May 2021 Newsletter
How are you REALLY?

It’s a simple question that we often ask our friends, colleagues, and strangers – “how are you?” We usually answer with a blanket “fine” or “good” or sometimes even “great”, but how often are we looking for the genuine answer to how are you doing REALLY? May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which offers us all an opportunity to check in with ourselves and our communities after an overwhelming and sometimes out of control year. Mental health, just like oral health, is an integral part of our overall health. Good mental health will benefit all aspects of our lives, like coping with stressful situations or improving the quality of life.
Word on Water:

In conjunction with the release of the American Jobs Plan, President Biden became the first U.S. president to declare that water is a human right, noting that it is past time to ensure that children and families are not accessing water from lead pipes. You can read more about how the administration plans to invest $111 billion to modernize water systems, including funding to replace lead pipes. Virginia passed its own Water as a Human Right Resolution in 2020, patroned by Delegate Lashrecse Aird of Greater Petersburg area, paving the way for equitable access to safe, drinkable water through several statewide efforts.

Catalyst and many statewide partners are working to improve water equity in Virginia through the work of the Water Equity Taskforce, including workgroups looking specifically at communication and water equity in rural Virginia. Learn more and get involved!
Welcome, Sherrina!
Join us in welcoming Sherrina Gibson Catalyst's new senior analytics manager to the team! Sherrina comes to us with extensive experience in data analysis and stakeholder engagement – she is likely a familiar face and friend to many of you because of her years of working in public health in Virginia! She will lead our data collection and analysis effort and support our partners (you!) as they incorporate quantitative and qualitative data collection findings into organizational operations, making an even greater impact on the health of the Commonwealth.
Sponsor the 2021 Catalyst Annual Summit

If your organization is interested in sponsoring the 2021 Summit, please contact
Alle Witt at
Additional Resources

July 1 is just around the corner, and we are excited about the upcoming adult dental benefit in Medicaid! Help spread the word by sharing the news with your patients and clients. Find flyers, social media posts and images, and educational resources on Catalyst’s webpage. If you need something specific to your organization, please reach out and we can work with you to make that happen! 
Preventing Hypertension

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening adults over 18 for hypertension through blood pressure measurement. Hypertension affects almost half (45%) of US adults, and is linked to oral health. Recommendations from the USPSTF become mandated in Medicare, Medicaid, and other private insurers who provide coverage on the Exchange.
Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Share this FCC program with your clients, patients, and communities!
Apply for the Oral Health Integration Learning Collaborative with Catalyst!

Are you part of a dental safety net clinic in Virginia that is eager to focus on medical/dental integration efforts? Apply to be a part of the 2021 Oral Health Integration Learning Collaborative and you can learn along with your peers how to use quality improvement methods to implement strategies to improve integration among your medical and dental teams. Participating clinics will receive $10,000 to support project-related costs. Applications will be accepted June 1-30, and the project will begin in September.
Other Opportunities
Adult Dental Medicaid Benefits Webinar (VDHA) June 8, 7-8 pm

This informational webinar hosted by the Virginia Dental Hygienist Association (VDHA) will highlight how the upcoming adult dental benefit in Medicaid will help to address the increased need for oral health care as a result of the pandemic, and share how easy it is for your practice to become a Medicaid provider if you aren’t already. Attendees can receive 1 CE for this webinar. Learn more and register here

Register for the FREE Special Needs Dentistry – You Can Do It! Trainings

In partnership with the VDH, Catalyst is excited to offer a free five-part webinar series for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants on special needs dentistry. The series provides the dental community with the tools and knowledge to treat patients with special health care needs and covers topics like treatment planning, the latest clinical information and recommendations, and trends in special care dentistry. Attendees can receive 10 free CE credits for the series! Learn more here and register today! The next cohort begins on
 July 15.

Is your FQHC interested in developing a family-centered and team-based model of integrating oral health with primary care? Are you motivated to improve the oral health of young children and their caregivers? Then you may be interested in applying for the Transforming Oral Health for Families (TOHF) learning collaborative! Participating health centers receive a stipend of $25,000 to offset project-related costs. Learn more about the project, and complete an application by May 31 to join the next cohort beginning September 2021.