REACH CEO Emphasizes Power of Oral Health Integration

Reports and Publications

On June 25, Health Affairs’ GrantWatch blog published an essay by REACH President and CEO Brenda Sharpe and two health foundation colleagues, who discussed a new project that proposes a framework for delivering preventive oral health care in the primary care setting as a way to address inadequate access to oral health care and the high incidence of oral disease among children and adults.

The REACH Foundation partnered with colleagues at Washington Dental Service Foundation, a statewide funder, and DentaQuest Foundation, a national foundation, along with Qualis Health, consultants in health system improvements (Qualis Health has served as the primary technical assistance provider for the REACH Medical Home Initiative.), to develop a framework for delivering preventive oral health care in medical settings. In the essay, Sharpe, along with funding partners Michael Monopoli of DentaQuest and Laura Smith of Washington Dental, explains that the impetus for this work was the foundations’ recognition that even with years of important program and policy investments in oral health care access and delivery that new disease prevention strategies were needed to substantially improve oral health outcomes.

The Oral Health Delivery Framework outlines a set of activities, such as looking inside the mouth for active infection and applying fluoride varnish, that are within the scope of practice for primary care. The framework was developed with input from a national technical assistance panel comprised of dentists, primary care providers, nurses, practice managers, other health sector leaders and health policy makers.

Read the GrantWatch blog post, June 25, 2015

Read the executive summary and full report