“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.
Karlene Ketola, MHSA
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