Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries
Leading Chicago Children to Oral Health Improvement: A Community Based Public-Private Collaboration
The Chicago Public School System (CPS) is the third largest school district in the United States with more than 600 schools providing education to approximately 400,000 children. Healthy CPS is an initiative created to demonstrate schools’ commitment to a safe/healthy learning environment by offering access to daily physical activity, nutritious foods, school-based health services, health education, and supporting students with chronic conditions.
As a component of the Healthy CPS initiative, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) School–Based Oral Health Program (SBOHP) provides dental screening, oral prophylaxis, fluoride varnish treatment and dental sealants (if prescribed) to CPS students based on positive consent return. The program is operational in 547 out of the 600 CPS schools. Dental Referrals (walk-out letter) is given to each student seen. The letter provides a “snapshot” of the student’s oral health and phone numbers for access to the Medicaid (Managed Care Organizations) oversight companies. Student oral health status is recorded as Oral Health Score (OHS) of 1 (healthy), 2 (non-urgent need), 3 (urgent need). Each contracted dental provider’s team is responsible for calling parents of students with OHS-2 or 3, and providing either a referral to their dental practice or dental providers around the school. However, if the school is located in two specific Chicago zip code areas identified as having a very high number of children with urgent dental needs, students are enrolled in an intensive Case Management (CM) Pilot lead by the Oral Health Forum (OHF).
The OHF CM pilot was initiated in School-Year 2014-15 (SY15) targeting schools with a very high number of children with OHS-3. An environmental scan of health resources in the two zip codes showed no publicly-funded dental programs and limited access to 56 community dental providers. Building on community relations, two bilingual case managers have been actively working with families from 39 schools in the targeted area to enhance their ability to access dental care.
Data from the first year of the CM pilot revealed that 50% of the children with OHS-3 were in three of the 39 schools. The same three schools had a very high number of children with OHS-2. Based on this information, an incentive model (Oral Health (OH) Champion Program) was implemented in SY16 targeting the whole school community: children, families, teachers and school-personnel from the three schools. Changes in students oral health status (from SY15 to SY16) has been used to evaluate improvements. However, at the end of the 3-years CM pilot (SY17) the program will be better positioned to measure success.
Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:
Alejandra Valencia, Director, The Oral Health Forum/ Heartland Health Outreach, 1100 W Cermak Rd - Suite 518, Chicago, IL 60608, Phone: 773-491-2632, Email: email@example.com
Mary Pat Burgess, Program Director, School-Based Oral Health Program/ Chicago Department of Public Health, 4314 So. Cottage Grove - Room 204, Chicago, Illinois 60653, Phone: 312-747-8304 (o), Email: firstname.lastname@example.org