CHICAGO, October 4, 2013 — Oral Health America (OHA) held its second Share and Learn conference of the year on Sept. 27 at Western University in Pomona, CA. The conference, hosted in conjunction with the Center for Oral Health and sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation's GRoW initiative and the DentaQuest Foundation, brought together oral health organizations based in Southern California that serve children to provide them with the opportunity to hear expert speakers and learn from each other to improve their own programs.
“Access to oral health care is too complicated to be solved by a single organizational entity," said Dr. Conrado Barzaga, Executive Director for the Center for Oral Health. "Center for Oral Health firmly believes that improving oral health can only be successfully addressed working collaboratively with many key stakeholders across sectors, including government, nonprofit, and for-profit entities, identifying and negotiating around individual and organizational interests in pursuit of the public interest. Working together with Oral Health America embodies this belief.”
Speakers at the conference included Scott Graves with the California Budget Project who provided insight on the state’s budget and a panel including Marci Aguirre of the Inland Empire Health Plan and Rory Luepton from United Way of California who talked about the Affordable Care Act and Covered California. Dr. Jared Fine from the Alameda County Public Health Department gave a presentation about school-based dental services from a historical perspective and Dr. Timothy Martinez, Associate Dean of the College of Dental Medicine at Western University, discussed the Center for Oral Health's school-based oral health program, the Healthy Teeth Healthy Schools Project.
"Our model is based on sustainability, using for-profit concepts and putting them to a nonprofit model," said Dr. Martinez. "I wanted to show the conference participants how they can have sustainable models, and clearly with school-based models they can have sustainability."
The conference also featured a speed networking session that gave participants the opportunity to talk to one another about different topics impacting their programs.