Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries
Healthy Smiles for Mom and Baby
The goal of this project is to improve access to dental services for pregnant women and young children (under age 4) by integrating oral health education, preventive services (fluoride varnish) and dental care referral into Women, Infant and Children (WIC) and Prenatal Care Coordination (PNCC) programs. Six implementation sites used a quality improvement framework to test a variety of strategies and models to improve on, or add to, the oral health services provided to their clients.
This project is part of the Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement (PIOHQI) project funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and safety-net community dental clinics partnered with WIC and PNCC programs to serve as referral sources for the target population.
The programs designed three models of integration, based on the project partners and specific goals. The first model integrated public health nurses within WIC clinic patient flow to provide oral health education, fluoride varnish and referral to dental services. The second model integrated outreach dental hygienists (employed by the local FQHC) to provide oral health education, fluoride varnish and referral to dental services. The third model identified a structured, closed referral loop between the WIC clinic and local safety net clinic for pregnant women. The safety net dental clinic provided real-time information to WIC staff regarding success in scheduling referred women and when appointments
Lessons learned include: gathering baseline data on oral health needs of WIC/ PNCC is challenging, WIC/ PNCC staff are limited on their knowledge of the benefits and periodicity schedule of fluoride varnish, access to dental providers who accept Medicaid and pregnant women is challenging in some communities. WIC/PNCC staff are aware of the oral health needs of their clients and extremely dedicated to finding resources and integrating oral health services into the programs.
Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:
Dana Fischer, Oral Health Project Manager, Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, 6737 W. Washington Street, Suite 1111, West Allis, WI 53214, Phone: 414-337-4563, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Crespin, Associate Director, Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, 6737 W. Washington Street, Suite 1111, West Allis, WI 53214, Phone: 414-337-4562, Email: email@example.com