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Addressing Oral Health Disparities in Urban Settings: Applying the NPA Framework to Advance Access to Oral Health Care

posted Jun 11, 2018, 10:41 AM by daniel yoo   [ updated Jun 11, 2018, 11:31 AM ]

Posted by Christine Madrid Espinel, Health Program Specialist of the Utah Office of Health Disparities (OHD) and Co-chair of the Mountain States Regional Health Equity Council (RHEC VIII). RHEC VIII is one of 10 regional health equity councils (RHECs) formed in 2011 as part of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA) and encompasses Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Oral health impacts our self-esteem, school and work performance, and overall wellbeing. Oral diseases are linked with chronic diseases, like diabetes and heart disease. Despite major improvements in oral health for the population as a whole, disparities persist. Racial and ethnic minorities, low-income individuals and families, and otherwise vulnerable populations have poor oral health outcomes and access oral health services—care of teeth, gums, and mouth—at lower rates. Increasing access to oral health services by addressing the social determinants of health is one way to close oral health gaps, according to a white paper published by my colleagues from Utah Office of Health Disparities (OHD).

In January 2018, Utah OHD released the white paper Addressing Oral Health Disparities in Urban Settings: A Strategic Approach to Advance Access to Oral Health Care,” which documents oral health disparities and outlines efforts to increase access to oral health services in urban settings.

Utah OHD’s strategic approach includes providing access to oral health services and a trusted provider by addressing social, economic, geographic, cultural, and linguistic barriers to care. Through its free dental day clinics, Utah OHD provides short-term access to oral health services for vulnerable populations living in urban settings. The approach also includes strategic investments in improving health literacy for vulnerable populations as well as building oral health workforce capacity to serve these communities. This work drives the focus from providing short-term services to developing sustainable, systematic solutions for long-term access to oral health care.

Notably, Utah OHD uses the NPA’s framework of five goals to encourage adoption of approaches in areas of (1) awareness, (2) leadership, (3) health systems and life experience, (4) cultural and linguistic competency, and (5) data research and evaluation.

Utah OHD released the white paper while applying the Office of Minority Health’s National Partnership for Action (NPA) framework on the frontlines to address oral health disparities in Utah. In 2015, Utah OHD joined the State Partnership Initiative to Address Health Disparities (SPI) and embarked on a five-year program, Bridging Communities and Clinics (BCC), in two of Utah’s most underserved communities. BCC applies the NPA’s framework to encourage the adoption of approaches in awareness and leadership, such as by facilitating dialogues between oral health providers and community members on oral health disparities. Through its free dental day clinics, the Utah OHD applies the health system and life experience approach by removing barriers to oral health care. Utah OHD promotes cultural and linguistic competency by involving providers and patients from a variety of races/ethnicities and language competencies. By utilizing Utah OHD’s approaches and application of the NPA framework, partners in other communities can also advance access to oral health care and address oral health disparities. 

On June 12, 2018, Oral Health America’s Webinar Series will host the webinar Oral Health Disparities in Urban Settings: A Strategic Approach to Access to Care, which will highlight the contents of Utah OHD’s white paper and share approaches tied to the NPA goals. To register for the webinar, visit:

May 16 Webinar Recording: Achieving Health Equity through Accessible Communications

posted May 9, 2018, 2:17 PM by daniel yoo   [ updated May 24, 2018, 11:12 AM by Tech Support ]

This webinar outlined cross-cutting strategies to support more inclusive and accessible approaches to implementing Healthy Communications and Health Information Technology (HCHIT).

View the webinar recording here:

Please note that, due to technical issues beyond our control, closed captioning was not provided for the last five minutes of this webinar; however, the transcript document captures the entire session. 

To view/download the webinar transcript and fully accessible presentation slides (PDF format), please click on the links below.

April 26 Webinar Recording and Post-webinar Graphic Report: Strategies for Building and Strengthening the CHW Effort

posted Mar 28, 2018, 3:25 PM by daniel yoo   [ updated Jul 10, 2018, 10:40 AM by Tech Support ]

On April 26, the Mountain States RHEC’s Community Health Worker (CHW) Subcommittee shared strategies and pathways for building and strengthening CHW efforts in the community. The webinar focused on the history, infrastructure, strategies, goals, and progress of the Utah Broad-Based CHW Coalition.

In this post-webinar graphic report, we share information about participants' satisfaction with the webinar and its delivery, their ability to apply the webinar’s information to their work, and how they plan to use the information.

To view/download the webinar transcript, the webinar presentation slides (PDF format), and all meeting materials, please click on the links below.

ASTHO Webinar: Integrating Health Equity into Funding Opportunity Announcements

posted Jan 24, 2018, 7:16 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Jan 24, 2018, 7:16 AM ]

Date: Tuesday, February 20 
Time: 2 p.m.–3 p.m. EST 

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), with support from the HHS Office of Minority Health, will host a webinar for public health professionals involved in programming to advance health equity or in the grant-making process based on its guide for integrating health equity language into funding announcements. 

Objectives for this webinar are to: 
  • Describe federal leadership on state/regional health equity initiatives; 
  • Provide specific examples of how a state health agency has incorporated health equity language into its funding announcements; and 
  • Describe the new tool for health equity developed by ASTHO and the HHS Office of Minority Health. 
For more information and to register:

Abstracts Sought by January 12 for Atlanta BRFSS Training Workshop

posted Jan 8, 2018, 9:50 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Jan 8, 2018, 9:51 AM ]

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Conference Committee is encouraging the submission of abstracts for a presentation or poster for the BRFSS Training Workshop, April 9–13 in Atlanta, Georgia. The submission deadline is Friday, January 12. Notifications of accepted presentations will be sent by Friday, February 16. 

Click on the link below for additional information and abstract guidelines. This is a great opportunity to increase the visibility of the great work that you are doing.

Recording Now Available: Watch the July 31 Mountain States RHEC’s Native American cultural competency webinar on cultural needs assessments

posted Aug 3, 2017, 1:23 PM by Camila Santos   [ updated Aug 3, 2017, 1:26 PM ]

Learn more about tribal communities and how to best serve American Indians and Alaska Natives by watching Independent Senior Strategist and Tribal Health Consultant Tom Anderson’s presentation on the diversity of existing health care in Indian Country and the wide and varying differences in tribal health perspectives and cultures of health. He shares examples of best and promising practices of cultural competency aligned with the CLAS Standards as well as health equity challenges in tribal communities through the lens of health and cultural needs assessments.

View it here:

Recording Now Available For The Mountain States RHEC (RHEC VIII) Native American Cultural Competency Webinar

posted May 23, 2017, 6:33 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Jun 20, 2017, 8:38 AM ]

Did you miss the April 20, 2017, Native American Cultural Competency webinar hosted by the Mountain States RHEC (RHEC VIII)? The webinar, which focused on addressing cultural sensitivity when collecting sensitive data is now available for listening. Upon listening to the webinar, participants will be able to do the following: list three benefits of providing culturally and linguistic appropriate services; identify and understand the holistic healing approach, cultural norms, customs, and protocols of the Great Plains tribes; discuss effective strategies when working with the Native American population that can be shared with co-workers; and enhance the relationship between healthcare provider and patient by building a culturally competent workforce.

Listen to the recording:

To view/download the presentation (Power Point format) click below

Mountain States RHEC Native American Cultural Competency Webinar: Overview Of Working With Tribal Governments

posted Jan 24, 2017, 10:58 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Mar 27, 2017, 1:22 PM ]

Did you miss the Mountain States RHEC's webinar on the history of tribes and treaties, utilization of CLAS Standards, cultural sensitivity when working with tribal communities and the impact of cultural needs assessments? You can now view the recording!

View it here:

Department of Education (DOE) Issues a Fact Sheet Regarding Equity in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

posted Dec 14, 2016, 11:25 AM by Tech Support   [ updated Feb 28, 2017, 6:03 AM ]

The DOE issued a Fact Sheet that announced the final regulations under Part B of IDEA, aimed at promoting equity by targeting widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities. The regulations address several issues related to significant disproportionality in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities based on race or ethnicity.

See the Fact Sheet for more information.

Region VIII Releases Healthcare Coverage Expansion in the Mountain States Region: Implications for Health Outcomes Report

posted Sep 8, 2016, 4:51 PM by Tech Support   [ updated Feb 28, 2017, 6:03 AM ]

According to the Healthcare Coverage Expansion in the Mountain States Region: Implications for Health Outcomes report released by the Mountain States RHEC, some states in Region VIII have not expanded Medicaid although the lack of healthcare coverage results in higher medical care expenditures and can negatively impact health outcomes for populations at risk of experiencing health disparities. Of the six states in Region VIII, three – Colorado, Montana and Utah – have expanded Medicaid and governors in Wyoming and in South Dakota have included Medicaid expansion in their respective FY2017 budget proposals. 

See the report below and find out how this impacts the region

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