Hofstra University’s

National Public Health Week

April 16-17, 2015


Hofstra’s National Public Health Week not only aims to strengthen the public health profession, but to foster understanding, engagement, and support for key issues affecting the health of our communities locally, nationally and internationally.  Activities this year will be interactive and educational and include a concert, community health fair, panel discussions, presentations, lectures, film viewings and more. Topics will include oral public health, care and advocacy for people with Alzheimer’s Disease, exploration of health disparities, HIV, and more.

You are invited to attend the Dental Public Health event on Friday, April 17th from 9:00-11:00 am titled, “Re-Envisioning the Role of Dental Health Providers in Prevention and Control of Chronic Illness.”  This breakfast session will highlight how private dental practitioners, state-wide coalitions and dental health researchers are engaging in innovative strategies to inform individuals and communities about the critical mouth-body connection.

All events are free and open to the public; to register or for more information on all events, visitwww.hofstra.edu/NPHW2015


Nassau County Dental Society

377 Oak Street, Suite 204

Garden City, NY 11530

Save the Date

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
NYS Oral Health Coalition
Oral Health Advocacy Day
Albany, NY

More info and advocacy priorities will be sent in a couple of weeks.

NYSOHC 2014 Annual Meeting a Success!

With attendance that surpassed our February meeting, it is gratifying, as Lottie Jameson and Mary Ellen Yankosky leave their positions as Co-Chairs to see how the Coalition has grown over the last couple of years.  We are convinced we have left the leadership of the Coalition in great hands – Welcome Dr. Lee Perry, Dentaquest Director and Paula Fischer, Project Coordinator, State University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine!  Lee and Paula will join Steven Russell, Vice Chair, Nick Tucci, Treasurer, and Bridget Walsh, Secretary. Joining the Steering Committee will be Sangeeta Gajendra, Clinical Chief, Eastman Dental Center; Roseanne Henley, Clinical Manager, St. Peter’s Hospital Dental Center and Jill Guiles, North Country Family Health Center Dental Department.

A Special Thanks to our Presenters for Enhancing our Theme: 
Oral Health Programs and Practices Making a Difference

State Oral Health Plan and Prevention Agenda Update
Jay Kumar, DDS, Director, NYSDOH, Bureau of Dental Health

Impacting State and Local Level Policies to Prevent Dental Disease in Young Children: First Year Update
Bridget Walsh, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, Senior Policy Analyst/Oral Health Campaign Coordinator

Preparing Dental Students for Community Health Practice & Inter-Professional Collaboration
Neal G. Herman, DDS, New York University,

Teledentistry Expands Student Experiences
Julie Ruggiero, RDH, St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center/Monroe Community College Dental Hygiene Collaboration

Project Stay:  Oral Health Education, Nutrition and Tobacco Cessation Counseling and Facilitating Dental Clinical Care for Young Adults.
Noreen Myers-Wright, MA, CHES, RDH, Project Coordinator, Columbia University College Dental Medicine, Section of Public Oral Health/Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy & Management

Milestones across the Mountains
Elizabeth Bray, RDH, Bassett Healthcare Network, School-Based Dental Health Program

Collaborative Practice and Direct Access to Preventive Dental Hygiene Services
Mary Ellen Yankosky, BS, RDH, Dental Hygienists’ Association of the State of New York, Director, Policy and Advocacy and Co-Chair, NYSOHC

Children's Dental Health Project

Social Media Storm
Wednesday, August 13 @ 2:00pm



The oral health TV ads and materials of CDC's Tips campaign is now in its second month, the Children's Dental Health Project is thrilled with the engagement and response thus far. 

Similarly to the Twitter chat they hosted on July 16, they're now planning for a "social media storm", which will cover both the Facebook and Twitter platforms. This storm will be held on Wednesday, August 13 @ 2pm (Eastern) and will last for only 30 minutes. 

If your organization is available and able to participate, please let Shante know that you plan on joining in spreading the #CDCtips messages -- If you're interested, they're team has prepared a social media kit for this purpose, containing over a dozen messages for both Facebook and Twitter. These messages can be tweaked and tailored to better fit your organization, or you can even create your own; they simply ask that you use the #CDCtips hashtag in each of your posts so that they're able to track the combined efforts of all participating.

Thank you so much for your support and involvement thus far! If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Shante, Project Associate at: salerte@cdhp.org / 202-417-3594.


1020 19th Street NW, Ste. 400 | Washington, DC 20036

(202) 417- 3594 | salerte@cdhp.org 

cdhp.org | @Teeth_Matter

    DentaQuest Provides Support 

    November 25, 2013 –DentaQuest, a leading oral health company, recently presented a donation to support the work of the New York State Oral Health Coalition as it implements the New York State Oral Health Plan on behalf of all New Yorkers.

    The New York State Oral Health Coalition is the only statewide organization to bring the full breadth of health and human services professionals together to develop public health strategies for the people of New York.  The Coalition engages dentists, hygienists, and public health professionals with nationally recognized evidence-based practices, emerging New York State policies or grants, and community-based success stories to improve access to care and expand prevention strategies.
    “DentaQuest’s mission is to improve the oral health of all,” said Dr. Perry, DentaQuest Dental Director. “Oral Health Coalitions fulfill an important role in improving oral health through their support of programs that fulfil the goals of the state oral health plan. DentaQuest’s donation will help support the NYSOHF’s infrastructure needs as it works on behalf of all New Yorkers.”
    About DentaQuest
    DentaQuest is a leading dental benefits administrator, providing cost-effective administration in every arena of dental benefits, including group, individual, healthcare marketplaces, Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare Advantage. We are creating an environment of better oral health for nearly 20 million members across the United States. We emphasize prevention and encourage good oral health for all. DentaQuest is supported in its mission to improve the oral health of all by the DentaQuest Foundation, the leading U.S. philanthropy focused solely on oral health and the DentaQuest Institute which is helping oral healthcare professionals improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery. Learn more at www.dentaquest.com.

     (DentaQuest delivers a donation to the New York State Oral Health Coalition.  L-R: Dr. Lee Perry, DentaQuest Dental Director, Kristin LaRoche, DentaQuest Government Relations, Mary Ellen Yankosky, NYSOHC Co-Chair and Director, Policy and Advocacy Dental Hygienists' Association of the State of NY, and Kathy Rucinski, DentaQuest Vice President Provider Relations).
    About the New York State Oral Health Coalition
    The New York State Oral Health Coalition is a broad-based association, established in 2006. It is comprised of programs and organizations, healthcare providers, state oral health officials, insurers, health advocates, and policy leaders from across New York. Coalition members met regularly with the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Dental Health, the New York State Public Health Association, and other stakeholders to develop the New York State Oral Health Plan, a blueprint for achieving optimal oral health for all New Yorkers. The Plan, which was released in August of 2006, addresses the burden of oral disease across the state and documents goals, objectives, and strategies that cover a broad spectrum of issues related to policy development, prevention, access to care, workforce, communications, and surveillance and research. Learn more at: http://nysohc.org.


NYS OHC Fundraising Campaign

The New York State Oral Health Coalition is the only statewide organization to bring the full breadth of health and human
services professionals together to develop leading public health strategies for the people of New York.

We engage dentists, hygienists, and public health professionals with nationally recognized evidence-based practices, emerging
New York State policies or grants, and community-based success stories to improve access to care and expand population
prevention strategies.

We are seeking just $30,000 between now and our Annual Meeting in November to establish the infrastructure for
implementation of our Strategic Plan in the upcoming year. Please consider what your organization, your colleagues, friends,
and family can do to help the New York State Oral Health Coalition sustain its mission.

With your help, we can become the most valuable statewide resource of health professionals seeking to
cost-effectively reduce dental diseases in their communities.

Please donate now!!




Update from

September 2013

A Profile of Active Dentists in New York

This brief describes demographic, educational, and practice characteristics of actively practicing dentists in New York. Despite the fact that almost
all of the state’s regions are well above the national rate of 55 dentists per 100,000 population, access to basic oral health services in New York is problematic, particularly for Medicaid-insured patients. Download this research brief: nydentist2013.pdf

A Profile of Dental Hygienists in New York

This brief describes the active dental hygienist workforce in New York. The analysis finds that dental hygienists are unevenly distributed across the state, with substantial maldistribution in the counties of New York City. The vast majority of dental hygienists work in private dental practices and nearly half work part time. Download this research brief: nyhygienist2013.pdf



Report Finds Lower-Income People in Top Performing States Often Better Off Than Higher-Income People in Lagging States; Millions Would Have Better Care and Healthier Lives If All States Could Do As Well As The Top Performers

New York, NY, September 18, 2013 - Access to affordable health care and quality of care vary greatly for low-income people based on where they live, according to a new Commonwealth Fund scorecard. The Scorecard provides the first state-by-state comparison of the health care experiences of the 39 percent of Americans with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $47,000 a year for a family of four and $23,000 for an individual. Low-income people account for at least 25 percent of total state populations, and as much as nearly half (47%) in some states - including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico.

The report also compares the health care experiences of those with low incomes to those with higher incomes - over 400 percent of poverty, or $94,000 for
a family of four - and finds striking disparities by income within each state. Yet, the wide differences by geography often put higher-income as well as low-income families at risk. The report finds that higher-income people living in states that lag far behind are often worse off than low-income people in states that rank at the very top of the scorecard. For example, low-income elderly Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut and Wisconsin are less likely to receive
high-risk medications than are higher-income elderly in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.

The stark differences in health care access, quality, and outcomes detailed in the report add up to substantial loss of lives and missed opportunities to
improve health and quality of care. According to the Scorecard, if all states could reach benchmarks set by the leading states for their more advantaged populations:

  • an estimated 86,000 fewer people would die prematurely each year,
  • 750,000 fewer low-income Medicare beneficiaries would be prescribed potentially dangerous medications,
  • tens of millions of adults and children would receive needed preventive care like vaccines, check-ups, and cancer screenings,
  • nearly 9 million fewer low-income adults under age 65 would lose six or more teeth because of tooth decay, infection, or gum disease, and
  • 30 million more low-income adults and children would have health insurance coverage, reducing the number of uninsured by half.

“We found repeated evidence that we are often two Americas, divided by income and geography when it comes to opportunities to lead long and healthy lives. These are more than numbers,” said Cathy Schoen, Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President and lead author of the report. “We are talking about people’s lives, health, and well-being. Our hope is that state policymakers and health care leaders use these data to target resources to improve access, care, and the health of residents with below-average incomes.”

The report, Health Care in the Two Americas: Findings from the Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, and online interactive map rank states on 30 indicators covering issues such as access to affordable health care, preventive care and quality, potentially avoidable hospital use, and health outcomes. The report also examines how well the top-performing state in each category does for its high-income residents and sets that as a benchmark in order to assess the potential if all states could do as well.

Income-Related Health Disparities Exist Within and Among States

The report finds substantial variation in health care and health outcomes for low-income people - a two- to five-fold difference. While there was room for every state to improve, states in the Upper Midwest, Northeast, and Hawaii performed best, while Southern and South Central states often lagged.

Some findings of wide geographic disparities and gaps in care include:

  • The percentage of uninsured low-income adults ranged from a low of 12 percent in Massachusetts to a high of 55 percent in Texas.
  • Only 32 percent of low-income adults ages 50 or older received recommended preventive care, such as cancer screenings and vaccines, ranging from 26 percent or less in Idaho, Oklahoma, and California, to 42 percent in Massachusetts, the top-ranked state for this indicator.
  • In eight states, 40 percent or more of Medicare beneficiaries received medications considered high-risk for the elderly - rates more than double that
    of states with safer prescribing.
  • Asthma-related hospitalizations among children from low-income communities in New York were eight times higher than in Oregon, the state with
    the lowest rate. (477 per 100,000 in New York compared to 56 per 100,000 in Oregon.)
  • At least one of four low-income adults under 65 in West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky lost six or more teeth due to decay
    or disease, compared to less than 10 percent in Connecticut, Hawaii, and Utah, the states with the lowest rates.

Demonstrating the potential to improve, the report finds that in top-performing states, low-income people often fared better than the national average, and even better than higher-income people in the worst-performing states. On nearly half of the indicators, including potentially preventable hospitalizations, infant mortality, smoking, and obesity, lower-income or less-advantaged people in high-performing states did better than more-advantaged people in low-performing states.

Low-Income Families Suffer from Lack of Access to Affordable, Timely Health Care

The report finds that low-income people were more likely to be uninsured or underinsured than those with higher incomes. In 2010-2011 nearly 56 million low-income people were uninsured or underinsured, ranging from a low of 36 percent in Massachusetts to a high of more than 60 percent in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Insurance and access to health care are closely linked: the report finds that insured low-income people have similar rates of having a usual source of care and receiving recommended care as insured high-income people. However, insurance alone doesn’t guarantee receipt of high-quality, safe care, as demonstrated by the varied experience of low- and higher-income Medicare beneficiaries, all of whom are insured.

The report findings point to the need to strengthen primary care to ensure timely access, reduce reliance on emergency rooms, and improve care for those with chronic disease. The Scorecard finding that those living in low-income communities often fare worse points to the need for targeted efforts focused on “hot spots,” or communities with very high rates of hospital or emergency room use, to act early, prevent complications and improve population health.

Improvement is Possible

According to the report, the Affordable Care Act represents a historic opportunity for states to provide better health care to economically vulnerable people by providing resources to overcome the geographic and income divide - especially for states with high rates of poverty. The authors note that investing those resources well has the potential to improve the health and productivity of the entire state. The scorecard offers targets to improve as well as a way of tracking progress by state over time.

“The Scorecard’s startling findings show us where our bright and weak spots are when it comes to providing health care to millions of Americans living on modest or low incomes,” said Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D. “And the timing is important. We are at an unprecedented moment in the history of our nation. We have the potential to raise the bar, unite the country, and realize the promise of a more equal opportunity to thrive by expanding health care coverage and innovating to find the most effective ways to deliver high-quality, safe care for everyone.”

Data and Resources Available

The report and additional resources, including an interactive map, state profiles, an infographic, and a slide show explainer, “A Tale of Two States: The Health Care Income Divide Visualized,” will be available at:

Methodology: The low-income scorecard compares states on 30 indicators spanning access and affordability, prevention/quality, potentially avoidable hospital use, and health outcomes. It draws from the most current data available, generally 2010-2011. Where possible the indicators compare experiences by income. Where person-specific income information was not available, the analysis uses low-income communities or education to assess income-related differences. States were ranked on each indicator and dimension. For selected indicators the analysis assesses potential gains if the state improved to the top rate set by leading states for low- income or high-income residents. The website provides state-specific profiles.


Oral Health News

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its web site
dedicated to
Children's Oral Health. This AAP site continues to offer
valuable tools and resources, but in a more streamlined and easy to
navigate format.

The PEW Report
Making Coverage Matter was released May 24, 2011.
New York improved from a C grade to a B. Check out our Fact Sheet for details.

On May 15, 2011, the New York State Medicaid Program Dental Policy and Procedure Manual was released. For more information on this provider manual, Click here for more information on the Dental Manual.

To learn about New York's Medicaid Redesign Team, contact the Team,
and to stay informed as they work on their initiatives, visit

The Ad Hoc Group on Local Oral Health Programs for the Association of
State and Territorial Dental Directors Best Practices Committee released
Local Oral Health Programs and Best Practices Voices from the Field:
The End-Users' Perspective
report in February, 2011.

The Older Adults Basic Screening Survey Webinar held on January 20th,
2011 is archived and available for viewing on the ASTDD site.

Other Updates...

Summary of Oral Health Provisions in Health Care Reform








The New York State Oral Health Coalition, along with many organizations joined the Coalition for Health Funding and the Committee for Education Funding in support of a sign-on letter, directed to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The letter urged them to provide a 302(b) allocation to the
Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee that protects those important programs against further cuts. The letter reflected nearly 400 signatures representative of
national, regional and state organizations who share the same concerns should further cuts be made to allocations that benefit health and education funding in the United States. For more information, please visit its website at:
www.publichealthfunding.org and follow on Twitter @healthfunding

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