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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.

To view past issues click here.


March 22, 2023
Volume 14, Issue 12


New Bill May Make Dental Licenses More Portable

Under current law dental professionals who move from one state to another cannot transfer their license to practice. This is an issue especially for military families who move from state to state who move between states more often than other families. A new interstate compact may change that. The Council of State Governments is the national organization that coordinates interstate compacts for reciprocity on professional licensure. According to the Council of State Governments, an interstate compact is a contractual agreement between states that allows “practitioners to obtain the authority to practice in multiple states without needing to maintain multiple licenses.”

The American Dental Association and American Dental Hygienists’ Association have been working with the Council of State Governments to develop an interstate compact for dentist and hygienist licenses. At least seven states must opt into it in order for the compact to go into effect. The Council of State Governments released the compact language earlier this year, and several states, including Kansas have introduced bills to approve the dental interstate compact. Last week the Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee held an informational briefing on the Kansas bill,  HB 2453, to learn more about how it would work for Kansas to join the dental interstate compact. Stakeholders likely will continue conversations about the logistics of HB 2453 over the summer and fall and then ask the Legislature to take action in the 2024 session. We will share new insight and information about the process as it becomes available.



Support New Federal Adult Dental Benefits Bill

The newly introduced Medicaid Dental Benefit Act would extend guaranteed, comprehensive dental coverage to all adults in the United States who are enrolled in Medicaid. Kansas has seen many improvements in our Medicaid dental program for adults in recent years, including adding coverage of fillings, crowns, and periodontal care in 2022. This new legislation (S. 570/H.R. 1342) introduced by Congresswoman Nanette Barragan and Senator Ben Cardin would provide comprehensive benefits for adults in all states. As she introduced the bill, Rep. Barragan said, “Dental health is critical to overall health. Expanding dental coverage to all adults who rely on Medicaid is vital to reducing health disparities.”

Our partners at the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network, Families USA. Community Catalyst, and CareQuest Institute for Oral Health have drafted a letter urging Congressional leaders to take action on the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act. Oral Health Kansas has signed on, and we invite all of our partners to join us. Click here to read the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act 2023 Organizational Sign-on Letter and here to sign on. The deadline for organizations to sign on is March 29.



Celebrate the Chiefs and KMOM!

The Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Kansas Mission of Mercy (KMOM) this week as KMOM comes to Topeka for the two-day dental clinic on March 24 and 25. As a part of the celebration, the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation is holding a raffle for a framed, signed Patrick Mahomes jersey. Click here to support the Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation and get a raffle ticket to get a chance to win a jersey from this year’s Super Bowl and NFL MVP! The raffle will be held on Friday evening.



National Disability Awareness Month

March is National Disability Awareness Month, a time when we focus on promoting acceptance, inclusion, and accessibility for people with disabilities. On February 26, 1987 President Ronald Reagan officially declared Proclamation 5613 making March National Disabilities Awareness Month! The proclamation called for people to provide understanding, encouragement and opportunities to help persons with disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

In 2018, OHK Dental Program Director, Kathy Hunt, developed an interactive workshop for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities called "Feeling Good About Your Smile". This workshop is a fun and interactive way for adult with disabilities to learn about ways they can keep their mouth and teeth healthy. For a fee, the workshop can be provided in person or virtually.

Not everyone brushes the same or uses the same type of toothbrush. People with disabilities are more likely to experience dental problems when a daily hygiene routine is not practiced. Resources for Adaptive Aids provides ways to help with toothbrushing and Changing it Up is a booklet with modifications you can use when toothbrushing and mobility is difficult.

Our website provides different resources that are also helpful for children or older adults. Browse through the webpages and links to see what may be useful for you!



Save the Date

The Conference on Oral Health will be held on Friday, October 27 at the KU Edwards Camps. The event will be in person and virtual. We'll keep you updated with details.



Upcoming Events

  • Kansas Mission of Mercy, March 24 and 25 in Topeka. Click here for more information.
  • The WSU Community Engagement Institute 2023 Virtual Workshop Series (CST): Conscious Communication Culture, March 29 at 11:00am.
    Workplace Belonging, April 5 at 11:00am.
    Healthy Boundaries, April 12 at 11:00am.
    Self-Care, April 19 at 11:00am.
    Navigating Conflicts and Difficult Situations, April 26 at 11:00am.
  • Course: An Introduction to Value-Based Care in Oral Health: Moving from Volume to Value, 1 CE. Click here for the course information.
  • Webinar: Missouri Dental Medicaid Town Hall Webinar, April 3, 8:00pm-9:00pm CST. Register here or download the flyer for information.
  • Webinar: Silver Diamine Fluoride: A Cost Effective Tool for Medical Providers to Thwart Caries and Promote Health Equity, April 4, 12:00pm CST. Register here.
  • 2023 National Oral Health Conference, April 17 - 19. Click here to register.





As we celebrate Women’s History Month this month we are thinking about our friend Dr. Eleanor Fleming. Dr. Fleming spoke at our 2021 Conference on Oral Health, and we have been following her ever since. She is the Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, and she is a leader in tackling disparities communities of color face in oral health. In a 2021 interview with the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, Dr. Fleming said, “I would like to see how organizations are not only acknowledging that racism is a public health problem, but also identifying steps that are actionable to take. While public statements are important, I would like to see more action, more collaboration, more asking of tough questions, and more of a willingness to reimagine the systems and processes that reinforce racism and prevent equity.” We are grateful for the challenge she sets before us and the inspiration she gives to propel us forward toward an equitable system of care.



Sugary Drink Display

We have Adult and Children's Sugary Drink Displays available for reservations. We only have a limited amount so please sign up soon if you're interested in reserving one. Click here to learn more about sugary drink display reservations!

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