Oral Health Kansas Advocacy • Public Awareness Education

Mouth Matters

More than 17,500 Kansans visit an emergency room each year with dental pain.


Oral Health Kansas' Goals

Oral Health Kansas and our funders set a variety of goals each year to improve oral health for all Kansans. Generally our goals address the three types of barriers to accessing oral health in our state: access to a payment source; access to a provider; and willingness to access services. All three types of access must be present in order for people to have adequate access to oral health care. With our partners in the oral health field, we are working to address each of these through a variety of means.

Each section under "Topics" displays specific goals and activities Oral Health Kansas has set. The goals are organized into the categories listed below. To learn more about the goals and activities in each category, please click on the category name.

2015-2017 State Oral Health Plan
To view the 2015-2017 State Oral Health Plan CLICK HERE


Medicaid Dental Services


bullet Advocate for a comprehensive adult dental benefit in the Kansas Medicaid program.
On October 10, 2011, the Legislative Budget Committee held a hearing on the cost and health benefits of an adult dental benefit in the Kansas Medicaid program. Oral Health Kansas led 13 of our partners in providing testimony to the Committee. A copy of the testimony can be found on the OHK testimony page.
The Legislative Budget Committee, along with the Health Policy Oversight Committee recommend further study of an adult dental benefit in the 2012 Legislative Session.

bullet Recruit partners to advocate for a comprehensive adult dental benefit in the Kansas Medicaid program.
Several partners assisted in providing legislative testimony in October about the need for an adult dental benefit in Medicaid:
Michigan Oral Health Coalition, GraceMed Health Clinic, Kansas Hospital Association, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Kansas Health Consumer Coalition, Kansas Health Care Association, Kansas Dental Association, Kansas Dental Hygienists’ Association, The REACH Healthcare Foundation, Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and Lakemary Center

bullet Conduct a survey of Kansas emergency departments of the number of people who present for dental pain only.
The Kansas Hospital Association provided Oral Health Kansas with data showing that in both FY 2009 and 2010, over 17,500 people visited emergency rooms with dental pain.

bullet Produce a video documenting the need for and benefit of a full Kansas Medicaid adult dental benefit.
Gizmo Pictures has begun work on a video to share the message of the need for a Medicaid dental benefit with Kansas lawmakers.

bullet Encourage providers who treat underserved populations to be Medicaid providers.
Oral Health Kansas supports the Kansas Dental Association's KDA Medicaid 140 project to recruit 140 additional dentists to become Medicaid provides.

bullet Monitor Medicaid reimbursement rates for dental services and work with partners to determine a political strategy for advocacy on raising reimbursement rates.
In progress.

Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
REACH Healthcare Foundation
Kansas Oral Health Plan
Oral Health Kansas Strategic Plan/Advocacy Plan

Early Childhood Oral Health


bullet Determine a way to appropriately reimburse for preventive oral health services and education in community settings, ex. Head Start programs, early childhood centers, long term care facilities, schools. Identify how to change policy to enact this reimbursement strategy. Change policy through targeted advocacy during the 2011 legislative session.
On July 1, 2011, the Kansas Medicaid program created a code that can be used to bill for the dental hygiene services and edcuation provided to children age 0 to 3.

bullet Through August of 2011, collaborate with social service providers to advocate to include oral health in the assessment and service planning tools in systems such as, Parents as Teachers, Head Start, and Kansas University Specialty Clinics (for children with disabilities).
2011 -- In progress.
In August, 2011, Community Health Ministry began monthly oral screenings and parent education for children 0-3.
In 2011 - 2012 several communities began using the D9999 code to bill Medicaid for oral screening and parent education: Rawlins County, Clay County, Ford County.
In 2012, Kansas Head Start Association and Oral Health Kansas promoted the availability of 0- 3 screening and parent education services at early childhood home visitor workshops and early childhood educators workshops.

bullet Through August of 2014 provide training for early childhood service providers about oral health and oral health disease prevention.
In 2011, Kansas Cavity Free Kids and Oral Health Kansas conducted throughout the state of Kansas a six-hour workshop for Kansas home visitors of families with children 0-3 -- Teeth for Tots.
Between 2011 and 2012, more than 500 home visitors participated Teeth for Two workshops, representing Early Head Start, Parents as Teachers, Healthy Start, Healthy Families and tiny-K (Kansas Infant/Toddler Services Part C).
In August, 2012, Kansas Cavity Free Kids designed Circle Time for Teeth, a 3-hour workshop for teachers in early childhood programs.

Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
REACH Healthcare Foundation
Kansas Oral Health Plan


Oral Health and People with Disabilities


bullet During 2011, develop a process to increase the partnerships among Kansas safety-net dental clinics and Kansas Community Developmental Disability Organizations.
In Summer 2012, OHK polled safety-net dental clinics to learn which partnered with community agencies serving individuals with disabilities.
October 2012 the number of safety-net dental clinics includes -- Rawlins County, Salina Family Healthcare, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Douglas County Dental Clinic

bullet Partner with Kansas organizations serving people with disabilities to establish an ongoing oral health staff development system for training and development.
In Summer 2012, Oral Health Kansas designed a Staff Development Toolkit for each disability agency that hosted Healthy Smiles for Teeth workshop.
In May, 2012, Oral Health Kansas responded to a request from Harvey-Newton CDDO to conduct Healthy Smiles workshops for staff on a fee-for-service.
In October, 2012, OHK will begin promoting Healthy Smiles workshops on a fee-for-service basis to all agencies serving adults with disabilities.

bullet During 2011, establish a Disability Oral Health Advisory Council to address advocacy, public awareness and education goals for people with disabilities.
Advisory Committee held first meeting in May 2011.
In March, OHK convened the advisory council for the second time, focusing on services for people with autism and residents of nursing facilities for individuals with mental illness.

bullet Through 2011, provide one annual professional educational session on special needs populations.
Webinars on oral health for people with autism and Down Syndrome were held in August 2011. The webinars were presented by international speaker and pediatric dentist Clive Friedman. An archived webinar can be found on the main OHK page.

bullet Through 2011, partner with private and public organizations serving children and adults with special health care needs to provide oral health educational material, preventive services and referrals to care.

bullet Develop public awareness messages addressing strategies to prevent oral disease in people with disabilities.
Beginning in 2012, Oral Health Kansas has published one article each month and distributed them to all Community Developmental Disability Organizations and community service providers affiliated with the CDDO's.

Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities
Kansas Oral Health


Oral Health and Older Kansans


bullet Develop public awareness messages for older Kansans on the risks of periodontal disease, oral cancer and xerostomia (dry mouth conditions).
In 2012 developed an e-mail list of each Area Agency on Aging.
Began sending brief articles October 2012.

bullet Explore funding sources to implement Smiles for a Lifetime Oral Health Program for Vulnerable Elders in Kansas Area Agencies on Aging and home health agencies.
In 2012 used grant search engine to identify funding sources. None were identified.

bullet Advocate with the Kansas Department on Aging to include oral health in the assessment and service planning tools.

bullet During 2011, re-establish Promoting Oral Health for Elderly Kansans (POHEK), recruiting provider and consumer organizations, state agencies, and educational institutions that are committed to increasing the level of oral care for Kansas' seniors.
In 2012 created a Steering Committee for Surveillance of Older Kansas composed of dental, medical and geriatric specialist.
Steering Committee guided the content and process of the surveillance.

Kansas Oral Health Plan

Oral Health and Tobacco


bullet By 2011, Oral Health Kansas will form a Tobacco and Oral Health Advisory Group to address policies and public awareness issues related to tobacco’s effects on oral health.

bullet On a continuing basis, oral health advocates will participate in the Kansas Tobacco Free Coalition, and support legislation targeted to reduce tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) in Kansas.


Oral Health Coalitions


bullet On an on-going basis build local support through community oral health coalitions.

Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
Kansas Oral Health Plan


Affordable Care Act


bullet Advocate with the Kansas Insurance Department and the Kansas Legislature to ensure the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of dental insurance for all children is implemented in Kansas.

bullet Advocate for funding for the Affordable Care Act’s oral health infrastructure, safety net and education provisions.

Kansas Oral Health Plan


Community Water Fluoridation


bullet By 2014, educate the public about the benefits of community water fluoridation.

bullet By 2012, provide population friendly data about water fluoridation that can be utilized to support advocacy efforts.

bullet On an on-going basis, partner with local dental and medical professionals and state and national funders to move the issue in areas in Kansas where water is not fluoridated.

Kansas Oral Health Plan


Oral Health Workforce


bullet Advocate with the Kansas Board of Regents to negotiate with UMKC School of Dentistry to require that Kansas students receiving in-state tuition practice in Kansas for the number of years they received the tuition benefit.

bullet During the 2011 Legislative season, identify barriers to ECP practice and sustainability, draft changes (if needed) to current statute and propose new legislation if necessary.

bullet Through 2014, educate dentists, hygienists and safety net clinics about ECP utilization, and provide technical on how to better utilize ECPs.

bullet By 2012, update and post a Tool Kit on the ECPs on the Oral Health Kansas website.

bullet Through 2014, provide information on ECPs to dental hygienists, dentists and dental professional students.

bullet Support recruitment and retention efforts to develop and maintain an oral health workforce that reflects the diversity of populations served in Kansas.

Kansas Oral Health Plan
Oral Health Kansas Strategic Plan/Advocacy Plan


Oral Health Awareness


bullet By 2014 Oral Health Kansas will secure funding and implement a scientific survey of Kansans from all socioeconomic levels to determine what they know about oral health and to what extent they take care of their own oral health.

bullet Provide oral health providers, advocates and public health educators with up to date information on health disparities and influential factors that impact health equity in Kansas.

bullet Assist with assessment of culturally tailored health promotion strategies and evaluation of materials that target populations at risk of oral disease.

bullet Promote understanding among oral health providers, public health educators, and their community partners and advocates of the national standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) and their use in improving services to minority/underserved populations.

bullet By 2014 collaboratively create core messages that address the common myths about oral health and identify appropriate audiences for the oral health messages. Ex. Baby teeth DO matter, bleeding gums ARE NOT healthy and fluoride IS helpful.

Kansas Oral Health Plan
Oral Health Kansas Strategic Plan/Advocacy Plan

Oral Health Kansas Operations


bullet By the end of 2011, a sustainability plan will be developed that identifies long-term funding partners for advocacy work and includes target percentages of each type of funding.

REACH Healthcare Foundation
Kansas Oral Health Plan
Oral Health Kansas Strategic Plan/Advocacy Plan


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