pp-oh2020After the Oral Health 2020 National Network Gathering a month ago, it’s time to reflect on the progress this initiative has made since launching last year. We are proud partners in this network and are moving forward to achieve these bold goals by 2020.  Oral Health 2020 is an effort to strengthen and unify the oral health network, build upon current initiative strategies, and expand impact. Oral Health 2020 investments are structured around the realization of a vision for improved oral health: “to improve lifelong oral health and eradicate dental disease in children.”  By staffing the statewide Kentucky Oral Health Coalition, Kentucky Youth Advocates began our involved with the oral health network in 2010. We made even more great strides at the convening last month.

These goals were originally established to unify and expand the impact of the national network of change agents working to improve oral health across the country while allowing us to launch a systems-change strategy that has inspired collective action across the country. Due to the network’s exciting success, the DentaQuest Foundation and its partners unveiled the recently-updated Oral Health 2020 goals:

Goal 1: Eradicate dental disease in children. 

  • Target: With the closing of disparity gaps, 85 percent of children reach age 5 without a cavity.

Goal 2: Incorporate oral health into the primary education system.

  • Target: The 10 largest school districts have incorporated oral health into their systems.

Goal 3: Include an adult dental benefit in publicly-funded health coverage.

  • Target: At least 30 states have an extensive Medicaid adult dental benefit.
  • Target: Medicare includes an extensive dental benefit.

Goal 4: Build a comprehensive national oral health measurement system.

  • Target: A national and state-based oral health measurement system is in place.

Goal 5: Integrate oral health into person-centered health care.

  • Target: Oral health is integrated into at least 50 percent of emerging person-centered care models.

Goal 6: Improve the public perception of the value of oral health to overall health.

  • Target: Oral health is increasingly included in health dialogue and public policy

Since 2010, the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition (KOHC) has operated with the theory that it takes a collaborative network of engaged partners from across the Commonwealth to meet the core mission – to improve oral health for all people of Kentucky. As we strive to eradicate children’s dental disease, KOHC members, stakeholders, and leadership believe that the goals below will take the Coalition’s work to the next level and propel us toward reaching the Oral Health 2020 goals.

The three components of the next iteration of KOHC will include:

  1. Engage, support, and connect with five regional oral health coalitions across the state to grow and strengthen the network around the common goals.
  2. Create an interactive and crowd-sourced Kentucky Oral Health Bright Spots Map to highlight champions, best practices, data, stories, and innovation.
  3. Build consensus around a collective statewide policy agenda and implementing an advocacy campaign to reach targets.

As we approach 2020, we reaffirm our commitment to the important work ahead and working together to improve the oral health of all. You can learn more about Oral Health 2020 and the gathering in New Orleans by searching the hashtag #OH2020inNOLA on Twitter.