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Health Policy Research Program members participate and present at NOHC

Albuquerque skyline

Several Public Policy Center researchers from the Health Policy Research Program participated and presented at the National Oral Health Conference April 24-26 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  

Dr. Susan McKernan participated in a panel, “Charting our course: The role of dental public health in health systems integration.” The panel highlighted opportunities and case studies for how dental and medical providers can support each other in navigating the current health care system, and how oral health can be included in state and national health innovations. McKernan focused on medical-dental integration in the treatment of people with diabetes.

Dr. Julie Reynolds presented a poster, “Dentists’ ambivalence about earned benefits structure within Iowa’s Dental Wellness Plan.” The poster examines the attitudes of Iowa private practice dentists about the Dental Wellness Plan earned benefits structure, including those who participate in the plan and those who do not. The research team found that dentists had both positive and negative views on aspects of the design and impact of the program, and that there was an even split in the proportion who had overall positive and negative attitudes toward the earned benefits structure.

Graduate student Jen Sukalski presented a poster “Iowa Dental Wellness Plan members’ self-reported effect of earned benefits on routine dental use.” The aim of the study is to examine the reported impact of the earned benefits model on members’ preventive care-seeking behavior. A majority of DWP members reported that earned benefits would have a positive impact on their use of routine dental care. Current research is evaluating dental utilization of members using administrative claims data.

PPC researchers Elizabeth Momany, Dr. Ray Kuthy and Donald Chi also participated in the conference.

The NOHC is designed for dentists, dental hygienists, health researchers, dental/health educators, legislators, public health officials, Medicaid/CHIP dental program staff or consultants, state/territorial dental directors, county/city/local dental directors, community health center personnel, students, federally-employed dental personnel, as well as dental manufacturers/distributors and dental insurance companies – anyone interested in collaborating to improve the oral health of the public.

For more information, visit www.nationaloralhealthconference.com.