Volume: 3, Issue: 2                                            www.txohc.org                                February 10, 2015
In This Issue



Message from the Chair


Dallas City Council Votes in Favor of Water Fluoridation 


2015 Texas Legislative Update   


February is National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month


Children's Health Coverage  


Oral Health Challenges in Pregnancy Nurse Practitioner Webinar


New Texas Interim Health Commissioner Named by HHSC


Idaho Congressman Introduces Dental Health Bill  


Extend CHIP Funding



Donate now to support your statewide oral health coalition

Learn what TxOHC advocates for to help improve the oral health for all Texans   

Share the latest news in this e-brief with your friends and colleagues. 

A website dedicated to community water fluoridation in Texas. 
Two Minutes for 
Oral Health  
Visit Healthy Mouths Healthy Lives to find fun tips and cartoons for encouraging kids to take care of their teeth.  
TxOHC is pleased to partner with 
Oral Health America's 
Wisdom Tooth Project
Find help to connect older adults and their caregivers to local care and education about the oral health issues they face, the importance of continuing prevention as we age, and the overall impact of oral health on overall health. 
Fluoridate Texas
for Oral Health

TxOHC is proud to join the American Academy of Pediatrics National Campaign for Dental Health


for the 2015
Texas Oral Health Summit November 5-7, 2015

Message from the Chair 
It is a pleasure and honor to serve as the current chair for the Texas Oral Health Coalition.  I deeply believe in its mission and vision, briefly to promote oral health across the lifespan for all Texans through statewide partnerships.  This concept of using cooperation and collaboration among all stakeholders in oral health is essential in addressing what is tantamount to some of our most prevalent diseases, namey caries and periodontal disease, not to mention the psychological and social impact that poor oral health can have.

To share this opportunity amongst all stakeholders will require next-level leadership.  Leadership from dental schools, dentists, hygienists and oral health care staff is important but not comprehensive enough, in my humble opinion.  Leadership will also need to come from vendors, from physicians, physician assistants, nurses, statewide agency, business owners and the patients themselves.  

I am a proud graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry as well as a graduate from the nationally renown Department of Graduate Pediatric Dentistry, also at Baylor.  Mentors such as Dr. Robert Spears, Dr. Sue Seale and Dr. Alton McWhorter instilled in me the desire to step forward and offer my contribution if and when called upon.  It is a desire to contribute to the larger, more purposeful goal of making oral health a conscious conversation in all of our lives.  I believe that the "mouth is a window to the body".  As such, the conversation surrounding oral health can be a wonderful opportunity to also "serve as a window to better health".  TXOHC is a wonderful platform for our state to embrace this conversation. 


Dallas City Council
Votes in Favor of
Water Fluoridation


January 28, 2015

In a 12-2 vote, the Dallas City Council cast a vote in support of oral health for all of their citizens by voting in favor of a three year contract with Mosiac to fluoridate Dallas' water supply.

Removing Dallas resident's right to choose to drink fluoridated water, removes access to proven prevention strategies for everyone.  Community water fluoridation remains the most effective and cost efficient method to reducing dental disease for all populations regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic status. 

Population-based disease prevention strategies are designed to address health disparity and help communities achieve health equity.  Community water fluoridation benefits everyone, especially those without access to regular dental care, and those that cannot afford supplemental fluoride treatments.

Oral health advocates wrote, emailed and contacted City Council members to encourage their support and provide members with science-based information.  This was a true collaborative effort from multiple organizations and associations and we thank you for your efforts.

Our special thanks to the many that took time to contact the Dallas City Council members, testify at City Council meetings and provide the necessary documentation so Council members were able to make an informed and educated decision based on evidence-based science and best practices for their constituents.

We  also want to thank Dallas City Council members for voting to maintain a healthier community.  Your community members and taxpayers will thank you in the long run.
2015 Texas Legislative Update


The 84th Texas Legislative Session began January 13, 2015 and will run through June 1, 2015. For a listing of the current dental related bills in the House and Senate, please visit TxOHC.org/Legislation_TSBDE. Please check our site regularly for updates and new bills.
February is 
2015 National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month

February is National School-Based Health Care Awareness Month. This year, we will shine a light on how school-based health centers (SBHCs) provide access to the health care services that students need to succeed.

Poor academic outcomes and high dropout rates are major concerns of educators, policy makers, and parents alike-and poor health severely limits a child's motivation and ability to learn. SBHCs provide an optimal setting to foster learning readiness and academic achievement while giving children the resources they need to improve their health. On February 25, we will host a Congressional briefing that will focus on how school-based health care contributes to student success, and what a successful partnership between the health and education sectors looks like. Stay tuned for more information on the briefing, and how you can get involved.

Do you have plans to celebrate awareness month in your community? If so, reach out and let us know by sending an email to ktaylor@sbh4all.org.

Children's Health Coverage: Medicaid, CHIP and the ACA

Below you will find a link to an article that explains Medicaid, CHIP and the ACA and how they relate to the upcoming Congressional debate over re authorization of CHIP. CHIP authorization expires later this year. It's important for us all to understand the potential losses in coverage that could occur should CHIP not be re authorized. This article does an excellent job of explaining all of this. You may want to share it with others in your agency and in your community.

"Oral Health Challenges in Pregnancy and Childhood" Webinar


Thursday, February 26, 12:30-2:00 PM Eastern to receive 1.5 hours of Nursing CEUs.
Nurse Practitioners and midwives can play a significant role in improving the quality of oral health in pregnant women and children. Primary care NPs and midwives are perfectly positioned to increase their involvement in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases. Learn about a model for integrating interprofessional oral health into the APRN curriculum for PNPs, FNPs, WHNPs, and nurse midwives.
This Webinar is available at no cost to members of NONPF, NPWH, and NAPNAP.


Learn more here

New Texas Interim Health Commissioner Named by HHSC 
Texas Health Commissioner, David Lakey resigned in early January to join the University of Texas System as a senior vice president for population health at UT Health Northeast at Tyler, and an associate vice chancellor for the system.

The state is still searching for a successor, but Health and Human Services Commission named Kirk Cole, associate commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, as interim HHSC commissioner effective February 1st.  As associate commissioner, Cole was second in command and played a key role in advising the commissioner and state leadership on public health and agency management issues.

A chief medical executive licensed to practice medicine also will be named to advise the interim commissioner on health issues and medical aspects of the agency's programs and services.

Information provided by:  Associated Press, January 7, 2015 and Texas HHSC News Release, January 30, 2015.


Idaho Congressman Introduces Dental Health Bill


Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has co-introduced H.R. 539, the 'Action for Dental Health Act of 2015' alongside Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02).

This legislation will target relatively modest but crucial federal dollars to organizations to provide proven oral health care services in a manner that effectively addresses the barriers to dental care that people often face. Without spending any additional dollars, the bill would have a significant impact on communities that are underserved. 
"Early diagnosis, intervention and preventive treatments can stop the progress of most oral diseases," said Simpson. "Not only do individuals often suffer from severe pain, but it also adds unnecessary costs to the health care delivery system, costs that could have been minimized or eliminated had the disease been caught in its early stages."
"Regular visits to the dentist do more than keep your smile attractive-they can tell a lot about your overall health, including whether or not you may be developing a disease like diabetes or if you're at risk for a stroke," said Kelly. "Our bill helps to create healthier communities by breaking down barriers to oral healthcare and will ultimately help reduce unnecessary healthcare costs by minimizing and eliminating dental diseases in their early stages."  

Extend CHIP Funding


Last fall, the Texas Oral Health Coalition joined 1,200 other organizations in a letter to Congressional leaders in support to extend funding until 2019 for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 


Texas has 1,034,613 children that count on CHIP for their medical and dental coverage.  Many of these families have no "Plan B" if they suddenly lose their CHIP coverage.


Please encourage all interested stakeholders - whether your organization is local, state or national - to sign-on below.


Please note the deadline for signing is Wednesday, Feb. 11.


Find Letter Here.