Bridging Gaps: Collaborative Effort Transforms Rural West Virginia’s Dental Landscape

Harmony Health Foundation
harmony health foundation


In a groundbreaking collaboration, the West Virginia Oral Health Coalition and Harmony Health Foundation have joined forces to revolutionize oral health care accessibility in rural West Virginia. With generous grant funding support from the Institute for Technology in Health Care (ITHC), this initiative aims to harness the power of technology to overcome barriers to dental care access.

harmony health foundation

The ITHC’s visionary grant enables the pilot of innovative solutions, including cutting-edge point-of-care saliva tests and intuitive mHealth applications for smartphones, within rural West Virginia communities. Through this pilot program, patients will have the opportunity to assess their oral health from the comfort of their homes using salivary diagnostic tests and smartphone apps, receiving essential guidance on at-home oral health practices while awaiting dental appointments. This pioneering endeavor promises invaluable insights into how technology, fused with patient engagement strategies, can facilitate access and promote preventive care.

This visionary endeavor builds upon the recommendations outlined in the 2023 report, “Beyond the Waiting Room: The State of Dental Care Access in West Virginia.” The report, which sheds light on the formidable challenges faced by rural West Virginians in accessing dental services, advocates for the adoption of advanced technologies and personalized care approaches to mitigate these obstacles.

Gina Sharps, representing the West Virginia Oral Health Coalition, emphasized the urgency of addressing these challenges head-on: “The findings of the recent report on dental access in West Virginia underscore the pressing need for innovative solutions. With prolonged wait times for care, particularly in rural areas, it is imperative that we explore novel approaches. This grant presents a pivotal opportunity to pioneer fresh ideas and technologies that can revolutionize oral healthcare delivery.”

Tina Saw, founder of Harmony Health Foundation, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the transformative potential of technology in expanding healthcare horizons: “Technology serves as a beacon of hope, illuminating pathways to enhanced healthcare accessibility for underserved populations. Through this collaborative effort, we aspire to empower individuals facing access barriers by equipping them with the tools and support necessary for effective at-home dental care.”

This collaborative endeavor exemplifies the power of partnership and innovation in addressing healthcare disparities. By leveraging technology to bridge access gaps, the initiative holds the promise of transforming oral healthcare delivery, one community at a time.

About West Virginia Oral Health Coalition

The West Virginia Oral Health Coalition was established in June 2010 and is a statewide representation of oral health partners and stakeholders representing diverse interests. These members include an array of local, state, and community associations as well as several national organizations/agencies and are representative of a wide variety of demographics. Approximately 60 members and organizations are part of this coalition, who support and drive grassroots oral health efforts.

The mission of the WVOHC is to promote and improve the oral health of all West Virginians. The WVOHC strives to increase access to oral health services so that individuals can achieve optimum oral health. Visit for more information.

About Harmony Health Foundation

Harmony Health Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to using innovative technologies to drive positive change in underserved communities. Our primary focus is on enhancing oral health and fostering community development while advocating for health equity. We collaborate with partners and actively engage in change management and efforts to uplift marginalized populations. Visit for more information.

About the Institute for Technology in HealthCare

The Institute for Technology in HealthCare (ITHC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Washington, DC. The ITHC is concerned with the use of technology to benefit health care. For more information about the Institute for Technology in HealthCare, please visit the website at

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Anna Tarazevich from