Coalition Issues Community Mini-Grant Program; Deadline February 16

The Michigan Oral Health Coalition is taking another major step in its statewide action plan to address access to oral health services. The Coalition is currently accepting applications from community-based organizations across Michigan for its 2015 Community Mini-Grant Program. An application deadline of February 16, 2015 has been set with five grants to be awarded later in the month.

Support for this grant program is provided by the Michigan Oral Health Coalition, through the Oral Health 2020 Initiative of the DentaQuest Foundation. The Michigan Oral Health Coalition looks to inspire communities to create networks of innovation, advocacy and leadership to improve the oral health of residents. These community networks will align data and resources, and create effective approaches to prevent and manage oral disease that can be replicated.

Past community grantees include Bay County Health Department, Central Michigan District Health Department, Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, FirstSteps Kent and Jewish Vocational Services-Tri County Dental, Genesee Health Plan, Greater Flint Health Coalition, Health Department of Northwest Michigan, Macomb County Health Department. Through the 2015 Community Mini-Grant Program, the Michigan Oral Health Coalition will assist five additional communities in developing local coalitions. The coalition approach allows the community to find solutions to health problems and determine which solutions will work best.

“Oral health is an essential component of comprehensive health care,” said Karlene Ketola, Executive Director of the Michigan Oral Health Coalition. “We are excited to see what develops as we further engage Michigan communities to embrace the challenge and opportunity of addressing oral health disparities in their communities.”

For a complete grant application and guidelines, see 2015 Community Mini Grant Program.

January 20, 2015 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

Michigan Receives ‘C’ in National Report Card on Dental Sealants

Lansing—The Pew report, Falling Short: Most States Lag on Dental Sealants, grades all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their efforts to prevent decay by improving access to sealants for low-income children. The national report card gives Michigan a ‘C’ grade for the number of children with dental sealants—plastic coatings applied to the chewing surface of molars to prevent tooth decay.

Most states are not doing enough to use a proven strategy for preventing tooth decay, unnecessarily driving up health care costs for families and taxpayers. In fact, the new report by the Pew Center on the States reveals that 20 states and the District of Columbia earned either a ‘D’ or ‘F’ grade when it comes to providing children with dental sealants, clear plastic coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars that prevent decay at one-third the expense of filling a cavity.

“Dental sealants are one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent tooth decay so children are more likely to stay in school and perform better in class,” said Karlene Ketola, Executive Director, Michigan Oral Health Coalition. “Michigan’s policymakers need to do more to expand dental sealant programs to reach more low-income children.”

Sealants are typically first applied to children’s molars when they are in the 1st grade, shortly after their permanent teeth appear. Although it has been 45 years since the first research paper reported the successful use of sealants, states have been slow to use this prevention strategy. According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, dental sealant rates vary geographically. Children living in the southern Lower Peninsula have the lowest percentage of sealants present on first molars, with particularly low rates among minorities.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has recognized the state’s SEAL! Michigan program as a best practice in the effort to improve dental care for low-income children who have a higher risk of tooth decay. Launched in 2007, SEAL! Michigan was significantly expanded in 2011 with the combined support of $300,000 from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and Delta Dental of Michigan.

“Michigan has the necessary framework and foundation as it allows registered dental hygienists to travel into schools to place dental sealants, and has enough providers interested in providing school-based care,” said Jill Moore, RDH, BSDH, MHA, Dental Sealant Coordinator, Michigan Department of Community Health. “At this point, funding for additional SEAL! Michigan programs is the only hindrance to achieving an ‘A’ and more importantly to drastically reduce dental decay in children all across Michigan.”

The program currently has nine non-profit grantee organizations, working to improve access to sealants for low-income children across the state. In the 2011-2012 school year, 3,787 students were given dental sealants free-of-charge at 134 elementary and middle schools through the SEAL! Michigan program.

SEAL! Michigan Grantee Programs
1. Alcona Health Centers
Contact: Lea Krause 989-736-9838
Video Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX-xvFAUoXk

2. Henry Ford Health System
Contact: Beverly Edwards 313-874-7202

3. Ingham County Health Department
Contact: Kyle Norman, 517-272-4155
Video Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot6nslNeF9c

4. Institute for Population Health
Contact: Sally Meyer 313-324-9729

5. Ottawa County Health Department
Contact: Deb Bassett 616-393-5771

6. Smiles on Wheels
Contact: Kim Crabtree 517-740-2596

7. Thunder Bay Community Health Service, Inc.
Contact: Erika Price 989-785-5286

8. Upper Peninsula Association of Rural Health Services
Contact: Ellen Moilanen 906-228-3613

9. Western Wayne Family Health Centers
Contact: Mona Riaz 313-915-1216

January 10, 2013 at 9:45 pm Leave a comment

Coalition Issues 2013 Community Mini-Grant Program: Seeks to Help Fund Local Coalitions to Address Access

The Michigan Oral Health Coalition is taking another major step in its statewide action plan to address access to oral health services. The Coalition is currently accepting applications from community-based organizations across Michigan for its 2013 Community Mini-Grant Program. An application deadline of January 4, 2013 has been set with four grants to be awarded later in the month.

Support for this grant program is provided by the Michigan Oral Health Coalition, through the Oral Health 2014 Initiative of the DentaQuest Foundation. The Michigan Oral Health Coalition looks to inspire communities to create networks of innovation, advocacy and leadership to improve the oral health of residents. These community networks will align data and resources, and create effective approaches to prevent and manage oral disease that can be replicated.

Through the 2013 Community Mini-Grant Program, the Michigan Oral Health Coalition will assist communities in developing local coalitions. The coalition approach allows the community to find solutions to health problems and determine which solutions will work best.

“Oral health is an essential component of comprehensive health care,” said Karlene Ketola, Executive Director of the Michigan Oral Health Coalition. “We are excited to see what develops as we engage Michigan communities to embrace the challenge and opportunity of addressing oral health disparities in their communities.”

For a complete grant application and guidelines, visit 2013 Community Mini-Grant Program.

December 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

State Earns a “C” in Pew Report Card

A national 50-state report card gives Michigan a ‘C’ grade for children’s dental health. Nationwide, more than 16 million children go each year without seeing a dentist. The report released today by the Pew Center on the States reveals that Michigan met only four out of eight benchmarks for sound oral health policies.

This is the second straight year Michigan earned a “C” and is among 22 other states that made no progress on their grade since last year’s report.
To develop the report, Pew assessed states and the District of Columbia on eight proven policy solutions that ensure dental health and access to care for children. The policies fall into four groups: cost-effective oral health
prevention programs, such as sealants and fluoridation; Medicaid improvements that enable and motivate more dentists to treat low-income children; innovative workforce models that expand the number of qualified dental providers; and the availability of oral health data. Each state was then given a grade on an A to F scale.

The report reveals some areas in which Michigan stands out:
· Michigan does well providing fluoridated water to residents (89.8 percent) whose homes are connected to public water systems. Studies prove that fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 18 to 40 percent.

· Michigan does not require a dentist’s exam before a hygienist, working in a school program places dental sealants. Dental sealants are recognized as one of the best preventive strategies for children at high risk for cavities. Sealants cost one-third as much as filling a cavity and studies have shown that sealant programs targeted to schools with many high-risk children are a cost-effective strategy-as children living in poverty suffer two times more untreated tooth decay than their peers.

This report is the second time that Pew has assessed and graded all states on their dental health policies for kids. To view Pew’s fact sheet on Michigan and learn more details about the state’s progress on oral health, visit
http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/dental/makingcoveragematter.

May 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Budget Process Moves Ahead

This week was a newsworthy one here at the Capitol. The Senate, with a necessary tie-breaking vote by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, passed House Bill 4361, the legislation that makes a number of reforms to Michigan’s business and income taxes.

The bill contained a number of provisions, with the business and pension tax receiving the most attention. The bill passed by the Senate contained $1 billion in tax relief for small businesses by repealing the Michigan Business Tax and replacing it with a six percent income tax on C-corporations. The other major component, which will raise $300 million in revenue, was the changes to the income tax exemptions on certain types of retirement and pension income. Under current law, only private pensions and unmatched income on 401(k) plans over $45,120 for an individual or $90,240 for a couple are taxed. For a detailed look at these changes, click on Pension Chart, which was developed by Senator Bruce Caswell.
 
This Monday, the Consensus Revenue Estimating conference will be held. It is predicted that for FY 2012 there will be a surplus of $500-$600 million. With these estimates, Coalition staff expects House and Senate leadership to set revenue targets with conference committees to meet soon after. Will the Legislature have a budget in place by Governor Snyder proposed May 31st deadline? The Coalition will continue to keep you updated.

May 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm Leave a comment

“Great Things Are Not Done by Impulse”

Have you ever heard the quote “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together?” Well, the same is true for your Coalition’s efforts.

In advocacy, our local relationships with legislators are critical in bringing about change. This fall, we celebrated the restoration of adult dental as a victory for Michigan’s most vulnerable. However, with a new Administration, many new lawmakers as well as an estimated $1.6 billion state budget deficit for FY 2012, we are realistic in our need for continued advocacy.

Our Coalition workgroups continue to meet and I encourage all members to participate in the Legislative Workgroup, CDC Grant Workgroup, Continuing Education Workgroup, Membership Committee, or the State Fluoridation Advisory Committee. These groups are vital to our statewide efforts.

The Coalition continues to build relationships in “small things” with a variety of state and national groups. Here are a few programs I’d like to highlight as we work to improve the oral health of all Michigan residents.

*Legislative Letter on FY 2011 Appropriations
The Coalition added its name to a Pew Center on the States letter urging congressional leadership to finalize work on the FY 2011 appropriations bills without delay, and to provide agencies of the US Public Health Service with the highest increase proposed by either the House or the Senate.

*Hispanic Dental Association
On Oct. 28, the Coalition participated in a stakeholder session titled “Improving Oral Health Access to Services for Hispanics through Workforce Diversity.” A report will be issued by the Hispanic Dental Association with recommendations on workforce, disparities and overall health.

*2010 Coalition Fall Member Meeting
Forty-five members from across the state participated in our Nov. 12 meeting. From the evaluations, members agreed it was a great opportunity to network and learn more about coalition, state and federal initiatives. A hearty thank you to speakers Chris Farrell, Michigan’s oral health director and Meg Booth, Children’s Dental Health Project in Washington, DC and member Cheryl Gildner, Ingham County Health Department for hosting the event.

*Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan Health Fair
By partnering with the Michigan Department of Community Health on Nov. 12, the Coalition utilized Smiles on Wheels, a collaborative practice model/PA 161 program to offer free screenings, oral health education and products, as well as a listing of safety net clinics.

*Conference on Oral Health of Vulnerable Adults
The Coalition invited Sherri King, Michigan Office of Services to the Aging and Kathleen Johnston-Calati, Michigan Disability Rights Coalition to join us for the American Dental Association’s Nov. 18 symposium on oral health for vulnerable adults. Anticipated outcome is a program to increase access to comprehensive dental care for one nursing home or adult foster care residence.

Thank you again for your support. It is a privilege to serve as your executive director and I look forward to another exciting year. If you have a question or would like to set up a visit, please contact me.

Sincerely,
Karlene Ketola, MHSA
Executive Director

November 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

Dental Health Cuts: Slashing Our Future?

Thank you to member Eric Heisser, pre-dental student at the University of Michigan, for his letter to the editor. The complete letter was featured in the Jan. 21, 2010 issue of the Muskegon Chronicle.

April 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

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