The Weekly Wednesday Update is our newsletter which we email every Wednesday with oral health, health and policy updates from around the state and nationally.

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October 20, 2021
Volume 12, Issue 40


We Are Two Weeks Away

The virtual 2021 Conference on Oral Health is two weeks away! We have been preparing all year for this and are eager to bring you some amazing national and state speakers! What are we offering:

  • We’re offering TWO free Skill Building Preconference sessions
  • Up to 8.5 CEU’s approved by the Kansas Dental Board
  • Two half virtual days of sessions and access to the conference platform and sessions for SIX months
  • Be one of the first to learn about new research from the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute (HPI) on Medicaid by and dental coverage.
  • Personal stories about individuals with disabilities struggling to get dental care
  • Sign up as a dental team or classroom to receive a discounted rate!
  • Unveiling of new advocacy toolkit!
  • A conference box with swag for the first 100 registrants!

Thursday, November 4

8:00 am
Skill Building Pre-Conference Session: Introduction to Public Oral Health
Bonnie Branson, RDH, PhD, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

9:00 am
Welcome Remarks
Sonja Armbruster, MA, Wichita State University Department of Public Health Services

9:15 am
Social Justice in Dental Care
Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, FICD, Meharry Medical College
Lonnie Walker, Jr., MBA, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

10:15 am
Break with the Exhibitors

10:45 am
People with Disabilities: Barriers to Dental Care and How You Can Help
Trina Morgan, Moderator, Kansas Children’s Service League
Barbie Vartanian, Project Accessible Oral Health
Tami Allen, Families Together
Kathy Hunt, RDH, ECP II, Oral Health Kansas

11:45 am
Closing Remarks
Tanya Dorf Brunner, MS, Oral Health Kansas

6:00 –7:30 pm
Dental Champions Battle Royale: Virtual Reception and Trivia Contest

Friday, November 5

8:00 am
Skill Building Pre-Conference Session: Introduction to Oral Health Advocacy
Whitney Zamora, RDH, MPH Candidate, University of California-Berkley
Christi Wells, MPH, Oral Health Kansas
Rep. Susan Concannon

9:00 am   
Welcome Remarks
Sonja Armbruster, MA, Wichita State University Department of Public Health Services

9:15 am
New Ways of Delivering Dental Care
David Jordan, MPA, Moderator, United Methodist Health Ministry Fund
CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
Jennifer Findley, Kansas Hospital Association
Melanie Simmer-Beck, RDH, PhD, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry

10:15 am
Break with the Exhibitors

Opportunities to Improve Public Policy in Kansas
Stuart Little, PhD, Little Government Relations

Improving Lives with Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits
Sarah Bedard Holland, MS, Moderator, Virginia Health Catalyst
Marko Vujicic, PhD, American Dental Association Health Policy Institute
Sarah Clark, MPH, University of Michigan Child Health Evaluation and Research Center

Closing Remarks and Call to Action
Tanya Dorf Brunner, MS, Oral Health Kansas

Register here!


Come one, Come ALL!

The Dental Champions Alumni Battle Royale FREE reception is scheduled for 6pm on November 4. Alumni is so excited about this virtual event that they wanted to open it up to everyone! Come enjoy a fun evening of friendly trivia and learn how to make new cocktails. Have a chance at a door prize. Take home a $30 gift card prize if you win a trivia round. Meet some Dental Champions and learn what the program is about. Enjoy an evening of laughter! Register now!





Poverty Eradication Around the Globe and in Kansas

This week the United Nations (UN) marked International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The UN asserts that the COVID pandemic not only exacerbated the poverty over a billion people experience every day, but also pushed over 150 million more people into poverty. While people across the globe are working hard to build back from the pandemic, the UN makes a powerful point about how we should rebuild: “The message is clear from the people living in extreme poverty that they do not want a return to the past nor to build back to what it was before. They do not want a return to the endemic structural disadvantages and inequalities. Instead, people living in poverty propose to build forward.”

The UN points out that limited access to health care is one of the factors that perpetuates poverty. The Medicaid program is designed to help people who are living in poverty gain access to health care, but over 100,000 Kansans who are enrolled in Medicaid lack access to dental care. Adult dental services such as routine cleanings, fillings, crowns, and dentures are not included in Medicaid. People’s teeth are often one of the first markers of poverty, and many people living in poverty say that the appearance of their mouth and teeth affect their ability to interview for a job.

Oral Health Kansas is working to pass legislation (SB 227) that would establish dental benefits for all adults enrolled in Medicaid. So many factors affect the living conditions of people living in poverty, and addressing this one important aspect of access to healthcare will ensure over 100,000 Kansans are able to better maintain their overall health and get and keep good jobs. To learn more about how you can get involved in our Medicaid adult dental advocacy, contact us at info@oralhealhtkansas.org. Please also plan to attend the Conference on Oral Health on November 5 when a panel will share new research about the impact adult dental services will have on people enrolled in Medicaid.



2022 Kansas Mission of Mercy Dates Announced

The Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation announced the dates and location for the Kansas Mission of Mercy (KMOM) in 2022! The next KMOM will be held on February 18-19, 2022 in Hays, Kansas at the Ellis County Fairgrounds.Continue to watch their website for more updates.








Upcoming Events

  • 2021 Conference on Oral Health, presented by Oral Health Kansas, November 4 and 5. Register here.
  • Webinar series: Integrating Race Conversations into Healthy Patient-Provider Interactions, 3rd Friday of every month at 12:00pm CST. Find more information here. .
  • Webinar: Managing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) with Dental and Oral Health, December 8, 8:00pm-10:00pm CST. Register here.



Congratulations to OHK Board member and Shawnee County Oral Health Coalition Co-Chair Veronica Byrd for re-starting the Brush Book Bed program last week. The program had to be put on hold when the pandemic began. Veronica and her team at Parents as Teachers put together a great family event on the Born Learning Trail at Pine Ridge Prep in Topeka. Dozens of children learned about how much sugar is in their favorite drinks, how to avoid acid attacks, brush their teeth, and choose healthy snacks. They all received toothbrush kits courtesy of Delta Dental of Kansas’ Smile Kit program and a new book to take home. #DDKSSmileKits




Sugary Drink Display Sanitation

Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending use of the Sugary Drink Display until further notice.

 During this time, hand washing and social distancing is on everyone’s mind. We want everyone to have the comfort of knowing we sanitize our sugary drink displays. They are wiped down and cleaned off after they have been returned.



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