health Programs.
Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:
Sadie DeCourcy, JD, Oral Health Program Manager, Division of Community Health and Equity, Rhode Island Department of Health, Three Capitol Hill, Suite 302, Providence, RI 02908, Phone: 401-222-7743, Fax: 401-222-1442, Email: Sadie.DeCourcy@health.ri.gov
Samuel Zwetchkenbaum, DDS, MPH, Dental Director, Oral Health Program, Division of Community Health and Equity, Rhode Island Department of Health, Three Capitol Hill, Suite 302, Providence, RI 02908, Phone: 401-222-6079, Fax: 401-222-6079, Email: Samuel.Zwetchkenbaum@health.ri.gov