Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries
Healthy Texas Smiles for Moms and Babies (HTSMB): Training Partnership for Home Visiting Programs
The Oral Health Improvement Program (OHIP) within the Texas Department of State Health Services is working to reduce the incidence of early childhood caries (ECC) in Texas by educating pregnant women on oral health and the importance of dental visits for themselves and their infant. OHIP is reaching at-risk pregnant women and mothers across the state through a variety of means, including home visiting programs. OHIP is currently partnering through its Healthy Texas Smiles for Moms and Babies project (HTSMB) with Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) and Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting programs.
OHIP provides oral health training and resources to home visitors so they can confidently educate their clients. They are provided engaging demonstration tools and handout materials that will hold clients’ interest as they learn. OHIP meets with home visiting leaders to discuss ways to provide additional learning opportunities and how to make institutional changes within home visiting programs that support oral health.
To date, over 400 Texas home visitors have received HTSMB training. Data collection is challenging, but pre- and post-tests indicate that the trainings are successful. Preliminary data show that home visitors are discussing oral health with their clients. PAT in Texas has recently added oral health questions to its data collection processes which will facilitate greater understanding of impact.
HTSMB was initiated through a Health Resources and Services Administration Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement grant, but OHIP recognizes ongoing support to home visiting programs after the initial training is critical to meaningful change in the oral health of home visiting clients. Annual operation of HTSMB is estimated at $130,856, which includes an OHIP staff member dedicated to all aspects of HTSMB. OHIP will continue HTSMB when grant funding ends through program funds and by seeking additional internal and external funding.
Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:
Sandy Tesch, RDH, MSHP, Program Specialist, Texas Department of State Health Services, 1100 W. 49th Street, MC 1818, Austin, TX 78756, Phone: 512-776-3034, Email: email@example.com
Rhonda Stokely, DDS, Public Health Dental Director, Texas Department of State Health Services, 1100 W. 49th Street, MC 1818, Austin, TX 78756, Phone: 512-776-3001, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org