Oral health is closely connected to overall well-being, and poor oral health is linked to other chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, many rural residents struggle to receive dental care. In addition, many people don’t even realize oral health care is important. Dental hygienists are in a unique position to increase access to care in these areas. This workshop will explore integrating medical and dental care through a public health lens and other ways to increase access to oral health care in community settings. Utilizing collaborative practice agreements, dental hygienists can provide education and preventive dental care in non-dental settings like medical clinics, schools, or community programs.
Part one will explain in detail the model of care and why it is helpful for many organizations and communities.
Prasida Khanal, MPH, BDS, is the State Oral Health Director at the Minnesota Department of Health and a foreign-trained dentist. As State Oral Health Director, she serves as a Principal Investigator for projects promoting oral health in Minnesota, including the Health Resources and Services Administration grant focused on innovative workforce model to increase access to care in Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas. The Center for Health Care Strategies awarded Prasida SOHLI fellowship to achieve broad improvements in oral health policy and delivery.
Holly Jorgensen, Collaborative RDH, has been the Executive Director and founder of Let's Smile, Inc. since 2013. She is an active member of the American Dental Hygienist Association, the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, and the SEMCAC Head Start Health Advisory Board for the Southeast Minnesota Counties. Holly has been a dental hygienist since 1994, and while working in general dental offices, noticed the lack of access to dental care for low-income families with Minnesota Health Care Plans (MHCP) or no dental insurance.
Laura is part of the workforce research team at the Minnesota Department of Health. She serves as the statewide expert on characteristics of the oral health care workforce. She has experience in applied social science research through past work at Wilder Research Center, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Laura earned her Master of Arts in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Clare Larkin has been a licensed dental hygienist since 1977 with wide-ranging experience in clinical dental hygiene, dental public health, dental hygiene education, and oral health advocacy and policy development. Clare served as faculty for dental hygiene programs at Normandale Community College, Metropolitan State University, and the University of Minnesota. Most recently, Clare held a position as planner principal/prevention coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health, Oral Health Program focusing on grant-funded school-based dental sealant programs and community water fluoridation. Clare is currently consulting with two oral health-related projects.