Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries
National Center for Early Childhood Education and Wellness: Dental Hygienist Liaison Partnership Project
Since 2001 the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) and the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) have partnered to provide technical assistance and training (T/TA) to Early Head Start (EHS) and Head Start (HS) programs and since 2015 to child care programs, yet oral diseases still pose a health problem for pregnant women, and EHS/HS enrollees and staff receive inconsistent, confusing, or inadequate oral health messaging.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) received cooperative agreements from the Office of Head Start (OHS) to support EHS/HS programs (2011–2015) and from OHS and the Office of Child Care to support EHS/HS and child care programs (2015–2020). For both agreements, AAP contracted with OHRC for the oral health component, which contracted with ASTDD to coordinate the Dental Hygienist Liaison (DHL) project starting in 2012. ASTDD partnered with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association to help recruit DHLs in all states.
DHLs volunteer to perform several collaborative activities:
• Serve as communication links between the national center and EHS/HS/child care agencies
• Collaborate with state organizations such as oral health programs, HS collaboration offices and HS associations, and child care agencies
• Promote and share oral health information and resources with EHS/HS/child care program staff
ASTDD’s annual budget is $160,000 for management, T/TA, and resource development. Nine DHLs receive quarterly $1,500 stipends to serve as regional DHL coordinators to support/mentor their assigned DHLs; state DHLs receive $590 annual stipends to be used for travel and hygiene supplies. Collaboration with ten stakeholder groups is tracked quarterly and shows consistent accomplishments. The DHL project is recognized by OHS and AAP as an exemplary collaboration model.
Dental hygienists are dedicated to their profession and their communities and are willing to devote volunteer hours to improve the oral health and care of young children and their families.
Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:
Beverly Isman, RDH, MPH, ELS or Michelle Landrum, RDH MEd, Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) Consultant and National Center for Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW) Dental Hygienist Liaison (DHL) Project Lead Consultant, Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, 3858 Cashill Blvd., Reno, NV 89509, Phone: (210) 254-0574, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Katrina Holt, MPH, MS, RD, FAND, National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center Director and NCECHW Oral Health Lead, Georgetown University, Box 571272, Washington, DC 20057-1272, Phone: (202) 784-9551, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org