The DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement will invest $640,000 in organizations across the United States dedicated to improving oral health. This total includes grants awarded in the third quarter of 2019, with $9.6 million awarded this year and additional funding to be awarded through December.
The DentaQuest Partnership’s grantmaking strategy focuses on investments that drive systems change in oral health through national and community initiatives in key focus areas and through partnerships and network development, including the Oral Health Equity and Progress Network.
“Oral health is a critical part of overall health, and as a physician, I’ve seen this connection firsthand,” said Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, chief impact officer at DentaQuest.
“As one of the newest members of the DentaQuest family, I’m inspired by the powerful grantmaking movement that has fueled so much progress over the years, and I’m looking forward to helping DentaQuest and our many partners make an even bigger impact, as we work to improve the oral health of all Americans,” said Minter-Jordan.
This quarter’s grants include a $300,000 investment in the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) for a project to integrate nurse practitioners into dental clinic settings. The grant will support HSDM’s work to integrate a nurse practitioner into the school’s dental clinic and enable the development of a financial model to sustain efforts to address general health issues in a dental care setting.
This type of integrated access point, where patients can seamlessly receive care without navigating multiple clinical settings, is key for person-centered care, DentaQuest says.
“Integrating the role of nurse practitioner in dental care settings is a promising solution for promoting wellness and improving health outcomes,” said Maria C. Dolce, PhD, RN, co-principal investigator at HSDM.
“The Nurse Practitioner-Dentist Model at HSDM is a person-centered care model promoting prevention, health promotion, and chronic disease management. We expect that our results will advance medical-dental integration and positively influence the public perception of the value of the dental office as a gateway to comprehensive healthcare,” said Dolce.
Other grants include support for primary care associations and federally qualified health centers as part of the National Oral Health Innovation and Integration Network and for the NYU School of Nursing’s Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice program, which trains nurse practitioners and midwives on the integration of oral-systemic health.
“Our recent research report, Reversible Decay: Oral Health Is a Public Health Problem We Can Solve, shows that there is a great and shared appetite across providers for stronger integration. For example, 93% of dentists and 86% of physicians surveyed agree that greater collaboration across medical and dental providers would improve patient care,” said Minter-Jordan.
“It’s appropriate that 65% of our grants awarded to date are in the areas of emphasizing the importance of oral health to overall health and integrating oral health into person-centered healthcare. We must do everything we can to bridge the divide between the two worlds if we want to truly improve the health and wellbeing of all,” said Minter-Jordan.
Grants awarded during the third quarter include:
- Arizona: Native American Connections
- California: Visión Y Compromiso
- Florida: Florida Voices for Health
- Massachusetts: Health Care for All, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston Public Health Commission
- Michigan: Michigan Oral Health Coalition
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire Oral Health Coalition, Advocates Building Lasting Equity in New Hampshire, New England Rural Roundtable
- North Carolina: North Carolina Dental Society Foundation
- Oregon: Oregon Oral Health Coalition
- Pennsylvania: Philadelphia FIGHT, HealthLink Dental Clinic
- Texas: Texas Impact
- Virginia: Virginia Oral Health Coalition, LENOWISCO
- Washington: Seattle/King County Clinic
- Wisconsin: St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care