Advocating for Oral Health
Public opinion research shows that the general public has little awareness of the seriousness of oral disease. Yet people place it high on their list of priorities and concerns when they learn how prevalent and damaging it is.
The WDS Foundation is committed to building a constituency to create a supportive climate for oral health policy proposals. Funding for oral health programs is less likely to be cut and policies are more likely to be adopted when there is a broad-based constituency for oral health. Through a broad-based coalition and a range of campaign activities like earned and paid media and policy advocacy, WDS Foundation is drawing attention to the prevalence of oral disease, its consequences and the need for solutions by policy makers.
In January 2001, the Washington Dental Service Foundation funded the Citizens’ Watch for Oral Health Coalition. Its membership includes The Association of Washington Business, Senior Citizen’s Lobby, Children’s Hospital, American Academy of Pediatrics-Washington Chapter, Washington State Dental Association, Group Health, Children’s Alliance, Washington State School Nurses Association, Washington State Hospital Association, Eldercare Alliance and the Washington State Labor Council.
Governor Gregoire signs HB 2668, the "Aging in Place" bill, March 2008. The bill
included funding for WDS Foundation's Seniors Dental Access Pilot Project
(now called "Oral Health Connections"), which increases access for older adults
by linking them with dental and medical providers.
Recent successful legislative efforts have included:
- Funding for Primary Care Medical professionals to deliver oral health services during well-child checks
- Working with the Health Care Coalition for Children and Youth (HCCY) on the passage of Cover All Kids legislation, which includes dental services for low to moderate income families
- Funding for Oral Health Connections pilot project to improve oral health services in dental and medical offices for older adults
For more information about our Oral Health Campaign efforts, please contact Sylvia Gil at email@example.com or phone (206) 528-7327