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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

State Oral Health Program Infrastructure

Practice Number: 23008
Submitted By: Maryland Office of Oral Health
Submission Date: October 2015
Last Reviewed: October 2015
Last Updated: October 2015
Best Practice Approach Example State Oral Health Program Infrastructure
 

Upon receipt of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant funds, the Office of Oral Health (OOH) at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) started working on building up its infrastructure by assessing its resources and recruiting key individuals identified by the grant, which had an important factor to contribute to a sustainable, comprehensive and effective strong oral health program. Program planning took approximately two years and implementation of the activities began in 2010. As a result of a decrease in CDC funds in the latest funding cycle, OOH organized a grant writing committee that aggressively seeks grants that are both beneficial, cost effective and are in sync with the goals of the organization. Since 2010, the grant writing team successfully secured $3,179,777.80 in grant funds. A significant portion of these grant funds acquired will be to streamline current processes and enhance the current internal infrastructure and the State Oral Health Program.  These grants help stabilize its funding, maximize staff retention, and minimize disruption due to staff loss, and created a shared resources environment through program collaborations.

The activities included in building State Oral Health Infrastructure included training and cross training of employees, written recruiting efforts, collaboration and sharing of resources with other CDC-funded programs, and performance appraisals. Collectively, these actions established appropriate infrastructure to ensure OOH functions remained sustainable, feasible, and efficient. 

The OOH needs to continue providing professional development opportunities to the OOH staff in order to gain more experience and knowledge about their field through trainings and conferences. OOH also needs to cross-train staff in order to ensure all workforce gaps within the OOH infrastructure are covered to sustain the office long-term. Quarterly 1-on-1 meetings have provided an opportunity for OOH management to meet with OOH staff individually to listen to the staff's interests and concerns. These meetings have provided tremendous value to OOH management and staff in understanding the work environment and supporting staff’s professional development interests and other resources for OOH staff.

Lessons Learned:

The Office of Oral Health needs to continue providing professional development opportunities to the OOH staff in order to gain more experience and knowledge about their field through trainings and conferences.

The Office of Oral Health needs to cross-train staff in order to ensure all workforce gaps within the OOH infrastructure are covered to sustain the office long-term.

Quarterly 1-on-1 meetings have provided an opportunity for OOH management to meet with OOH staff individually to listen to the staff's interests and concerns. These meetings have provided tremendous value to OOH management and staff in understanding the work environment and provided professional development and other resources for OOH staff.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Dr. Harry Goodman, Director, Office of Oral Health, Phone: 410-767-5942, Fax: 410-333-7392, Email: Harry.Goodman@maryland.gov

Joseph Redd, Chief Administrative Officer, Office of Oral Health, Phone: 410-767-7899, Fax: 410-333-7392, Email: Joseph.Redd@maryland.gov

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