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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Partnerships with Academia

Practice Number: 23011
Submitted By: Maryland Office of Oral Health
Submission Date: October 2015
Last Reviewed: January 2020
Last Updated: January 2020
Best Practice Approach Example Partnerships with Academia

The Maryland Department of Health, Office of Oral Health has partnered with the University of Maryland, School of Dentistry, the University of Maryland, School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the Howard University College of Dentistry on numerous projects, such as Basic Screening Surveys and advising/informing the direction of OOH programs. These collaborations have greatly benefited the OOH and increased our capacity to conduct surveillance, be on the forefront of the latest research, increase awareness of the importance of oral health and improve access to dental care for vulnerable populations throughout Maryland.

In addition, in 2009-2010, the OOH collaborated with UMSD to organize a school-based dental sealant demonstration project; this particular collaboration was instrumental to the development of the Mighty Tooth Dental Sealant brand and website, which is aimed at increasing use of dental sealants in private and public dental offices and in school-based and school-linked programs.

UMSPH also supports OOH and the statewide oral health coalition, the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC –, in offering continuing education for dental and public health professionals and continuing to maintain and expand the Maryland Oral Health Literacy Campaign. The MDAC’s membership represents a diverse group of organizations, including (but not limited to) the Maryland Dental Hygienists’ Association, the Maryland State Medical Society, the UMSD, as well as the OOH and UMSPH.

For additional information on the organizations represented in the MDAC, visit

Lessons Learned:

Keeping partners and stakeholders informed quarterly on oral health projects is a great way to get their buy-in when needed for future projects.

Identify areas where partners are needed to diversify OOH’s reach for future projects.

Continue building and maintaining existing partnerships and identify ways to keep them informed.

Need to increase oral health literacy regarding caries prevention and early detection.

This increase in awareness and change in behaviors exceed the results obtained from the initial HTHK campaign supporting our thesis that by targeting the audience of the campaign more specifically, the campaign will have a greater impact and achieve more significant results.  

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Debony Hughes, Director, Office of Oral Health, Maryland Department of Health, 201 W. Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201, Phone: 410-767-5942, Email:

John Welby, Director of Social Marketing and Health Literacy, Office of Oral Health, Maryland Department of Health, 201 W. Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201, Phone: 410-767-7635, Email: